Professional Etiquette and Grooming
We all go through tough and challenging times. But how we face those challenges and deal with it is what makes our life. As we grow up, life throws many challenges at us. As a student, every exam is a challenge, building career and succeeding in life is a challenge, learning from failures is a challenge, overcoming personal loss is a challenge, maintaining work and family is also a challenge. Hence, the key to face all these different challenges in life, we need to maintain a positive attitude and a never say die spirit. Mentally, our thoughts, beliefs and ideas make a tremendous impact on our behavior and our actions. If we think positive, we experience peace and well-being. Negative thoughts pull us down and tend to make us feel sad and depressed.
One of the most common questions that people ask when they are going through tough times is that ‘why me?’ The answer to this question is that you are not the only one who is going through challenging times. Everyone has their own share of problems. Some may have financial problems, others have work related problems and some others may have some personal problems. All of us face challenges of different sorts. Some show it while others don’t. However, to develop the right attitude to face these challenges is what is important.
Developing a strong mind and maintaining your emotional quotient (EQ), helps us in facing any kind of challenges. There is no denying to the fact that it is difficult to come to terms with some of the difficult problems that we go through. People detected of cancer and undergoing treatment must be going through such challenging times. During times like these, one needs support of their friends and family members who give you courage to face such difficult times.
It is said that spirituality and meditation also help a great deal in understanding the deeper meaning of life and thus being able to face challenges. Deep breathing, meditation and exercises help us to relieve our stress and become strong mentally as well as physically. Self healing is important. This happens through positive thinking and peace of mind.
Another way to face challenges is to have our support system in place. Build strong relationships. Friends can help you to overcome your problems and having their support makes life easy. Family members can also provide encouragement and motivation to face any kind of a challenge.
Learn not just through our own experiences but also through others experiences. The experiences we encounter in life make us stronger Learn from problems so that you will not have to experience it again. Remember that when we face a challenge, the best way to deal with it is to conquer it and learn from it.
Last but not the least, expect the unexpected from life and you will find that you are strong enough to fight any difficulty in life. Build that never say die spirit and you will see that life is too beautiful even with difficult times and tough challenges.Continue Reading »
Almost everyone around the world, who is working, feels the pressure at work place and often complains about not getting personal time for one-self. Work-life balance, as the name suggests, is devoting number of hours to a task or an activity judiciously such that you make some time for personal enrichment and leisurely activities. Work timings should be sincerely followed but one should learn to be effective at work place such that you can finish you work on time and keep some hours in a day for your physical and mental well-being.
Many people, especially those who are workaholics, find it difficult to achieve this work life balance. They devote so many hours to their work that they find no time for themselves. This affects health in the long run. Putting in many hours at work leads to stress and deteriorates the ability to concentrate. This can slow you down. Hence it is always advisable to work hard but to give equal time to unwind and relax.
It may be difficult to achieve the right kind of balance between work and personal life and it may differ on a daily basis but it is important to plan your day in advance so that you know you can devote at least 2 – 4 hours in a day for family and personal well-being. Many people prefer to join a gym for maintain their health. This can be a great stress buster. It is also important to make some time for your family. Take a break and go for a holiday at least once in a year. Do not carry for work there and soak in the beautiful moment that life offers.
You must remember that every minute, every day will not come back again. Sacrificing on your enjoyment and concentrating too much on achievement will not make you a satisfied person. After all, you do not want to die with any regrets in life. Hence maintaining a healthy balance is important.
Indulge in your hobbies that most of us give up upon after joining work. Activities like painting, singing, reading, gardening, dancing can really help you to combat the work pressure and the stress that you have accumulated at office. Yoga and meditation are also effective in maintaining your mental equilibrium and keeping those energy levels intact.
Watch movies, go for lavish dinners, meet old friends, pamper yourself in a spa, go for a swim, decorate your house, buy some flowers, indulge in pleasurable cooking and alike. All these activities make you feel happy. This in fact can increase your productivity because happiness often gives you a kick and raises your energy levels. Even when you are at work take small breaks that help to concentrate better. In case you have to work on weekends, make sure you take a leave to unwind your self.
Sometimes, not thinking about work and sitting silently in the house can also be a refreshing change. With tablets, laptops and mobile phones everywhere, most people carry work even at home. Most people feel that there is so much competition at workplace they cannot afford to take a break. This mindset is a myth. Everyone should take a break. In fact, these breaks will actually increase your productivity and help you concentrate better. You will be able to strategize and come up with new ideas. Hence, an ideal employee/employer/businessman is the one who knows the tricks of balancing work and personal life.Continue Reading »
Man is a social animal and rightfully so he or she must follow certain social etiquettes that are appreciated by one and all. Everyone wants to be socially accepted and hence all of us want to engage in social conversations. But many of us either become nervous, shy or find ourselves paralyzed in front of a large group of people. Due to this, we curl inwards and do not make any conversations with people. In yet another scenario, there are times when people do not realize of their inappropriate behavior in social circuit. Social etiquette tips help us to be correct with our mannerisms, communication and our behavior in general.
While conversing with a group of people, you need to be polite, humble and sophisticated. Also, use language effectively and do not forget saying basic polite words like thank you, please, welcome, sorry etc wherever necessary. When a group of people are talking, always allow others to talk and only when they finish, make your point. In case you interrupt someone by mistake, apologize and request him or her to complete their conversation.
Always ask relevant and appropriate questions. It is assumed that you are socially aware and hence asking questions that reveal that you do not know about a common topic in news may not make a good impression about you. Hence, read newspapers regularly and keep yourself aware of what I happening socially and in the world in general. In case if there is an awkward silence that you may want to avoid, comment on the ambience of the place, on music that may be playing or on weather in general just to keep the conversation going. Remember to not pass any personal remarks on anybody you avoid any displeasure in the group. Also, do not pass any mean or sarcastic comments on people.
While you are conversing about something, remember to keep in short as nobody is interested in boring conversations. Always give chance to other people to talk as they may also want to make a point. If you have a long, in-depth conversation some people may not be interested as they would want to meet other people in the gathering too. Remember that social etiquette conversations are pleasant and short.
While conversing with people make an eye contact with everyone. Making everyone feel involved in a conversation is an art in itself. Your body language should also be polite and respectful. Also, remember personal hygiene is also an important part of social etiquette. Always carry a handkerchief with you. Smell good and present yourself well by dressing appropriately. Table manners should also be taken care of as they too form an important part of social etiquettes. Also remember to introduce yourself or get introduced before you begin a conversation with a stranger. Hand shakes are usually considered formal and polite when greeting people at a social gathering.
Social etiquette is important because it creates an impression about your personality that in turn affects the perception and treatment of other people towards you.Continue Reading »
In the world of fast communication, be it the internet, cell phone or messaging, maintaining certain etiquettes is important. Phone etiquette involves certain dos and don’ts that must be adhered to while talking to someone especially in the corporate or business arena. First and foremost, is to be courteous and sophisticated. Most people do not realize the fact that their voice can reveal a lot of their personality even if they are not in conversation face to face. However, your voice and the choice of words that you use while talking to people over the phone must be kind, polite, clear and sophisticated.
Remember that before you begin your conversation introduce yourself incase you are talking to that person for the first time. Remember to do this even when you have met the person formally but are talking over the phone for the first time as he or she may not recognize your voice. Also, before you begin the topic of your discussion, take permission of the other person online whether it is the right time to talk to them or not. Phone calls generally should not be made before nine in the morning or after eight or nine at night. Try to avoid lunch timings as well. One should always check the number before dialing. Be certain of the number you are dialing to avoid disturbing somebody else unnecessarily. In case if you do reach a wrong number, please apologize and say that you probably dialed the wrong number before hanging up.
While you are on the phone, keep the subject matter short and concise especially if it is a business related call. Generally, people like to keep it short over the phone, hence be sure that you are able to explain the subject matter or convey the message shortly.
In case you are using a cell phone and are at a public place, keep your volume low but make sure that you do not make it very low such that the other person cannot hear you. In case you are using your cell phone for business use as well, make sure that you choose your caller tune wisely. This may appear trivial but it does contribute to who you are especially to prospective clients.
Even if you know who is calling you, the correct way to answer the phone is saying ‘hello’. You may later add the name of the person who is calling you but ‘Yes Mr./Miss/Mrs.… sounds a little out of place initially in a corporate scenario. Phone etiquettes involve using kind phrases like "Just a moment, please.", “Kindly be online”, Can I put you on hold?”, “May I have your name please?”, “Sorry to keep you waiting” etc. In case if your phone is busy, send an SMS immediately after ending the call or call back the person soon.
Last but not the least, it is important that you do not slam the receiver down or disconnect the call abruptly. You must make sure that the conversation has ended and possibly so by conveying it to the other person. When you need to end the conversation and hang up, do so gently.Continue Reading »
Emails have become an important aspect in any organizational communication. However, there are many employees who belittle the importance of email communication and do not follow appropriate e-mail etiquettes. E-mails have become extremely important in today’s world of communication. Most of the business is conducted over the internet through e-mails. Employees need to be cautious while drafting e-mails to prospective clients. If a company or an organization is able to deal professionally through e-mails, they can be competitively smart and advanced. There are many aspects to proper and timely e-mail communication.
Why does one need email etiquette? To maintain efficiency, clear communication and professionalism in an organization. Also emails are important as they serve as evidence and can guard your company from costly law suits.
Using appropriate email communication can help your company to be professional in their approach. E-mails also increase efficiency as you can put your point forth more easily and in a much more effective manner.
One of the most important email etiquette is to be concise and to the point. Do not draft long unclear emails. Answer all the queries that a potential client has and pre-empt further questions. Use of grammar and punctuation should be perfect. Use correct spellings and do not use the SMS language. Address the email correctly to whomsoever concerned. You can use words like Dear Mr./Ms/Mrs.….Be professional in your language and do not make it sound personal. You can use templates for frequently used responses. Try and respond to e-mails faster. Answer the queries swiftly so that the client feels that he or she can trust you. The subject line of the e-mail is also important. Frame the sentence in the subject line clearly and concisely. Use proper structure & layout. Do not write in capital letters unless you want to highlight something.
Do not attach unnecessary files as it can become too much for a reader to read. Always remember to proof read your email before you send it across. Do not overuse the ‘high priority’ option and the ‘reply to all’ option. This will make the other person/team members feel that you are desperate or are trying to get attention. Remember to always add disclaimer and designation and contact details at the end of your email. This will make it easy for the receiver to contact you via phone if he or she wants to. Try and avoid any abbreviations. In case you are using any kind of abbreviations, mention the details in the bracket. Use active voice while drafting emails instead of passive.
Be cautious of the rich text option. Do not using large font size. Avoid using colorful font as well. Avoid long sentences as they can get confusing. Keep your text short and sweet. Keep your language gender neutral and avoid clarifying any kind of misunderstanding over e-mails. It is better to discuss sensitive and confidential issues over the phone or in person. Do not CC mails unnecessarily.
E-mails are no doubt a fast and a very effective means of communication however do remember the above tips to be effective at your email communication.Continue Reading »
One of the important aspects of personality development and personal grooming is dining etiquette. When it comes to business meetings and conferences, you do not want to have poor dining etiquettes especially when there is a risk of losing a potential client. Unfortunately, there are many people that do not pay attention to dining etiquettes but sometimes, it is these impressive manners that can win you a client and/or a contract. Here are some of the dining etiquette tips that can help you to make a better impression the next time you are asked to a formal dinner.
Take small bites and do not open your mouth and chew your food. Often when attending a business dinner, you will be talking to those around you. Make sure that you do not talk with food in the mouth. . No one wants to see an individual who chews with his or her mouth open. Finish you morsel, swallow it, and pat your table napkin on your mouth and then talk. Smaller bites allow you to chew through your food faster, allowing you to talk to anyone quickly.
Also, do not eat with your hands. For some reason, people still pick food items with their hands. This should be avoided especially when you are in a business setting. Try and pick those food items that so not require you to use your hands. Choose items that you can easily cut with your knife and pick with a fork. Even when you are using a finger bowl, do not put both your hands in it. Only dip one hand at a time. Gently pick up your table napkin and wipe your hands with it.
In case you need to pick an emergency call while dining, please take permission from people sitting with you and excuse yourself to go out of the restaurant to talk. When you come back after the call, do apologize to people that you are dining with and then get involved with the discussion in the meeting again.
Don’t put your elbows on the dinner table. There are so many business professionals that do that! The act of resting your elbows on the table is generally a sign that you are tired and/or bored. This is surely not the impression you want to give others while you are attending a formal dinner. Hence remember to not rest your elbows on the table the next time you go for a formal dinner! As far as drinking is concerned, at most you should have two drinks during a business function because you are still accountable for your words and actions and you have to remain decent and professional. You should drink less or avoid drinking especially when conducting business over a meal. For people who do not consume alcohol, order some juice to give company to people who are drinking. Not ordering anything is a sign that you are not comfortable in that setting and gives an impression that you do not mingle with people that easily. All said and done, dining etiquette should not restrict you from enjoying your meal and relaxing!Continue Reading »
One rule that applies universally in business is to pay attention to details and the same applies to your etiquettes and manners. It is said that the success of any business depends on how much attention they pay to perfection and to detailing. Hence, you need to give importance to how you behave in a business setting.
One of the most important business etiquette is punctuality. Respecting time is the first sign of a good businessman or a professional. If you are not on time, it gives a signal that the project or the assignment that you are/will undertake will also go through delays. People who are late are often people who cannot be trusted. Be realistic when you set a time for a meeting and make sure that you are five to ten minutes early for the meeting so that you can sit and conduct yourself well before the meeting actually begins. Always maintain a planner to avoid any sort of confusion or delay for a meeting.
Yet another important business etiquette is to maintain privacy and not reveal much. Always be to the point and avoid any scope for gossip. Maintain your secrecy in any of a deal or a contract that you are signing. Avoid any sort of personal life discussion especially with clients. Do not talk much about your organization, especially negative, when meeting a client or an external stakeholder.
Politeness and courtesy are important aspects of maintaining business etiquettes. Be kind, calm and polite with colleagues, team members, dealers, distributors, clients, customers or anyone in the business. Respect everyone’s opinion in the organization. Encourage ideas and consider what everyone has to say about the organization’s development. Be modest and humble in your approach to win your juniors. No one likes a boss who dictates and commands authority.
What you wear and how you dress is also important. Build a good taste in clothes and dress appropriately. Always wear clothes that fit you well and choose office colors like white, black, light pink, blue, brown, beige etc. Women should avoid wearing heavy dresses. Keep your clothing simple and comfortable yet stylish. Opt for minimal jewellery. Pay attention to accessories especially shoes and bags. Maintain a good hair style and do not wear a lot of make up. Wear some heels to give a good body posture but avoid very high heels as they are not comfortable.
Pay attention to your oral and written communication. Be it your e-mails, SMS, notes or anything else, make sure that you use correct business language. Address the letters properly and do not use casual language even if your colleague is your best friend. Always mention the details but be to the point. Even when you are talking, come to the point and avoid long meaningless discussions. Use good vocabulary and have a strong command over your language so that you can communicate your ideas well. Business has a lot to do with communication and hence, pay a lot of attention to what you say and how you say it.Continue Reading »
In a corporate and a professional work-place, image and impression play an important role. How people perceive you and see you is a lot to do with whether they like you and want to work with you or not. Hence, professional grooming is important. How you carry yourself, how you dress, what you speak, how you conduct yourself is no doubt, important! Professionals need to understand that grooming themselves will not just build their personality but will give them confidence and the ability to create that right impression. Somehow, your personal conduct reflects your inner being and what you feel about yourself within. In the subconscious, you need to feel that you are important to an organization and that you have the will and the confidence to take your organization to another level. This, in turn, comes from how well you are accepted by your team members and this depends on your personal and professional grooming.
One of the most important things is to dress correctly at work place and for meetings. Clothes affect mannerisms. Your clothing should compliment you for who you are. You may not want to make a fashion statement but it is important that you are well-dressed. Apart from wearing well fit clothes, see to it that you choose corporate colors. Clothes should be neatly ironed. Women should avoid wearing chunky jewellery and heavy make-up. Shoes should always be well polished. It is also important to smell good. Use a good perfume and a deodorant. Maintain a neat hairstyle. Men should keep their hair short. Women should also style their hair appropriately. Avoid loud hairstyles. Keep it simple and elegant. Men should always shape your beard. Some prefer a clean shave which is done daily. Women should regularly go for waxing, manicure, pedicure to look neat. Get your eyebrows done for a defined look.
Always keep a hand sanitizer, a moisturizer, and a face wash with you apart from make-up essentials like compact and eye pencil. Always apply sanitizer and hand lotion before you go for a meeting.
Corporate accessories are not mandatory but they enhance your look considerably. Bags, watches, belts, sun glasses are accessories that help you to enhance your professional look. Belts should generally be leather and of a good quality. Women should use light jewellery such as clip-on earrings, thin necklace, rings (but not too many) etc.
As a professional you should always ensure your makeup is conservative. Tattoos are to be avoided as much as possible especially on parts of the body that are exposed. In the workplace setting, as you meet clients, bosses, team members, always wear a smile. Everyone has their own share of problems but the best thing you can do is to appear like you have no issues. No one ever wants to stick around gloomy people. Maintain a good body posture. Avoid slouching. When sitting, ensure that your back is straight. Women should sit with crossed legs. These are some of the tips that will help you a lot in your professional world.Continue Reading »
In a corporate world, every action and every behavior is noticed. You need to be at the best of your professional behavior. Professional etiquette is something that you just cannot ignore. It adds to your overall personality and affects your profession especially when you go for client meetings, business development, sales pitch etc.
Some of the must have professional etiquettes are as follows:
Always listen to fellow members or clients in a meeting attentively. A good listener is always appreciated. Do not interrupt anyone. However, if you do so unintentionally, apologize and let the other person finish. Do not be too aggressive while conversing. Be strong in your communication but present it calmly. Your tone should always be polite. Maintain a good body language and eye contact. While talking, look at everybody so that they feel you are not are not talking to just one person.
Keep your conversations short and to the point. Do not make it speech-like. Try and avoid getting personal at anyone to avoid any sort of conflicts. Be reasonable in your arguments and politely beg to differ in case you do. Avoid harsh tone and polish your language. Maintain your sobriety and politeness. Avoid fidgeting of any sort and do not put your hands on the face while in a conversation.
Professional hand shakes should be firm. However, ensure your handshake is not so firm that it crushes or hurts the other person’s hand. Be confident while shaking hands and do not forget to smile.
Always wear neat and nicely pressed formal clothes during meetings. Choose sober colors like white, beige, blue, brown, black etc. Women should avoid wearing dresses that expose too much. Do not wear very heavy make-up. Be neat and clean. Make sure that you have well manicured nails. Do not wear jewellery that is too heavy or chunky.
You can wear heels for a good body posture. Maintain a good hair style and tie them up for a cleaner look. Wear clothes which you are comfortable in so that you can carry them well. This is very important while you are in a business meeting or client presentation. Men should also be neatly dressed. Always polish your shoes. Keep you nails and hair short. Wear a good belt and a tie.
When you are introduced to someone, stand up to meet or greet the person, shake hands or nod your head and smile. While having official dinner, offer the seat to your guests first, in some case, clients. Be punctual and thank the host for the dinner. Initiate conversations while waiting for the food. Avoid pointing the knife or fork towards the other person while eating and speaking. Learn basic table manners to dine with a potential client or an important business meet. Avoid talking when there is food in your mouth. Switch off or put your mobile phones in silent mode while in a meeting. In case it is an urgent call excuse yourself and take permission for taking the call.Continue Reading »