What’s the difference between the rising star whose career is picking up speed and his counterpart who can’t seem to get the engine to turn over?
Often, the star has mastered the nuances of business etiquette — the subtle but critical behaviors that can make or break an important meeting, influence a first impression or impress a potential client.
According to Hilka Klinkenberg, director of Etiquette International, a business etiquette firm, the basics of professional etiquette are really quite simple. First, understand the difference between business etiquette and social etiquette. Business etiquette is genderless. For example, the traditional chivalrous etiquette of holding the door open for a woman is not necessary in the workplace and can even have the unintended effect of offending her. In the work environment, men and women are peers.
Second, your guiding principle should always be to treat people with consideration and respect. Although this may seem obvious, Klinkenberg cites this basic decency as a frequent casualty in today’s workplace.
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