Man with smart phone on hand, blurred background“I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other skill under the sun.” – John D. Rockefeller

In today’s world of texting, tweeting and status updating it is easy to get lost in the virtual world (yes, even while at work!). The term ‘Business Etiquette’ has definitely changed since the pre-internet era. Although being connected to your smartphone at all times is now the ‘social norm’, it doesn’t mean that your business etiquette must suffer.

Although you may not realize it, your interpersonal skills may have a major impact on your ability to be effective at your job.

Here are a few modern day business etiquette tips to keep in mind…

Always be on time…Remind yourself that other people’s time is just as important as your own. Everyone is busy. Whether you believe it or not, you will be well respected and looked at as a dependable person if you simply show up to your meetings and work on time.

Put your phone & other electronic devices away…In today’s society, everyone has a smartphone. It isn’t impressive or productive to leave your smartphone out on display as you meet with others (whether it’s a lunch meeting or a client dinner, etc.). It actually sends a bad message to the people you are meeting with, it implies that what they have to say is not important to you and that you are ready to drop the conversation as soon as your phone rings.

Keep a good attitude, even when you are having a tough day…If you are having a bad day, it does not justify giving other people an attitude or being rude. If you catch yourself in a situation like this take a deep breath and a minute to pull yourself together. General displays of unpleasantness can be detrimental to your career.

Don’t overuse email…Yes, email is fast and easy. It may however, be beneficial to ask new clients how they’d prefer to be contacted. You might find that if someone is really busy with an inbox full of important emails, you will get a faster response by simply picking up the phone and actually speaking to them. People tend to hide behind texts and emails these days. This is hurting our ability to be comfortable speaking to someone in a social setting.

Be accountable…There is no shame in making a mistake, there is shame however in blaming someone else for that mistake. Taking responsibility for your own actions is one of the most genuine attributes a person can have.

Write that thank you note…Writing a simple ‘Thank you’ will differentiate yourself from the rest and it is a great way of letting people know how much you appreciate them.

Remember people’s names…Take the time to get to know people (especially their names). It is just as important to know your peers and employees as it is to know senior management and major clients. Don’t shrug people off; you never know when you might need them!

The impact of technology in today’s society is unfortunately having a negative effect on our ability to interact with people in face-to-face situations. Remember the basics. Get to know someone, shake their hand, learn their name and don’t forget how to pick up the phone. These are things that will never go out of style!

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