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BASIC TELEPHONE ETIQUETTE

Answer the phone in three rings or less. Answer with your name, your department name, or the companys name. Make business calls only during normal business hours whenever possible. Return calls in 24 hours or less. Taking 48 or more hours is considered rude Never give personal information on coworkers over the phone. When someone calls you, do not be the first to hang up. When you call, ask the person if she or he has time to talk. If the phone connection is lost, the caller should be the one to call back. To facilitate all your calls, create a call-back hour, a time for you to return and receive calls without interruption. Ideally, it is the same hour every day when everyone knows that they can call and you will be in. When you or the person you called is not in, then you should follow the etiquette rules for voice mail and answering machines. Most businesses have a voice mail system or individual answering machines. Both have guidelines for proper usage. For your own system, you should have a brief but informative outgoing message (the message someone calling you will hear). Long outgoing messages, or greetings, are irritating. Likewise, greetings such as I am not in leave a message are irritating and convey a sense of arrogance I want to know who you are but Im not telling you who I am. The greeting should identify you and your company and should invite the person to leave a message. If you have a call back hour, you might include this as a time when you would definitely be in. If you do not have a call back hour, then you may wish to change your greeting frequently so you can include call back times. You may also need to change your message if you travel and are frequently unable to return calls in less than 24 hours. You should check your messages at least twice a day. When leaving a message on another persons voice mail or answering machine, be brief while including your name, your number and a time when you can be reached. If your message must be longer, then make sure it is concise and organized. It is often a good idea to plan out a message for every call, just in case the person does not answer. Be sure you include there as on for your call and message; the receiver may not know or remember- business phones and voice mail should not be used to play guessing games. Use your best voice, speak slowly, especially with numbers, and get to the point quickly. Do not

use voice mail for bad news, sensitive information, confidential information, or complicated information or instructions. Never whine, complain, or leave an angry message it sounds worse when played back it can be replayed for the entertainment of others. Finally, dont leave the same message over and over; if one or two fail, then try some other method to contact the person. SHARED WORKSPACES With the advent of cubicles and other shared work-spaces, people often come into closer contact than before. Etiquette for shared facilities is concerned with sharing space and sharing computers. In either case, the privacy of others must be respected if you expect other to respect yours. Never read from the desks or computer screens of others. Do not interrupt or disturb others as they work. Keep the shared areas clean. Do not monopolize the use of a shared computer or printer. Do not view, change, or delete other peoples files or the software or computer settings. If there is a shared coffee pot, clean and refill it when it is empty and pay your fair share for supplies, if that is the custom. If there is a shared water cooler, change the bottle or notify the person responsible and, as with the coffee, pay your fair share. If there is a shared refrigerator, label your items and remove leftover food before it spoils. In general, treat everyone else the way you would want your mother treated. MEETINGS Most meeting etiquette applies to people managing meetings. If you are simply attending a meeting, proper etiquette calls for you to arrive prepared and on time. If you are late, you should apologize but should not offer an excuse. Excuses delay the meeting even more and are often not believed anyway. If you are running a meeting, you are responsible for much more. Before calling a meeting, you are responsible for determining if the meeting is necessary. The question to be answered is whether or not your objectives can be achieved. ATTRIRE AND GROOMING You only have one opportunity to make a first impression, and your attire and grooming will account for most of the impression you make. Attire and good grooming are still critical after the first impression, however. While business casual dress is accepted in many corporate settings, if you wish to advance, and sometimes even if you just wish to remain with an organization, you need to look as though you belong. The guidelines that follow refer to attire and grooming for the typical

business situation. Here, conservative but safe dress is described. Over time, you may be able to modify your dress as you observe what the top officials in the organization wear. Matching their attire can be very important for advancement. If 80 percent dress a certain way, then you should too. If there is a wide variety in the way upper management dresses, then select clothes that flatter you, leaning to the conservative and traditional. In all cases, clothes should be well coordinated, well tailored, and well maintained. ATTIRE FOR MEN Well-dressed men wear suits for business. Everything about the suit is coordinated, meaning that articles that should match are precisely matched, whereas articles that contrast do so obviously. For example, all of your leathers (shoes and belts) must match. However, you do not wear a striped suit with a striped tie and a striped shirt. At most, two of these three may be striped, and it is safer to have just one of the three striped and the other two a solid colour a navy blue suit with a white shirt and a rep (diagonally striped) tie is always acceptable. Or a navy suit with white pinstripes, a white shirt, and a maroon tie with small white polka dots would be fine for all business occasions. Business suits should be wool, although a wool-polyester blend that is at least 45 percent wool can be acceptable. It may be possible to wear a cotton or linen suit in warm climates, but these wrinkle easily. The suit should be blue or gray, with solids, pinstripes, and chalk stripes being acceptable. Dark plaids may be used, especially plaids that are nearly invisible. If you ever have the slightest doubt about a colour or plaid being too loud, then do not buy it. Your doubt or hesitation is a warning to yourself; one you should listen to. The shirt should be cotton, which is cooler than other materials but does tend to wrinkle. A cotton-polyester blend will wrinkle less but is not as cool; the blend should be more than 50 percent cotton. Whichever shirt you choose, the collar should, for almost all occasions, be white. This may be a solid white or striped shirt. The stripes may range from pinstripes up to one-sixteenth of an inch wide. Occasionally a blue or very pale pastel shirt may be acceptable. All business shirts are long-sleeved. GROOMING The perfect attire, impeccably tailored and coordinated, can be completely destroyed by poor grooming habits. Successful business grooming begins with cleanliness and moderation. Hair must be neat, trimmed, organized, clean, and away from the face.

BUSINESS DINING ETIQUETTE The first general rule of business dining is to remember that the food is not the central issue. The whole purpose for the business lunch is business. Second, business is properly discussed after everyone has placed an order. Dont appear overeager and begin talking shop until everyone has had a chance to look at the menu and order, otherwise you delay the meal, and the pause after ordering is a natural time to change the subject to business. When you do start to discuss business, do not speak so loudly that those at other tables hear you. Ordering a business lunch or dinner has a set of rules all its own. To indicate that you are ready to order, close your menu and place it on the table. Because the main reason for the meal is to conduct business, order foods that will not interfere with the discussion and will be easy to eat. Do not order foods such as lobster, clams in the shells, or corn on the cob. Furthermore, guests should not order the most expensive item on the menu unless invited to do so by the host. Guest should also not order a first course unless others do. Because alcoholic drinks are often not part of a business lunch, guests should wait to see what the host does, and if alcohol is ordered, it should be consumed in moderation (one, maybe two drinks). You should not drink at all, however, if you are trying to close a sale or deal. Once when the food begins to arrive, the trouble begins for some people. First, if it is a buffet lunch, do not pile your plate high with food.