Below is the second half of an article I penned for the July/August edition of NSide Texas Business Magazine.

modern-business-mannersWhether you have just graduated or are up for a promotion, consider these modern etiquette guidelines to ensure that your behavior never takes you out of the running for a business opportunity:

  • Avoid nail trimming at work: Although we would hope that this goes without saying, avoid using nail clippers and doing personal grooming at the of- fice. If you need to floss after lunch, apply make-up or shave, please use the bathroom and do it as discreetly as possible.
  • On time arrival; virtual or face-to-face: When hosting a face-to-face meeting, arrive 10-30 minutes early to confirm logistics. If you are hosting a virtual meeting, arrive five minutes early. If you are attending the meeting, depending on your company culture, be on-time or arrive five minutes early. If you are delayed, send a text or an email to the host, your supervisor or a meeting participant.
  • Mannerly meals: When a business colleague asks you to lunch or dinner, it is not about the food. There is an agenda, and your manners are on display. Remember to eat a bit of protein before you go, so your focus is on the conversation. Asking a question with your mouth full of food is not only impolite; it is bad business.

Express gratitude: There is no substitute for nice stationery and hand-written thank you notes. Make the investment in fine, personalized stationery that is a reflection of your professionalism and individuality.

Of course, there is no such thing as the perfectly mannered business professional. There is no doubt that you will make a mistake, as I do, on occasion. When you do, remember that a little lighthearted humor and humility can save the day!

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