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Workers Behaving “Badly”: Polishing Your Professional Etiquette (LIF: Money and Career

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

My dh is always commenting on all the “rules” and “regulations” I “impose” on us when it comes to social etiquette and graces. And, when it comes to socializing most of have a grasp of what is expected and how to act, at least out in public.

But, when it comes to the workplace, professionals point out that because we often get comfortable with our coworkers many of us are guilty of letting down our guard, perhaps even being (a bit) rude, sometimes without even knowing it. And, they add that the key, especially in situations where the comfort level is so “natural”, is to learn how to maintain your decorum and composure and how to handle awkward situations.

· Use automated devices such as cell phones or BlackBerrys only when you’re more than an arm’s length away from others, and make sure they are turned off or at least put on vibrate when you attend a meeting. Also, if you’re going to be unavailable for more than half a day, make sure to update the facts on your message.

· Never arrive for a meeting “on time”. In fact, according to experts its best to be the one waiting for the client, supervisor or boss.

· Focus on follow-up and never underestimate the power of putting things in writing, especially a personalized and hand-written thank you note. E-mails should be reserved for quick and “impersonal” office interaction, mostly relating to business and current projects or finding out what a colleague wants for lunch.

· Redefine business casual by stepping it up a notch. Remember casual does NOT mean sloppy and/or un-ironed. In fact, experts suggest that women opt for collared, button-down shirts and a jacket or a nice dress. This helps them give off an air of confidence and presence in the room. However, how you dress and define casual will also be dictated by the industry you are in.

· Try to embellish your ensemble with a minimum of three accessories, including glasses, belts and a watch. Remember, especially for men, a nice watch is an almost essential business tool.

Long Island Money & Careers Articles > Workers Behaving “Badly”: Polishing Your Professional Etiquette (LIF: Money and Career

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