Advice from, “Business Etiquette for the Design Professional,” an exclusive Lamin-Art CEU, offers plenty of information on how to better yourself in a professional setting. Check with your local representative to see if the IDCEC and AIA accredited course is available in your area, and learn to: distinguish yourself as a business professional; establish your personal brand; recognize how to adjust your professional behaviors; and understand the ability to collaborate.
Here are a few quick tips from the course, so you can begin improving your business etiquette today:
Anatomy of a Business Conversation
Even the simplest interactions can affect your business relationships. Make sure to follow a few easy rules.
Introductions are your first (and best) opportunity to ingratiate yourself. If you are sitting, stand, make sure to smile and always give a firm handshake.
Small-talk can be tough. Look for a common ground for this to work. Ask questions and pay attention to the interest level of others.
Closing Statements should be short, sweet and polite. Make sure to say something like, “it was nice to meet you,” and only exchange business cards if there is a need for follow-up.
Remember to follow the same rules as any other polite conversation. Keep your grammar sharp, and avoid off-limit topics like politics, religion, sex and gossip.
The Etiquette of the Internet
With a screen mediating every conversation, etiquette in the digital age can feel like an afterthought. Follow basic etiquette for technology and social media use to gain an edge on your peers.
Email is designed for easy correspondence, and should be approached as such. Match the tone of a client/customers email. Always be concise, and double-check proper grammar, spelling and punctuation.
Cell Phone use is a minefield of bad etiquette. Be mindful of others, keep your voice down and never interrupt conversations to take a call, unless it is immediately relevant. When in a professional setting, place your phone on silent.
Social Media is an impersonal way to share personal information. When posting to social media, try to add something to another person’s day with the content of your message. Avoid negativity, and always take into account whether the information you put on social media will be seen by people with whom you have a business relationship.