Everyone wants to start the New Year right at work, and according to the career website Monster.com, one of the best ways to do that is by making sure your behavior is top-notch. So, here’s a quick review of the four most important points of business etiquette:

  • Let’s start with: Introductions. Always present the lower-ranked person to the higher-ranked one. For example, if your CEO is Mrs. Jones and the new salesman is John Smith, the correct introduction would be: “Mrs. Jones, I'd like you to meet John Smith.”
  • Business etiquette tip #2 is for the ladies: When you’re introduced to a colleague, reach out to shake their hand. For many years, handshaking wasn’t part of an introduction for females, and many men are reluctant to offer their hand, in case the woman is insulted. Things have changed. Experts say that steady eye contact and a firm handshake – not a crushing one - gives a powerful impression. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to make a good impression.
  • Our 3rd tip has to do with electronic etiquette. Lydia Ramsey is coauthor of Manners That Sell - Adding The Polish That Builds Profits. She says that just because you have the capability to reach someone 24/7 doesn't mean you should. Also, choosing the right form of communication shows that you respect other people’s time. In other words, don’t call when an email will do, and try a landline before you dial someone’s cell number. Don’t forget, your email messages should follow the rules of a business letter. That means beginning with a salutation like “Dear Jim,” skipping the smiley faces, and checking your spelling and grammar.
  • Finally: Admit your mistakes – but don’t go overboard. Hilka Klinkenberg is the director of the consulting firm Etiquette International. She says that it doesn’t matter whether you forgot someone’s name or presented the wrong sales figures. When you goof, ‘fess up, offer a sincere apology, and then move on. Making too big an issue of your mistake only magnifies the damage and makes everyone uncomfortable.