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OFFICE ETIQUETTE Basic Rules of Office Conduct or How to survive in the work place

Office Protocol :

Office Protocol Do you know the basic rules of office conduct? Do you know how to participate in the office environment? Here is a list of the top ten office mistakes: Not using Please, Thank You & I'm Sorry Failing to compliment staff or peers. Not listening - you could hear something. Forgetting how to proceed through doors and into elevators. Knowing when it's acceptable to use cell phones or office phones. Not assisting new employees in your department or company. Flirting inappropriately with peers and executives at business functions. Ignoring problems or complaints, assuming they will cure themselves. Being late for appointments or not calling when unavoidable. Making demands on host personnel. What is proper office protocol? Let’s find out.

Be comfortable in the Business World by making those around you feel comfortable.:

Be comfortable in the Business World by making those around you feel comfortable. It’s as old as life itself, but still appropriate. Make “PLEASE”, “THANK YOU” “YOU”RE WELCOME”, & “I’M SORRY” a part of your everyday vocabulary. It’s never offensive, often expected, and easy to do. It’s an attitude. Respect those around you and they will return that respect. Being polite is the greatest motivating factor in existence. A good leader uses these word regularly. Being higher on an organization chart is no excuse for being disrespectful of others. You are part of the entire team. Everyone is a critical part of the success or failure and no one player is more important than another. Imagine doing your job without a person for a while and you will see how important everyone is.

With each request – Say “Please”:

With each request – Say “Please” If you are asking someone to do something for, with, or instead of you – Say “Please”! There is no limit to how many times a day you can say “Please”. You are going to run out of them in your life-time. “Please” should be the first or last word in any request, even if it’s someone job. - Would you type this for me please . - Can you show me where it is please . - Please , can you help me find…. - Please excuse me while I take this phone call - Will you deliver this note for me, please .

With each completion – say “Thank you”:

With each completion – say “Thank you” Expressions of gratitude should be sincere. Think about what you are thanking people for. - when someone does something for you, job related or not Say Thank You - when you receive a gift Say Thank You - when someone does you a favor Say Thank You - when someone praises you Say Thank You Three ways to say thank you: - saying it … if you are face to face with the person - by telephone ... Done within 24 hours of the event - writing it .. Most effective, can be reread, shown around to others, and is on the record. When you receive a Thank you – say “You’re Welcome”

With each error - Apologize:

With each error - Apologize Whenever an apology is needed, do it! Whenever you have inconvenienced someone, apologize. It will mean a lot to the person hearing those words. Say I’m sorry for: - arriving late to a meeting, - misdialing the phone, - forgetting an appointment, - forgetting to do something, - bumping into someone, - causing someone damage, - when you overload an associate with work - etc. Estoy apesadumbrado Je suis désolé Ich bin traurig I am sorry

Compliments are never refused!:

Compliments are never refused! A smart worker gives many compliments. Employees want to know they are doing a good job. Don’t wait until evaluation time, give compliments year round. Encouragement increases productivity and desire to do more. Compliment your peers. If you look around you can find something to compliment. Open your eyes to the world around you, listen to what’s being said, and don’t be afraid acknowledge positives in others. Graciously accept any compliments you receive regardless of whether you feel you deserve it. If someone has taken the time to notice and compliment you, accept it. Just say “Thank you”. Being a good worker means being able to work through the day with ease. Making others around you feel comfortable will enable you to feel comfortable around them. A good worker is courteous and caring about those with whom they work. This builds teamwork.

Shhh! - What was that? You’ll never know unless you listen.:

Shhh! - What was that? You’ll never know unless you listen. Listen and learn rather than talking. If you spend your energy observing, listening and absorbing the things around you, you become a more informed worker. An informed worker is more valuable to an organization. If you refuse to accept others ideas, opinions, & decisions, you will become isolated from the rest of the organization. No-one knows it all, everyone can learn something new, and accepting change will make your and everyone's life around you better. Communication is two way and involves your ears as well as your mouth. Hearing what others are saying is crucial. Keys to listening: - clear your mind of everything except the speaker - avoid interrupting those who are speaking - repeating back the major points of what was said - ask questions to clarify the subject When your mouth is open, your ears are closed. Listening is an art!

Proceeding through doors, into elevators, and entering rooms. :

Proceeding through doors, into elevators, and entering rooms. As you move from one point to another your good manners should follow. Movement involves being quiet so others are not aware of your actions. Trying to be noticed is a symptom of low self esteem, selfishness, and rude! Your disruptions shows a lack of respect to those around you. Good workers move around effortlessly. Keys to moving around the office: - Keep your eyes open, be aware of others. - When entering a room, or inviting others to enter, give clients, customers or senior management the best seat. - When moving quickly among people, carrying objects or not, look where you are going and smile at those around you. When approaching a door, be a holder for others and never shut a door in someone else face. It’s just common courtesy. Always hold elevator doors for others who may be entering or approaching. Regardless of gender, let your guest, staff who rank higher precede you through the door. If you are female, don’t be offended if a male holds the door for you. It’s respectful, not insulting. Lead groups into your office so that you can show them where to go. Whoever arrives at the door first should enter and go through it. It’s that simple.

Telephone manners – be aware of what others are hearing.:

Telephone manners – be aware of what others are hearing. Answering the phone: - use a welcoming tone - speak clearly - identify yourself, department or firm to the caller - never use nicknames when answering - never chew gum, eat, sneeze, cough, or drink while on the telephone. Cover the mouthpiece to protect the caller from such intrusions. the phone creates the atmosphere to the caller, make it friendly, professional, and quick. When taking messages for others, remember to write down: who, what, where, when, how. When leaving messages for others, keep it simple and short, but not mysterious. Leave your name, your number, and why you called or indicate you will be calling again. Apologize for calling a wrong number. Avoid leaving anyone on hold longer that 20 second. End the conversation by making an up-lifting comment that leaves the other person feeling good about calling.

Welcoming new employees:

Welcoming new employees A good manager helps a new employee adjust, and a good worker will welcome them to the team and offer help where necessary. A good supervisor or colleague will: - Assist the new employee with policies, procedures & systems without making the new employee feel inadequate, nor will they leave them floundering to figure things. - Praise the good performance and criticize the poor performance honestly. - Treat them as part of the team, encourage team building. - Treats them as an equal, not forming judgments, gives opportunity without feeling threatened. A new employee will: - Listen and learn - Be equally nice to everyone - Form their own opinions gradually - Resist prying into personal issues - Seek assistance when necessary - Avoid making comparisons with old workplaces unless asked

Flirting on the job, at business social functions, or with clients.:

Flirting on the job, at business social functions, or with clients. DON’T DO IT! What is sexual harassment? Not an easy definition, but it includes: making an individual uncomfortable in the work environment because of differences in gender and preferences. Creating a hostile environment. Examples: - When someone complements you on your dress and then leers at certain body locations. - If someone holds you and won’t release when requested. - Exchanging stories in clinical sexual detail. - If one party is married and asks another out on non-business activities - Unwelcome touches or kisses in public or private. - Leaving notes, sending e-mail or making phone calls containing sexual innuendos. - Explicitly requesting personal favors for promotions or raises. - Inappropriate distasteful gender jokes or demeaning gender conversations Prevention: - Resist dating someone in the firm, a customer or client. - Resist conversations about your sex life or others - Resist using “locker room” talk or telling gender directed jokes. - Keep all business relationships on a profession level.

Ignoring problems or complaints, assuming they will cure themselves. :

Ignoring problems or complaints, assuming they will cure themselves. A good workers doesn’t ignore unpleasant task, problems or complaints, they deal with them. - Ask for assistance in correcting the problem. - Investigate complaints to get the full story and then apply corrective measure to prevent further problems. A manager will use tact and diplomacy when dealing with complaints and problems. - Offer assistance in correcting problems, finding out the root cause. - Investigate all personnel problems thoroughly, speak with the individual in private offering measurable corrective activities. - Follow up on the individuals progress and offer praise when accomplished. - If new problems develop, do not revisit old problems once they have been resolved. - Do not discuss personnel problems with peers and colleagues not otherwise involved. - Extend second chances to first offenses offering guidance for the future. - Apply equal treatment to all members of the organization.


Appointments Whatever the reason for a meeting, be on time or notify appropriate individuals when missing the meeting is unavoidable. If you keep others waiting, resentments will build. This lack of respect for others diminishes your effectiveness in an organization. If you must be late for a meeting, have another individual join the meeting in your absence to explain the circumstance. If you scheduled the meeting, have someone else extend an offer to make those waiting more comfortable. If you are on the phone when individual arrive for the meeting, end the conversation quickly, offering to return the call at a more convienient time. When expecting a group of people, make sure to have adequate seating. When visiting other offices, do not blame assistants if you are kept waiting. If your host takes a phone call during your visit, ask if you should leave the room for privacy.

Visits to others in the organization or outside the organization.:

Visits to others in the organization or outside the organization. Arrive on time, introduce yourself and exchange pleasantries. If your host is delayed, keep yourself busy by reading, working on projects, or reviewing your notes. Do not get angry, this will set the tone of the visit. Do not make their office your office. Respect their property & personnel. Do not listen to the individual conversations. Do not use their assistants or secretaries as yours. Do not interrupt them while performing their job. Do not use their phones, copiers, or computers for your personal activities. Use is limited to the purpose of your visit only. Do not stay longer than your appointed time. Thank the host and offer to continue the discussion at a later date if needed.

Testing your knowledge!:

Testing your knowledge! Do you know the basic rules of office conduct? Do you know how to participate in the office environment? Here is a summary list of what you should have learned: Use Please, Thank You & I'm Sorry Compliment staff or peers. Listening - you could hear something. Know how to proceed through doors and into elevators. Know when it's acceptable to use cell phones or office phones. Assist new employees in your department or company. Do not flirting with peers and executives. Investigate problems or complaints, and solve them. Be on time for appointments or call when it’s unavoidable. Don’t make demands on host personnel. Let’s test your knowledge.

Test Your Knowledge:

Test Your Knowledge Click Here to take a quiz on your understanding of Office Etiquette.

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