Business and social etiquette can be tricky, and making the right moves can make a big difference. Take this quick quiz and see how you fare in the following business situations.
1. Your boss, Ms Alpha, enters the room when you're meeting with an important client, Mr. Beta. You stand up and say "Ms Alpha, I'd like you to meet Mr. Beta, our client from San Diego." Is this introduction correct?
No. Always introduce the more important person first. You should address your client and say "Mr. Beta, I'd like you to meet our Vice President of Development, Ms. Alpha." Remember to use people's formal business titles - it helps to make them feel important.
2. You're entering a cab with an important client. You position yourself so the client is seated curbside. Is this correct?
Yes. When your client steps out of the car, he or she will be on the curbside and therefore won't have to deal with getting out in traffic or sliding across the seat.
3. A toast has been proposed in your honor. You say "thank you" and take a sip of your drink. Are you correct?
No. If you do, then you're toasting yourself. Stay seated until everyone has toasted you and then stand up and make a toast of your own starting with a short 'thank you' to the person who toasted you.
4. You're at a table in a restaurant for a business dinner. Midway through the meal, you're called to the telephone. What do you do with your napkin?
Leave it on your chair. Definitely don't put it on the table--what if you have crumbs on it?
5. You're greeting or saying good-bye to someone. When's the proper time to shake their hand?
When you're introduced, at their home, at their office, and on the street. In other words, it's rarely improper to shake someone's hand. Make sure you have a firm (but not painful) handshake for both men and women.
6. You've forgotten a lunch with a business associate. You feel terrible and know he's furious. What should you do?
Call and set up another appointment. And don't forget to apologize for your error. Imagine how you'd feel if it was you!