If you do not master office etiquette, you will be out of a career faster than you can say “excuse me”. Hardly any other area of everyday life reacts as allergic to impolite faux pas as the professional one. The fatal thing is that faux pas lurk around every corner. And there is way more you should be careful about than just bragging about your scores at the National Online Casino.
WHAT NOT TO DO
1: The misspelled name
In a hurry or under time pressure, it happens to everyone that the name of the interlocutor is misspelled in an e-mail or Xing message. However, if this mistake “creeps in” again and again, it can be assumed that the counterpart does not make a special effort to learn how the name is actually spelled. Even if it costs a few seconds of valuable time, it is well worth taking another close look and correcting the name if necessary.
2: Anonymous contact requests
Whether in the classic career networks Xing and LinkedIn or in the mainstream medium Facebook – when digital contacts are made, some people forget their good upbringing. Of course, there Is nothing wrong with including people you do not yet know personally in your professional network. However, many make the impolite mistake of doing so without any comment. Similar to the correct spelling of names, the same applies here: Take the time. Time to compose a message in which you state the reason for contacting you and briefly introduce yourself. This is not only a good way to start a conversation, but also strengthens the bond with the new contact.
3: The unasked-for you
Hardly any other topic is mentioned as frequently in connection with office etiquette as the formal or informal form of address. Anyone who uses the collective form of address in the professional world quickly runs the risk of being classified as impolite. The reason: the unasked-for “you” is often interpreted as a demotion and is therefore considered disrespectful. If you want to do things better, you should first use the first form of address consistently and get to know the person in question. Once an initial relationship of trust has been established and you have really gotten to know each other, you can also offer to be on a first-name basis at some point. This step usually starts with the person who is older/more experienced/higher in rank.
4: Penetrating “small talk”
Whether face-to-face or over the phone, the topic of small talk can generally be described as touchy. Once you have mastered this particular form of communication, which is as harmless as possible, you have a big trump card up your sleeve. But be careful, the line you walk is a fine one. If small talk drifts in a penetrating direction or becomes political, for example, the person you’re talking to quickly feels harassed. Small talk that is unsuccessful is perceived as particularly rude if the speaker speaks without a period and the listener does not get a chance to speak at all.
5: Eye contact through sunglasses
When the sun shines from a blue sky, it is essential to wear sunglasses in some situations. In many other moments, too, the use of this equally useful and fashionable accessory is quite legitimate. However, when it comes to making a professional contact and exchanging glances, the sunglasses should disappear from the nose very quickly. In the course of the conversation, they can be put back on – provided the other person can still look you in the eye. Mirrored fashion glasses are therefore an absolute no-no.