19 Business-Etiquette Rules Every Professional Should Know

Professional social situations can be awkward. And, unfortunately, many people wind up making fools of themselves because they don’t understand that etiquette rules in business differ from those in other settings.


In “The Essentials of Business Etiquette,” Barbara Pachter writes about the rules people need to understand to conduct and present themselves appropriately in professional social settings.  Here are the most important tips on how to introduce yourself, how to dress, and what to order at restaurants, all from Pachter’s book:


  1. Always stand when you’re being introduced to someone.
  2. Always say your full name.
  3. Always initiate the handshake if you’re the higher-ranking person or host.
  4. Dress appropriately.
  5. Only say ‘thank you’ once or twice during a conversation.
  6. Send separate thank-you notes to everyone involved.
  7. Leave your phone in your pocket.
  8. Never pull out someone’s chair for them.
  9. Don’t cross your legs.
  10. Keep your fingers together when you point.
  11. Always double check that you have selected the correct email recipient.
  12. Always break bread with your hands.
  13. Don’t order anything too expensive.
  14. Do not push away or stack your dishes.
  15. Keep the food options balanced with your guest.
  16. Never ask for a to-go box.
  17. Know where to properly place plates and silverware.
  18. The host should always pay.
  19. Prepare a polite exit.

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Adapted from the Business Insider

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