Four Tips for Excellent Business Etiquette in Social Interactions

Jane Austen’s world, ‘Pride & Prejudice,’ is a complex web of social appropriateness and time in which Jane Austen lived. Communication is extremely precise and almost pre-planned. It follows a set of protocols. While men are accustomed to a specific posture, ladies dress in the most elegant clothes and use hand fans. No spoons should be pushed against the cup when stirring. In addition, introductions are formalized, no matter how informal they may be. This sense of English appropriateness may drive some cultures mad, but we all know the importance of basic etiquette. Certain social rules require respect, politeness and sensitivity. These guidelines for behavior may look different in informal settings, but they are much more clear when used in a business setting. We will be looking at a few of these protocols in this article:


  1. Formal Introductions : While casual settings may only require a “Hi”, formal introductions are more formal and should include a greeting and handshake. It is best to introduce people with their full names. If you’re introducing yourself to someone and have a complicated first name it is a good idea to use your full name. Then, tell them what you can be called, either a shorter version of your name or a nickname. It avoids awkward situations such as the person forgetting your name due to its complexity.
  2. Meeting someone : The importance of greeting someone is something that most eastern cultures understand. No matter what cultural context you are in, standing up to introduce someone to another person is considered respectful. It also communicates that you appreciate their presence. Leaning forward if you’re unable to stand for any reason indicates that you intend to do so.
  3. Thanks: It is always appropriate to thank the individuals involved in job interviews by sending them individual thank-you cards. This should be done within 24 hours of the meeting. Regular mail can be slow so it is best to thank them via email. Your thank you message should be short and sweet. Insincere and unnecessary words of affection are not appropriate. They may be taken as a tactful attempt to win favor.
  4. Only when necessary. While it is perfectly acceptable for a man under most circumstances to open the door or pull up a chair for his wife, in a professional setting like a lunch meeting this type of chivalry may not be appropriate. Although most societies view men and women equally, it is a common rule to emphasize this aspect in a professional setting. In this context, displaying chivalry could be seen as unprofessional.


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