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Business etiquette is the polish that helps create courteous and respectful business environments and relationships with coworkers, clients and customers.

High standards of professional manners are what makes interacting with others enjoyable and pleasant. And makes you look impressive!

Here are 10 timeless business etiquette rules. Do a little self-assessment. Consider these marks of professionalism and see if you score a perfect 10!

  1. Give a firm handshake. In business, men and women both give a firm handshake to convey warmth and sincerity. Always stand to shake hands. Two shakes will do.
  2. Introduce yourself. At events where you don’t know others, it’s impressive when you are proactive and introduce yourself into a small ongoing conversation group, to someone standing alone or to those at a sponsored table whom you don’t know. People will remember you and be impressed with your confidence and professionalism. Read more: How to Introduce Yourself to Others at a Business Social or Networking Event.
  3. Introduce others. If you aren’t sure if two people know each other, always make an introduction. Speak first the name of the person with higher precedence, regardless of gender. Speak last the name of the person with lesser precedence. “Ms. Sr. Executive, I would like to introduce Mr. Jr. Executive.”
  4. Put your mobile phone away. At a business lunch or dinner, a phone is not part of the place setting. Keep it tucked away. Only in extremely urgent situations would you take a call during a meal. And when you do, ask to be excused and go to a private place to talk. In a meeting, focus on the discussion. Wait until a break to check messages and make calls.
  5. Use power words often. “Please,” “thank-you,” “you’re welcome” (not “no problem!”), are simple words that have big impact. Even in a casual workplace setting, these basic forms of courtesy are important in oral and written communication.
  6. Answer emails and phone messages in a timely way. It’s rude to keep people hanging. Respond by the end of the day, if possible, and never longer than 24 hours. Read more Email Etiquette Tips.
  7. Re-read before you hit Send. Business emails are often written too quickly and too carelessly. This conveys a lack of professionalism that can reflect poorly on a company’s brand and image. Before sending, reread to check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and tone. And remember, no email is ever private. Never say anything condescending or negative about your boss, coworkers or your company.
  8. Knock before entering someone’s office or cubicle. Even if the office door is open, it’s disrespectful to just barge in. Knock or announce yourself. Then ask if they have a minute. If yes, then you can say, “I have two quick questions. Is this a good time?” Read more cubicle etiquette tips.
  9. Don’t use speakerphone in an open office environment. Not only is it distracting to coworkers trying to get their work done, it doesn’t respect the privacy of the caller.
  10. Do personal grooming in the restroom. Personal grooming is just that: personal,  and should not be done in your office or cubicle. If you need to floss, repair your chipped nail, or cut your fingernails, head to the restroom.

For more of Rachel’s etiquette tips, you may enjoy  “Ten Things to Never, Ever Say Over Text or Email,”   “like” Rachel Wagner Etiquette and Protocol on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.