September 8, 2018 | Rachel Wagner If you enjoyed this, please share:Good business etiquette skills go a long way to increase your influence and position you for career advancement. But, sometimes, even the most “seasoned” professionals drop the ball and make mistakes when it comes to proper business etiquette. Consider how you can set yourself apart as a more credible and polished professional by avoiding these 6 etiquette mistakes. They Fail to Send Thank You Notes: A hand-written thank you note sets you apart from others and helps you to be remembered. Write a thank you note to the person who interviewed you, the client who treated you to a concert, game of golf or seats to the big game in the company’s private suite. And, don’t forget appreciation for your hardworking teammates. Acknowledge them with a sincere hand-written note of thanks for their efforts in a big project and they’ll likely go the extra mile for you again. They Focus on Their Mobile Phone Instead of the Person They’re With: “…Concentration slips away…” is a lyric from the 1971 Isley Brothers hit song, “Love the One You’re With.” Concentration also slips away when you use your mobile phone during a face-to-face meeting or business meal. Not only that, it’s just plain rude. Give 110% of your attention to the person you’re with. Make friendly, direct eye contact and be an active listener. If you are expecting a critical email during a long meeting or lengthy conversation with someone, say so at the onset. Then politely excuse yourself for a moment when the email or phone call comes. They Don’t Know the Dos and Don’ts of Hosting a Business Meal: Ignoring proper dining etiquette in business settings is one of the most significant and common etiquette mistakes made. Proper dining etiquette, especially in business settings is critical for a good impression as a host or a guest. When hosting (you did the inviting), you’re like a general. You are in control of every little detail to ensure that everything goes smoothly and to put your guest at ease. When you extend the invitation, be sure to tell the purpose of the business meal so the guest can come prepared. Choose a restaurant that’s convenient to your guest. Indicate to your guest where to sit and give menu suggestions that are within your hospitality limits. Know when to “talk business” (after you order) and how to indicate via your words and napkin etiquette that the meal has come to a close. They Give an Unprofessional Handshake: One of the easiest ways to avoid a common etiquette mistake is to ensure that your handshake gives the right impression of you. Give two firm pumps—but not a bone crusher and not a wet fish— to convey warmth, confidence and sincerity. And, please don’t add a second hand over the other person’s unless you’re a politician or member of the clergy. They Don’t Respond to Email in a Timely Way: In our microwave world, it’s not professional to leave someone hanging. Good email etiquette means, to the best of your ability, respond to emails by the end of the day if possible, or no later than 24 hours. If you don’t have the information someone needs, at least email back that you’re working on it. They Make Wardrobe Mistakes That Detract From Their Credibility: First impressions are made in the first few seconds of meeting someone. Wear what’s appropriate for your industry. But, too tight, too casual, too revealing, too wrinkled—don’t impress. Keep your look updated with a few trendy—but not funky—accessories, handbags, and shoes. Always err on the more conservative side and you’ll look appropriate at the office and when meeting with prospects, customers and clients, ensuring that you avoid this etiquette mistake. Set yourself apart by avoiding these pitfalls of etiquette mistakes, and you will always be remembered in a positive way!