Business manners make a major impression on colleagues, employees and customers but sometimes, there's only a subtle difference between saying "the right thing" and "the wrong thing". Read the following situations and decide which is right and which is wrong:
1. When you want to intrude on a colleague's time, you say:
a.May I have a moment of your time?
b.Are you busy right now?
2. When you want to smoke:
a.Light a cigarette in a bathroom or corner.
b.Look for a smoking sign, or leave the premises to light up.
3. When you accidentally use profanity:
a.Please, excuse my anger.
b.I know I shouldn't say things like that, but being late makes me so mad.
4. When you are wondering when to start eating:
a.Start eating when you are invited to do so.
b."Dig in" at the table before others begin their meals.
5. When you are wondering how to address someone you just met:
a.Repeat his or her entire name slowly and ask for the proper form of address.
b.Use a first name unless you're in a social setting or meeting a peer.
6. When you're initiating a conversation:
a.Enquire about personal habits or family backgrounds.
b.Offer pleasantries, and ask how your conversation partner is feeling.
7. When you are not sure how to pronounce an individual's name, do say:
a.I'm sorry, but would you pronounce your name for me again?
b.I guess I'm going to emasculate your name.
8. When you are running out of time during an appointment:
a.Offer to make an additional appointment for further questions or comments.
b.Summarily end the meeting or anxiously look at the clock.
9. When you want to make a personal comment to a colleague:
a.Ask to speak to the individual privately.
b.Raise the issue during a meeting.
10. When you enter a room:
a.Place your items on the individual's desk unless he invites you to do so.
b.Stand until the other individual sits down.
11. When you hear a rumour:
a.Listen politely and without comment.
b.Repeat the rumour or harangue the individual for spreading the rumour.
12. When a conversation partner is not paying attention to you:
a.Stop the conversation entirely or bring public attention to the individual's behaviour.
b.Offer a "mini-pause" of a few seconds, followed by a warm nod of the head or a smile.
13. When you are trying to decide how to dress:
b.Dress in approximately the same style as you expect the individual you are meeting to dress.
14. When you are visiting someone and you must pass a reception desk:
a.Walk by the receptionist without acknowledging her.
b.Ask permission to go ahead, even if you know the direction to the individual's location.
15. When you take your coat off in someone's office:
a.Ask where coats should be hung, even if you notice a hook on the wall.
b.Drape it over the back of your chair.
Consider the following questions:
How much perfume is appropriate to wear at the workplace?
What is the proper time to arrive for an appointment?
Can you exchange business cards while dining?
How should you exchange gifts with your fellow co-workers at the office during the holiday season?
How can you get more privacy in your "cubicle" at work without being rude to your co-workers?
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