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As times change, so do social norms for personal and professional behavior, but that doesn’t mean basic etiquette doesn’t matter. With COVID many things have changed. Read the three rules and state if this has changed or not in your place of work.
With COVID how is this changing and what can you do differently?
1. Pay attention to names
Names are one of the first pieces of information that we learn about someone. It is how people recognize and address you. When you tell others your name, include your last name. This is especially important if you have a common first name like Ashley or John. When you first meet someone, pay attention to their name. If you aren’t sure how to pronounce it, be sincere and ask. If it is an unusual or difficult to pronounce name, the person is probably used to it and won’t mind. It shows that you have taken an interest in them and care about getting it right. Don’t carelessly butcher their name or invent a nickname. Call people what they want to be called.
Remembering names can be challenging, especially if you meet multiple people at one time. One trick that you can use is to identify a characteristic that helps you differentiate them. Another is to repeat their name and try to use it in your conversation 3 to 4 times, but not so frequently that it is obvious.
2. Greet everyone
Greeting the people that you come in contact with isn’t only polite but it establishes rapport. You never know who the people that you greeted could be, so it is important to greet everyone with the same degree of kindness. A simple “Hi, how are you?” or even a smile and nod is enough. However, adding more could make them remember you and view you as friendly and pleasant. It can also strike up conversation. Be considerate though. If they appear to be in a rush or not interested at the moment, don’t force a conversation on them.
Some ways to strike up a conversation could be to:
The key is to ask open-ended questions that will require more than a “yes” or “no” and move the conversation along.
3. Offer a handshake and make eye contact
Handshakes are the universal business greeting. A firm handshake is still considered a positive trait. A weak one is negative. Usually, the higher ranking person will offer their hand first, but if they don’t, you can still offer yours. Make eye contact when you shake their hand and smile. Those who avert their eyes are viewed as lacking confidence and honesty.
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