The idea of proper etiquette can be useful in many social constructs, from a formal dinner party to meetings with important clients. Whatever the reasoning for needing to improve your manners may be, there’s no better time than the present to learn some greater skills in this department. After all, the concept becomes even more crucial when you want to create a career-long positive image for yourself, whether you’re simply starting out in your field and working your way up to the promotion, or you’ve already taken the reins as head of the team. Here are some helpful business etiquette tips to keep in mind during your daily work routines, guiding you in the right direction to becoming a respected, dignified professional amongst your colleagues.

Before you even set foot in the office, remember that a good first impression is key. People are often guilty of judging a person immediately upon meeting them, so it’s important to always be aware of your body language, especially with those you’re hoping to win over. Standing up straight, reaching out for a handshake, and maintaining eye contact are all generally well-received mannerisms that can demonstrate a confident, approachable individual. Beyond that, other areas of interest to help improve your initial meeting include never showing up late, as this can be considered rude or offensive, and being prepared with your presentation materials or conversational notes to not waste your guest’s time.

Once you’ve made your way into the office environment, other ways you can optimize your business etiquette are to not fall victim to office gossip, even if communication among your peers is vital moving forward. Be vigilant about controlling your emotions within your workplace, and be thoughtful and open-minded to other ideas. Try to prevent yourself from getting so overcome with anger or frustration that you lash out negatively at your colleagues. Also, don’t allow shared office opinions to cloud your judgment about others. Be courteous and mindful about your interactions with everyone in order to form pleasant relationships within your team. When you do communicate, pay special attention to your words in both face-to-face conversations and through email, as these situations can always be recorded and reflect poorly on you if you venture outside the realm of dignity and professionalism. Focus on maintaining appropriate yet friendly connections with your colleagues, and try to be a good listener without leading conversations too heavily into personal drama.

Professional manners and courtesy are highly important, especially when it comes to your business etiquette in the workplace. Follow these helpful tips to improve your social behavior, and enjoy long-term working relationships as a result.