NOTE: This is a book excerpt from A Beginner’s Guide to Business Etiquette: Mastering Good Manners is now Blissfully Simple by Crista Tharp. Related: Top 3 Tips For Telephone Etiquette We all want to be treated with respect, and it starts with the very first greeting. The following are the guidelines to greeting someone the appropriate way.

Meeting Someone For The First Time:

  • Stand when someone new comes into the room (whether you are a man or woman).
  • Do make eye contact and smile!
  • Offer your right hand out-stretched with palm facing left to shake hands.
  • Your grip should be firm, but not a bone crusher.
  • A handshake should last as long as it takes you and the other person to say your names.
  • Introduce yourself by making direct eye contact and saying your first and last name.
  • If you didn’t catch their name the first time, ask them politely to repeat it.
  • At the end of the meeting, shake hands again and say how nice it was to meet them. Use their first name.
  • Follow up if you promised to send them something, call them, or anything else. Follow up is a key to success!

Introducing Someone Else:

  • Generally, you introduce the younger to the older; the junior executive to the senior executive; and a colleague to a client.
  • If you have forgotten someone’s name, politely tell them you have forgotten their name and they will repeat it for you.
  • Always try to include a fact about each person in your introduction.
For example: “Julie Baley, I would like to introduce you to Dan Green, our new Vice President. Dan (or Mr. Green), this is Ms. Baley, our new client who owns ABC Event Company. Julie (or Ms. Baley) just received the top Event Planner Award and Dan (or Mr. Green) received that award five years ago.”
  • Always use a formal title such as Doctor or Judge if possible.
  • Try to refrain from using nicknames unless you feel the person would prefer it.
  • Always make sure to speak slowly and clearly so you can be heard and understood correctly.

One Last Thing:

Remember, people love it when you know and use their names. It is important to do your best to always remember and pronounce names correctly. There are several tips and techniques available to you if you have problems remembering names. Consider it an investment in your etiquette tool box.

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This article was written by Crista Tharp, an award-winning event planner, author, and speaker, on behalf of the Happy Grad Project. A lot has been said in the past year about how difficult it is on graduates to get a well-paying job, not to mention one within their chosen field. Graduates are now faced with dwindling options and often have no choice but to take a job that they are over-qualified for with much-less pay than they were expecting. Related: 11 Job Search Commandments For College Grads When I graduated this was called, “normal." I was expected to climb the ladder of success with starter jobs that taught me the skills and knowledge I needed in order to get the higher paying job I wanted. People in my generation call this “paying your dues;” while the GenerationY’ers call it unfair and ridiculous. So, is there something you can do to increase your odds of getting your career off on the right foot while living the life you always dreamed for yourself? Of course there is, but be warned; you need to be DAREd to do it. What do I mean? I could say the typical things you hear upon graduating: have a great attitude, think out of the box, dress the part and so on. But while that is all important, there are principles available to everyone that will give the skills you need to succeed in anything you do. What’s more – it’s completely FREE! Let me explain DARE…


You don’t need to be Oprah or Bill Gates to be a visionary. When you think of your career do you envision yourself at the entrance level or do you see yourself as the CEO of the company? Visualizing is incredibly powerful. Did you know our minds can’t make the distinction between what we actual did and what we visualized? Professional athletes train for the Olympics using visualization techniques. It is daydreaming with a purpose. Dreaming about your future is the first step to achieving it. You may think I am crazy, but go with me here. When you are planning a vacation – let’s say Disney World; you don’t just buy the tickets and pack your clothes do you? No! You research the best schedules, you watch the weather; you imagine what it will be like by watching the planning DVDs or brochures. This is visualizing your vacation. You get excited, which helps you to create the fabulous trip you wanted in the first place. Same thing happens when preparing for your career so don’t be afraid to dream big!


Take action on any and all opportunities that come your way. If an internship is offered – take it! What if you can spend time volunteering in your chosen field on the weekends? Grab the opportunity with a vengeance and make the most out of it. You can dream of winning the lottery all you want but if you don’t buy a ticket you will NOT win. It is a fact. Help yourself by taking action!


Take responsibility for everything in your life. Don’t blame the economy or any of your fellow grads for taking all the jobs available. Realize that you are in charge of your own destiny. If it takes 30 jobs to get into your chosen field, so be it! You are not entitled to a quick and easy ride up the ladder. Remember, you will be learning and gaining experience every step of the way. Employers look for that as well as employees who are willing to learn the ropes while on their way up. Responsibility is a quality in high demand.


Give back! Help your fellow co-workers and job seekers by teaching things you have learned in the process. It is not going to diminish your chances by assisting others in their journey, but it WILL deepen your lesson and make you much more appealing to employers. Those that empower and encourage those around them to reach their highest potential just shine brighter than those who do not. Have you ever heard the phrase, “a rising tide raises all boats”? That is this principle put to work. Empower those around you and you will elevate yourself to heights you’ve only dreamed of. This is not some New Age fluff; it's an actual testable technique that works for anything in life. Just research some of the most well-known successes in our world today and you will find that they ALL follow these principles in order to achieve whatever they want out of life. No exceptions. So, dream your fabulous career, take every opportunity that comes your way, take responsibility for choices and empower those around you. You are at a wonderful time in your life and you have the chance to live an extraordinary life doing what you love to do. Get out there and live life to its fullest – go ahead; I DARE you!

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Graduating? Know someone who is? As a perk of the Happy Grad Project, we're offering a FREE download of our e-book, "The Recent Grad's Guide To Getting A Job." This e-book is JAM-PACKED with tips from experts and recruiters, videos, and additional help. Don't put off your job search any longer - Download our e-book today and get started!   Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Business etiquette can seem overwhelming when entering the workforce for the first time. Etiquette, or good manners, is a crucial skill you need to have in today’s business world in order to succeed. Mastering the art of being considerate in both your personal and business relationships can be the determining factor in getting a job, a promotion, or even the opportunity to be considered for such things. Related: 8 Things Graduates Should Know Before Joining The Workforce If you have taken the time to learn these skills, it reflects positively on you, your company, and clients. The following are quick office etiquette tips that will walk you through the most basic and common etiquette situations you will experience as you start your career.

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NOTE: This is a book excerpt from A Beginner’s Guide to Business Etiquette: Mastering Good Manners is now Blissfully Simple by Crista Tharp.
  • Always send a hand-written note to express gratitude, sympathy, or congratulations.
  • Send the note within a week of the reason for sending it, if possible.
  • Correct spelling and grammar are expected.
  • When sending a hand-written note to a business client, include your business card.
  • When sending a quote or formal business communication, use correct salutations, sentence structure, use titles, and correct names. See example of a simple business letter:

Your Letterhead

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NOTE: This is a book excerpt from A Beginner’s Guide to Business Etiquette: Mastering Good Manners is now Blissfully Simple by Crista Tharp. Have you ever been told that your body is another version of a business card? It’s true. It is said that it takes less than 30 seconds to make a first impression. Often, this is before you even open your mouth! Once you do get the chance to speak, will it be professional or will you accidentally offend? Do you introduce yourself with a handshake or not? While we were always taught “don’t judge a book by its cover," unfortunately, we all come to instant conclusions about a person the first time we see them. How do we make sure that impression is a good one?


The most important thing about your appearance is that you should look well groomed:
  • �You should be clean and not ill.
  • Your hair should be nicely combed.
  • �Both hands should be cleaned and well-manicured. Do not chew your fingernails.
  • �Clothes should be pressed and in good condition.
  • �Your breath should be fresh.
  • Accessories should be minimal and professional.
  • Women should refrain from wearing skirts or shorts that are too short and necklines that are too low.
  • �You should walk tall without slouching; Shoulders back and head held high.
  • Sit tall in a chair and do not slump.
  • Leave at least a foot, if not a little more between you so you are not invading their personal space.
  • Do not chew gum.

Business Wear:

Generally, “office” wear is comprised of a suit jacket with matching slacks or skirt for women. The colors chosen tend to be more neutral and solids. Women’s skirts should be no shorter than just above the knee and can be combined with a dressier blouse. In the past, women would wear hose with closed-toed shoes however, that is starting to be a bit more relaxed. Men should wear a collared solid button-down shirt paired with a conservative tie. Accessories are very simple and not be too bold or large. Men are expected to wear belts and ties and often choose to wear suspenders. Often, you are called to wear a name tag at events in order to promote your company. This name tag should be in good condition, polished if it is gold or silver and placed on your right side high enough to be seen. This makes it easy for someone to see and read it while you are shaking hands.

Business Casual:

Business casual still means professional, but it is a little less formal. Women can wear more casual dresses, suits and skirts that split beneath the knee in addition to more colorful shirts and accessories. Capri pants are also a good option. Strapless/spaghetti strap shirts and dresses are inappropriate, as well as mini-skirts or flip flops. Men can wear pants such as Dockers and shirts that are short sleeved but still have a collar. Golf shirts and polo shirts are acceptable but are still expected to be tucked in. Cargo pants, sweat pants, or beach shorts are inappropriate.

Watch This FREE Webinar!

Join us as Crista Tharp, Wedding Planning Expert, author of A Beginner’s Guide to Business Etiquette, and one of the Midwest’s most sought after event planners shares business etiquette that can make or break your career. This FREE training session is packed with simple, actionable, and crucial up-to-date information on the latest business etiquette trends. Don’t let a simple mistake cost you business or your job! One lucky attendee will receive a FREE copy of A Beginner’s Guide to Etiquette at the end of the session. Must be there live to win! Just a snippet of what you will learn includes:
  • How to make a great first impression
  • The correct way to make an introduction
  • Current Electronic Communication etiquette
  • How to use your cellphone and tablet without offending anyone
  • How to practice proper social Networking Etiquette
  • How to follow correct table manners and conduct business over meals
  • Plus a Q&A at the end
WATCH NOW ► Photo Credit: Shutterstock