1. When in doubt, introduce others. Always introduce people to others whenever the opportunity arises, unless you know that they’re already acquainted. It makes people feel valued, regardless of their status or position.
2. A handshake is still the professional standard. Not only does this simple gesture demonstrate that you’re polite, confident and approachable, it also sets the tone for any potential future professional relationship. In a very casual work atmosphere, you might be able to get away with a nod or a hello, but it’s worth it to make the extra effort to offer your hand.
3. Always say “Please” and “Thank you.” This should go without saying, but even in a very casual professional atmosphere, this basic form of courtesy is still imperative. Today, sending a thank you e-mail is perfectly acceptable, but a handwritten thank you note is always a nice touch.
4. Don’t interrupt. We’ve become a nation of “over-talkers,” so eager to offer our own opinions or press our point that we often interrupt others mid-sentence. It can be tongue-bitingly difficult to force ourselves not to interject, especially when the discussion is heated. Don’t. It’s rude and shows disrespect for the opinions of others. Remember, be assertive, not aggressive.