Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Working Girl’s Guide


-Always come prepared for meetings.

- Punctuality is a must.

- Switch off your mobile phone on silent mode.

- Name tags (if any) should be placed on your right shoulder.

- During discussions, allow the more senior figures to contribute first. Don’t interrupt anyone. When it’s your turn to speak, be brief and relevant.

- Always get up when someone enters the room, regardless of gender.
Greet them with a firm handshake.

- What takes place during a meeting is considered confidential. Never divulge information to others.

- The place you sit defines your place in a meeting. Dominant figures generally sit at the head of the table.

So if you want to be noticed, choose a seat next to the leader, or one where you have direct eye contact with them. In hierarchical seating, however, attendees are seated in order of descending authority. It’s best not to sit conflicting personalities across from one another.

Round Table: Best for high-level interaction and open discussion. All seats are considered neutral.

U-shaped Table: Best for training. It allows presenter to see everyone clearly.

Rectangular Table: Best fro decision making. The leader sits at the head. For the best discussions, seat people with opposing view-points opposite each other.


  1. In business situation wait for your superior to offer his/her hand first. You don’t want to seem overconfident.
  1. A two- handed shake (a.k.a the “cupped” handshake) is not advisable for corporate meetings.
  1. Keep your palm parallel to the one you’re shaking. Having it over the other’s suggests arrogance.
  1. You probably think one shake a person is enough. However, it’s customary to shake hands whenever greeting or saying goodbye to someone- even if you’ve already met.
  1. Be firm! No one likes the “dead fish” hand shake.


- Include first and last names, and any title (ex. Doctor, Attorney) when introducing individuals

- Introduce the younger or less prominent person regardless of sex.

- Introduce an individual to a group first, then the group to the individual. (Ex. “Dr. Baltazar, I’d like you to meet my colleagues Rowena Barrosa, Caren Malabed, and Rosalie Eilinger. Everyone, this is Dr. Jaime Baltazar.)

- If a person has a particular relationship to you, make it clear in the introduction. (Ex. “Paolo Diaz, I’d like you to meet my account officer, Ana Jimena.)

- If you’ve forgotten a person’s name, it’s still better to carry on with introductions. Just apologize, and acknowledge that the name has escaped you.


- Always carry a supply of your own business card

- Business cards are generally exchanged at the beginning or the end of a meeting.

- When traveling abroad for business, it’s advisable to have one side of your business card translated into the appropriate language.

- Present (and receive) the card using both hands. If you’ve had the recipient’s language translated on one side, have that side facing up.

- Never keep someone’s business card right away. Make a point of studying, commenting, and clarifying information before putting it away.


CHINA: You never write on someone’s card unless so directed.

INDIA: Always use your right hand to give and receive business cards.

JAPAN: Business cards are exchanged with ceremony – treat the business card you receive as you would the person. Business cards are received by two hands, but may be given with only one.

UNITED KINGDOM: Exchanging business cards is relaxed and involves little ceremony.

SOURCE: Katrina Tan (Seventeen)

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