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Workplace etiquette: Mind your manners!
Suneeta Kanga

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August 25, 2008

Picture this: marketing executives Arvind Vyas and Supriya Verma are on a client visit. On nearing the glass doors to the office, Arvind pushes his way through first, without taking into consideration that his female colleague is just two steps behind. He lets go of the door, which promptly closes in Supriya's face!

Understandably, Supriya is quite piqued -- Arvind clearly displays a lack of manners. It is customary for a gentleman to not only open any door for a lady, but to politely usher her through before making his own way in. In fact, whoever reaches a door first, irrespective of gender, needs to hold the door open for the person behind. It is such a simple task and yet so many of us fail to do it.

The globalisation of businesses in India has vastly improved manners at work, but there is still much to be desired. In far too many companies, basic courtesies are still overlooked. Every work place has its own complex dynamics but the basic social rules which make people comfortable with each other remain valid in every working situation. An organisation where people are treated well and treat each other well tends to be more successful than others.

Here are certain guidelines to follow in a working environment.

How to welcome newcomers

How to show courtesy towards colleagues

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Suneeta Kanga freelances as a corporate groomer, international etiquette expert, beauty advisor and aesthetics and style consultant for various individuals and organisations including airline training centers, finishing schools, banks, hotels and corporate business houses. Vist her website at

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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