Think you’ve got impeccable business manners? Why not find out? Take Blue Pencil Institute’s workplace etiquette quiz below to see if you’re a gracious and well-mannered career professional — or if your workplace manners are, shall we say, a little rough around the edges. Choose A, B, or C to respond to each statement below:
1. A co-worker starts to tell you a story she heard about a co-worker’s private life. You:
A. Diplomatically tell her you’re not interested in hearing it.
B. Listen carefully. You figure that the more you know about your co-workers, the better equipped you’ll be to navigate the politics in your office.
C. Listen but share what you heard only at home and not in the office.
2. A client has been waiting about five minutes to meet with you but you’re running a little behind schedule. You need a few more minutes to finish what you’re doing so you:
A. Apologize in person and offer the client a cup of coffee and a magazine.
B. Have someone else tell the client that you’re running late and will be a few more minutes.
C. Let the client continue waiting without hearing from you but finish what you’re working on as quickly as you can.
3. One of your co-workers had too much to drink at your office’s holiday party. You:
A. Pull her aside and try to get her to switch to coffee or a soft drink.
B. Take the drink out of her hand in front of everyone and make a joke of it.
C. Ignore it.
4. You have a non-urgent question for a co-worker who is talking with someone on the phone so you:
A. Leave a note saying you need to speak with him and try to get him another time.
B. Stand in the doorway and wait for him to get off the phone. You figure that that will save you time and that he’s likely to be on the phone again when you come back later.
C. Motion for him to put the caller on hold so you can speak to him.
5. One of your co-workers tells you that the new employee in the office looks really sexy in the clothes he or she usually wears to work. You:
A. Privately point out that the comment was sexist and offensive.
B. Publicly criticize him for saying something sexist and offensive.
C. Laugh heartily and voice your agreement. You figure that it’s harmless fun.
6. You notice that one of your male colleagues’ fly is unzipped. You’re a female and believe that he may be embarrassed if you point this out to him. You:
A. Quietly and privately ask one of the other men in the office tell him.
B. Ignore it.
C. Make a lighthearted joke of it.
7. A co-worker made a dish that exploded in the office microwave and didn’t clean up after herself. You know who made the mess. You:
A. Tell the person privately that the mess is still there and that it is courteous for her to clean it up so others can enjoy using the microwave.
B. Ignore it.
C. Leave a note anonymously on the microwave to “Whoever Made This Mess.
8. A client who is hearing impaired phones your office and wants to talk with you. You work in a cubicle. You:
A. Remove yourself to a room where you can close the door so you can speak to the client at the volume he needs to hear you.
B. Speak at a normal volume into the phone and figure that if the client can’t hear you that he can email you or come in person to talk with you.
C. Raise your voice volume so the client can hear you, even though everyone in and around you will hear what you’re saying.
YOUR SCORE: A’s are worth 2 points, B’s are worth 1, and C’s are work 0. If you scored 14-16 points, your business etiquette skills are strong. You’re able to handle challenging situations courteously. If you scored 10-12 points, you usually practice good business etiquette. Seek ways to approach every situation in your workplace with respect and consideration for others. If you scored below 10 points, you would benefit from doing some additional work to improve your business etiquette skills. Look for books, courses, and one-on-one coaching to help you develop the manners you need in your workplace.
For more information about workplace etiquette, check out Blue Pencil Institute’s Top 25 Tips for Workplace Etiquette. On Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/drlaurahills/workplace-etiquette-25-tips/. – Dr. Laura Hills, Blue Pencil Institute, www.bluepencilinstitute.com