If you’re doing business in the UK, it’s important to be aware of the expected etiquette and protocol. From introductions and handshakes to business meals and after-work drinks, there are a few key things to keep in mind if you want to make a good impression. This blog post will cover some of the basics of proper UK business etiquette from experts like Kavan Choksi.
Business Introductions and Handshakes
In the UK, business introductions are generally formal affairs. It is considered proper etiquette to stand up and offer a handshake when being introduced to someone. Be sure to make eye contact and smile when shaking hands. Once the initial introduction has been made, you can address the person by title and last name. For example, you would say “Mr. Smith” or “Dr. Jones.”
If you are introduced to someone of a higher rank than you within an organization, it is considered proper etiquette to wait for them to initiate the handshake. Generally, women do not usually extend their hand when meeting someone new. However, if a woman offers her hand first, it is perfectly acceptable for a man to accept it.
If you are invited to lunch or dinner by a client or potential business partner, arrive on time. When seated at the table, wait until your host gives you the signal to start eating before digging in. Generally speaking, it is considered proper etiquette to order food that is not too expensive and easy to eat (nothing that requires messy hands or utensils).
When dining with clients or potential business partners, avoid ordering alcohol unless your host does so first. If alcohol is ordered, stick to one drink per person so as not to avoid appearing intoxicated. It is also considered proper etiquette to wait until your host has finished their drink before ordering another round.
After-work drinks are a common social activity among coworkers in the UK. If you’ve been invited out for drinks by your colleagues, it’s important to know how much alcohol to consume. Generally speaking, it’s best to limit yourself to two drinks, so you don’t appear intoxicated. It’s also important to know when to call it quits; leaving before your colleagues do is generally considered a poor form.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. If you know your colleagues well and feel comfortable doing so, you may want to have more than two drinks. However, if you’re not sure how your colleagues will react, it’s best to avoid caution and stick to two drinks. Remember to drink responsibly and enjoy your evening if you have two drinks or more.
By following these basic tips on UK business etiquette, you can be sure that you’ll make a good impression on clients, potential business partners, and colleagues alike. Remember: when in doubt, err on the side of caution and go with the more formal option. With a little practice, navigating UK business protocol will be a breeze!