You are on page 1of 22




What is a question?
● A sentence worded or expressed so as to elicit information.
● A matter requiring resolution or discussion.

● Questions are places you allocate in your mind for answers to sit. If you haven’t asked the question, the answer
has nowhere to go.

Questioning – First Step Towards Fact Finding

● Habituating the art of asking questions enables you to gain deep insight, develop more innovative solutions and
to arrive at better decision-making.

● Brilliant thinkers and scientists never stop asking questions. “Asking questions is the single most important
habit for innovative thinkers,” says Paul Sloane, the UK’s top leadership speaker on innovation.

● Newton: “Why does an apple fall from a tree but, why does the moon not fall into the Earth?”

● Darwin: “Why do the Galapagos Islands have so many species not found elsewhere?”

● Einstein: “What would the universe look like if I rode through it on a beam of light?”


● Gathering information is a basic human activity – we use information to learn, to help us solve problems, to aid
our decision making processes and to understand each other more clearly.

● Questioning is the key to gaining more information and without it interpersonal communications can fail.

● Questioning is fundamental to successful communication - we all ask and are asked questions when engaged in

● “Asking good questions is productive, positive, creative, and can get us what we want.”

Benefits of Questions

● Control : Questions you ask keep the conversation on track & keep you in charge of the interaction

● Information : if you are careful with your questions you can discover all kinds of useful information

● Listening: questions prompt the other person to talk more so that you can listen more & clearly

● Bonding: appropriately asked questions enthuse the respondent & thus forge bonding easily

● Persuading: Questions persuade people to respond and specific and directed questions can make the person
respond in your way

Preparing Questions

● The questions we ask will set us up for our destination.

● Spend time to frame questions that are apt to meet the objective set.

Why Ask Questions?

Some of the main reasons questions are asked:

Page 1 of 22


Although the following list is not exhaustive it outlines the main reasons questions are asked in common

● To obtain information:

The primary function of a question is to gain information – ‘What time is it?’

● To help maintain control of a conversation

While you are asking questions you are in control of the conversation, assertive people are more likely to take control
of conversations attempting to gain the information they need through questioning.

● Express an interest in the other person

Questioning allows us to find out more about the respondent, this can be useful when attempting to build rapport and
show empathy or to simply get to know the other person better.

● To clarify a point

Questions are commonly used in communication to clarify something that the speaker has said. Questions used as
clarification are essential in reducing misunderstanding and therefore more effective communication.

● To explore the personality and or difficulties the other person may have

Questions are used to explore the feelings, beliefs, opinions, ideas and attitudes of the person being questioned. They
can also be used to better understand problems that another person maybe experiencing – like in the example of a
doctor trying to diagnose a patient.

● To test knowledge

Questions are used in all sorts of quiz, test and exam situations to ascertain the knowledge of the respondent. ‘What is
the capital of France?’ for example.

● To encourage further thought

Questions may be used to encourage people think about something more deeply. Questions can be worded in such a
way as to get the person to think about a topic in a new way. ‘Why do you think Paris is the capital of France?”

● In group situations

Questioning in group situations can be very useful for a number of reasons, to include all members of the group, to
encourage more discussion of a point, to keep attention by asking questions without advance warning. These
examples can be easily related to a classroom of school children.

So what is it that makes a question powerful?

The questions we ask will set us up for our destination. Spend time to frame questions that are apt to meet the
objective set.

A Powerful Question

⇨ Generates curiosity in the listener

⇨ Stimulates reflective conversation

⇨ Is thought-provoking

⇨ Surfaces underlying assumptions

Page 2 of 22


⇨ Invites creativity and new possibilities

⇨ Generates energy and forward movement

⇨ Channels attention and focuses inquiry

⇨ Stays with participants

⇨ Touches a deep meaning

⇨ Evokes more questions


● Stimulates creativity

● Motivates fresh thinking

● Surfaces underlying assumptions

● Focuses intention, attention, and energy

● Opens the door to change

● Leads us into the future

The right questions help you connect with people in a more meaningful way as they aid one for

● Better understanding of problems

● People to perceive you as an understanding and competent person

● You to work effectively as a team

● You to take responsibility for your actions and solve problems easily

● You to be able to deduct the root cause of an issue

● Take revealing depositions

● Great ability to gather information

● You to convince others about your ideas

● You to be great at persuasion

● Aid to negotiating skills

● You to reduce errors

● You to give meaningful feedback and feed forward

● You to defuse volatile situations


Types of Questions

Educators have traditionally classified questions according to Bloom’s Taxonomy, a hierarchy of increasingly complex
intellectual skills.

Page 3 of 22


Bloom’s Taxonomy includes six categories:

● Knowledge – recall data or information

● Comprehension – understand meaning

● Application – use a concept in a new situation

● Analysis – separate concepts into parts; distinguish between facts and inferences

● Synthesis – combine parts to form new meaning

● Evaluation – make judgments about the value of ideas or products

Blooms Level I: Knowledge

Exhibits memory of previously learned material by recalling fundamental facts, terms, basic concepts and answers
about the selection.

● Keywords: who, what, why, when, omit, where, which, choose, find, how, define, label, show, spell, list, match,
name, relate, tell, recall

● Questions: • What is…? • Can you select? • Where is…? • When did ____ happen? • Who were the main…? •
Which one…? • Why did…? • How would you describe…?

Blooms Level II: Comprehension

Demonstrate understanding of facts and ideas by organizing, comparing, translating, interpreting, giving descriptors
and stating main ideas.

● Keywords: compare, contrast, demonstrate, interpret, explain, extend, illustrate, infer, outline, relate, rephrase,
translate, summarize, show, classify

● Questions: • How would you classify the type of…? • How would you compare…? contrast…? • Will you state or
interpret in your own words…? • How would you rephrase the meaning? • What facts or ideas show…? • What
is the main idea of ……?

Page 4 of 22


Blooms Level III: Application

Solve problems in new situations by applying acquired knowledge, facts, techniques and rules in a different, or new way.

● Keywords: apply. build, choose, construct, develop, interview, make use of, organize, experiment with, plan,
select, solve, utilize, model, identify

● Questions: • How would you use…? • How would you solve ___ using what you’ve learned…? • What examples
can you find to…? • How would you show your understanding of…? • How would you organize _______ to
• How would you apply what you learned to develop…?

Blooms Level IV: Analysis

Examine and break information into parts by identifying motives or causes. Make inferences and find evidence to
support generalizations.

● Keywords: analyze, categorize, classify, compare, contrast, discover, dissect, divide, examine, inspect, simplify,
survey, test for, distinguish, list, distinction, theme, relationships, function, motive, inference, assumption,
conclusion, take part in

● Questions: • What are the parts or features of . . . ? • How is _______ related to . . . ? • Why do you think . . . ? •
What is the theme . . . ? • What motive is there . . . ? • Can you list the parts . . . ? • What inference can you make . .
. ? • What conclusions can you draw . . . ? • How would you classify . . . ?

Blooms Level V: Synthesis

Compile information together in a different way by combining elements in a new pattern or proposing alternative

● Keywords: build, choose, combine, compile, compose, construct, create, design, develop, estimate, formulate,
imagine, invent, make up, originate, plan, predict, propose, solve, solution, suppose, discuss, modify, change,
original, improve, adapt, minimize, maximize, theorize, elaborate, test, happen, delete

● Questions: • What changes would you make to solve…? • How would you improve…? • What would happen
if…? • Can you elaborate on the reason…? • Can you propose an alternative…? • Can you invent…? • How would
you adapt ____________ to create a different…? • How could you change (modify) the plot (plan)…? • What facts
can you compile…?

Blooms Level VI: Evaluation

Present and defend opinions by making judgments about information, validity of ideas or quality of work based on a
set of criteria.

● Keywords: award, choose, conclude, criticize, decide, defend, determine, dispute, evaluate, judge, justify,
measure, compare, mark, rate, recommend, rule on, select, agree, appraise, prioritize, opinion, interpret,
explain, support importance, criteria, prove, disprove, assess, influence, perceive, value, estimate, deduct

● Questions: • Do you agree with the actions/outcome…? • What is your opinion of…? • How would you prove/
disprove…? • Can you assess the value or importance of…? • Would it be better if…? • Why did they (the
character) choose…? • What would you recommend…? • How would you rate the…?

Questioning Techniques

● Asking the right question is at the heart of effective communications and information exchange.

Page 5 of 22


● Some common questioning techniques are:

 Open and Closed Questions

 Funnel Questions

 Probing Questions

 Leading Questions

 Rhetorical Questions

Closed Questions

● A closed question can be answered with either a single word or a short phrase.

Eg: 'Are you happy?’ and 'Is that a knife I see before me?'

● Closed questions have the following characteristics:

 They give you facts.

 They are easy to answer.

 They are quick to answer.

 They keep control of the conversation with the questioner.

Open questions

● An open question is likely to receive a long answer.

● Although any question can receive a long answer, open questions deliberately seek longer answers, and are the
opposite of closed questions.

Eg: ‘What happened at the meeting?’ and ‘Why did he react that way?’

● Open questions have the following characteristics:

 They ask the respondent to think and reflect.

 They will give you opinions and feelings.

 They hand control of the conversation to the respondent.

Funnel Questions

● This technique involves starting with general questions, and then homing in on a point in each answer, and
asking more and more detail at each level. It's often used by detectives taking a statement from a witness:

"How many people were involved in the fight?"

"About ten."

"Were they kids or adults?"

"Mostly kids."

"What sort of ages were they?"

"About fourteen or fifteen."

Page 6 of 22


Probing Questions

● Asking probing questions is another strategy for finding out more detail.

● Sometimes it's as simple as asking your respondent for an example, to help you understand a statement they
have made.

● At other times, you need additional information for clarification.

Eg: When do you need this report by, and do you want to see a draft before I give you my final version?“

● An effective way of probing is to use the ‘5 Whys’ method, which can help you quickly get to the root of a problem.

Leading Questions

● Leading questions try to lead the respondent to your way of thinking.

● Leading questions are good for getting the answer you want but leaving the other person feeling that they have
had a choice.

Eg: How late do you think that the project will deliver?

Rhetorical Questions

● Rhetorical questions aren't really questions at all, in that they don't expect an answer. They're really just
statements phrased in question form.

Eg: Isn't John's design work so creative?

● Rhetorical questions are good for engaging the listener.

Learning Outcome

The activity teaches the significance of asking the right questions. The questions should be framed appropriately to
elicit the desired information. The right question can definitely get you the right response. With a properly-framed
question, finding an elegant answer becomes almost straight forward.


Gathering information is a basic human activity – we use information to learn, to help us solve problems, to aid our
decision making processes and to understand others more clearly.

Questioning is the key to gaining more information and without it interpersonal communications can fail. It is
fundamental to successful communication - we all ask questions when engaged in conversation. Asking good
questions is probably one of the most important and powerful workplace interpersonal skills. It’s also one of the most
powerful tools available to a manager. Yet it is not something we often stop and think about.

Many problem solving techniques or management tools and models really just provide structures to help us to ask
good questions. We rarely give the questions we ask a second thought. Yet given that these questions can be
potentially very powerful, it’s worth gaining a better understanding of how questions can be used effectively.

We sometimes find questions and answers fascinating and entertaining – politicians, reporters, celebrities and
entrepreneurs are often successful based on their questioning skills – asking the right questions at the right time and
also answering (or not) appropriately. The questions individual asks can be categorized into two types:

 Good questions

 Bad questions

Page 7 of 22


There’s a difference between Good question and Bad question.

Good questions

Well-conceived questions usually lead to the “aha moments.” The “aha moments” are what make a group learning
experience invaluable. So what are qualities of a good question?

● Purposeful –Every question can have a different function. A question can invite the group to participate (what
do we need to study and why?), direct discovery (what does it say?), help the group process the content (what
does it mean?), or challenge the group to practice what they are learning (what do we do?). It is not just about
having a set of questions! It’s about asking the right question at the right time for the right reasons.

● Guides without prescribing – Good questions help keep the discussion on track. You are guiding the group
toward understanding a specific truth or concept and responding based upon that specific understanding.

● Encourages a higher level of thinking – Not all questions are created equal. A question that facilitates critical
thinking and processing is of more value than a “got it” question (questions that are usually a repetition of
content presented by the lecturer).

● Empowers – A great question will empower the group to think and become an active part of the
learning/discovery process.

Bad Questions

Developing your tactical awareness of which questions to use – and when, is of course an incomplete picture. You also
need to be equally aware of which questions to avoid. Questions that are best avoided fall into three categories.

● Leading questions – where you suggest the answer in the question – “Do you think that…”Don’t you think

● Multiple questions – asking several questions at once.

● “Why” questions – use the word “why” sparingly because it can often be associated with sounding critical or
can be a very challenging word. You can still get similar answers by choosing a different way of asking a
question. For example: “tell me about…”, “what do you think are the reason for…”

More about Good Question and Bad question

Good Question Bad Question

Help you choose evidence Just rewards a topic

Gives you a position on which to take a judgment and Can be answered from simple factual digging
make an argument

Forces you to analyze and think critically Too big

Suggest an outline Too vague

Sends you a debate you can present and join Morally one sided

Answers others curiosity – including people who Suggests you write a “report”.
know the subject - not just yours

Suggests what primary evidence to interpret Counterfactual- Can be disapproved

Page 8 of 22


Example of topics, Bad Questions and Better Questions:

Topic: Causes of the American Civil War

Bad Question: What caused the American Civil War ( Too big)
Pretty Good Question: What were the most important causes of the Civil War? (Allows judgment, argument)

Effective Questions

Effective questions are questions that are powerful and thought provoking. Effective questions are open-ended and
not leading questions. They are not "why" questions, but rather "what" or "how" questions. "Why" questions are good
for soliciting information, but can make people defensive so be thoughtful in your use of them. When asking effective
questions, it is important to wait for the answer and not provide the answer.

When working with people to solve a problem, it is not enough to tell them what the problem is. They need to find out
or understand it for themselves. You help them do this by asking them thought provoking questions. Rather than
make assumptions find out what the person you are talking to knows about the problem.

For example: "What do you think the problem is?"

Behind effective questioning is also the ability to listen to the answer and suspend judgment. This means being intent
on understanding what the person who is talking is really saying. What is behind their words? Let go of your opinions
so that they don't block you from learning more information. Pay attention to your gut for additional information.

Listening Skills as Part of Effective Questioning Include:


Attention and awareness result in articulation and succinctly describing what we have learned from our client.
Sharing our observation clearly but without judgment does this. We can repeat back to our clients just what they said.
We can expand on this by articulating back to them what we believe they mean. This helps a person feel heard. For
example: "What I hear you saying is . . ."


Clarifying is a combination of asking and clearly articulating what we have heard. By asking questions our client
knows we are listening and filling in the gaps. When our client is being vague, it is important for us to clarify the
circumstances. We can assist them to see what they can't see themselves by making a suggestion. For example: "Here's
what I hear you saying. Is that right? "

Being Curious

Do not assume you know the answer or what your client is going to tell you. Wait and be curious about what brings
them to see you. What motivates them? What is really behind the meeting? Use your curiosity so that your next
question can go deeper.

Silence Giving the person we are listening to time to answer questions is an important aspect of listening. Waiting for
the client to talk rather than talking for them is imperative for an effective listener.


Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between people in an organization.

● Manners and etiquette are tricky to say the least. Figuring out which fork is the salad fork is one thing, but
knowing when using a fork at all will offend your host is another.

Page 9 of 22


● Etiquette varies from culture to culture. Something that sounds rude in one country may be the most polite
thing to do in another.


How you present yourself to others in the business world speaks volumes. People often form first impressions about
others within seconds of first meeting them therefore it is crucial to ensure you are properly prepared to present
yourself as a professional.

POSITIVE IMPRESSION - How to make a good impression:

● Stand straight, make eye contact, turn towards people when they are speaking, and genuinely smile at people.

● Follow your office dress code, perhaps dressing a step above the norm for your office.

● Your briefcase or bag and the things you carry in them say something about you. Messy items may detract from
the image you would like to present.

● When meeting someone for the first time, be sure to shake hands palm to palm with a gentle firmness.

● Be alert. Sleepiness looks bad in the workplace.

● Kindness and courtesy count!

● Arrive early to work each day.

PEOPLE - How you treat people says a lot about you.

● Learn names and learn them quickly. A good tip for remembering names is to use a person's name three times
within your first conversation with them. Also, write names down and keep business cards. People know when
you don't know their names and may interpret this as a sign that you don't value them.

● Don't make value judgments on people's importance in the workplace. Talk to the maintenance staff members
and to the people who perform many of the administrative support functions. These people deserve your

● Self-assess: Think about how you treat your supervisor(s), peers, and subordinates. Would the differences in
the relationships, if seen by others, cast you in an unfavorable light? If so, find where the imbalance exists, and
start the process of reworking the relationship dynamic.

Page 10 of 22


● What you share with others about your personal life is your choice, but be careful. Things can come back to
haunt you. Don't ask others to share their personal lives with you. This makes many people uncomfortable in
the work space.

● Respect people's personal space. This may be very different than your own.

COMMUNICATING – It's sometimes not what you say, but how you say it that counts!

● Return phone calls and emails within 24 hours - even if only to say that you will provide requested information
at a later date.

● Ask before putting someone on speakerphone.

● Personalize your voice mail - there's nothing worse than just hearing a phone number on someone's voice mail
and not knowing if you are leaving a message with the correct person. People may not even leave messages.

● Emails at work should be grammatically correct and free of spelling errors. They should not be treated like
personal email.

● When emailing, use the subject box, and make sure it directly relates to what you are writing. This ensures ease
in finding it later and a potentially faster response.

● Never say in an email anything you wouldn't say to someone's face.

● Underlining, italicizing, bolding, coloring, and changing font size can make a mild email message seem overly
strong or aggressive.

MEETINGS - This can easily be the most intimidating part of starting a new job.

The environment of a meeting requires some careful navigation to maintain your professional image, whether the
meetings are one-on-one, with several colleagues or with external clients.

● For a meeting in someone's office, don't arrive more than five minutes early, as they may be prepping for your
meeting, another meeting later that day, or trying to get other work done. You may make them uncomfortable,
and that is not a good way to begin your meeting.

● Don't arrive late...ever. If you are going to be late, try to let someone know so that people are not sitting around
waiting for you. Don't forget that being on time for a meeting means arriving 5 minutes early - for an interview,
arrive 10 minutes early.

● When a meeting runs late and you need to be somewhere else, always be prepared to explain where you need
to be (understanding that the value of where you need to be will likely be judged).

● Do not interrupt people. This is a bad habit to start and a tough one to end.

● There is a time and place for confrontation, and a meeting is almost never that place. You will embarrass and
anger other people, and you will look bad for doing it. Give people time and space outside of meetings to reflect
on issues that need to be dealt with.

WORK SPACE – How to handle physical space at work

You may spend more waking hours in work spaces than in your home space so:

● Keep the space professional and neat with appropriate personal touches! People will see the space and
consider it a reflection of you.

Page 11 of 22


● Whether it is a cubicle or office, respect others' space. Don't just walk in; knock or make your presence gently
known. Don't assume acknowledgement of your presence is an invitation to sit down; wait until you are invited
to do so.

● Don't interrupt people on the phone, and don't try to communicate with them verbally or with sign language.
You could damage an important phone call.

● Limit personal calls, especially if you work in a space that lacks a door.

● Learn when and where it is appropriate to use your cell phone in your office.

● Food consumption should generally be regulated. Smells and noise from food can be distracting to others trying
to work.

International Business Etiquette

As the global market grows, the need to understand multiple international standards of business etiquette grows.
Research the country you will be working in or visiting; note the proper etiquette, culture and customs for that
country. There are, however, a few key things to keep in mind when conducting business internationally:

● Knowing the language makes an excellent impression on the people you are doing business with. Barely
knowing the language, but feigning fluency, could really harm the work you are trying to accomplish.

● Be mindful of time zones. You don't want to wake someone up on their cell phone or call someone with an
unreasonable deadline or concern at an awkward time of day for them.

● As there is no standard global work day, you should keep in mind that work hours vary from country to
country. This is important when scheduling meetings or conference calls.

● Know the holidays that will be observed, and be respectful of the time surrounding the holidays, as people may
be less available.

● Meals can be extremely crucial in making a positive international business etiquette impression. The customs
that are followed when dining are often very important, and mistakes in this area could be costly. Knowing the
etiquette well in advance should allow you to relax and enjoy what could be an amazing new experience!

Vigilantly observe the corporate culture in which you work, and be aware that change will happen. Your eyes and ears
are your best resource in this learning process! For etiquette when interviewing for a position, please see the
interviewing section of our Career Planning Guide. Numerous resources exist on-line on the topic of business
etiquette, and there are professional courses you can take to help you learn more. There are also workshops at CCE on
this topic in addition to resources in the Career Resource Center.

Page 12 of 22



Importance of Proper Email Etiquette

Have you ever received email that left you wondering about the person who sent it? Or worse, have you ever sent an
email that you later regretted? Being on the receiving end of a bad email can leave you shaking your head and trying
to figure out what on earth the other person was thinking. Being the one who sent it can ruin an otherwise great day,
and it can have adverse repercussions later. Whether you send a personal or business email, following proper
etiquette is essential to prevent miscommunication or hard feelings.


1. Include a clear, direct subject line.

● Examples of a good subject line include "Meeting date changed," "Quick question about your presentation," or
"Suggestions for the proposal."

● People often decide whether to open an email based on the subject line. So “choose one that lets readers know
you are addressing their concerns or business issues.“

2. Use a professional email address.

● If you work for a company, you should use your company email address. But if you use a personal email
account— you should be careful when choosing that address.

● You should always have an email address that conveys your name so that the recipient knows exactly who is
sending the email.

3. Think twice before hitting 'reply all.'

● No one wants to read emails from 20 people that have nothing to do with them. Ignoring the emails can be
difficult, with many people getting notifications of new messages on their smartphones or distracting pop-up
messages on their computer screens. Refrain from hitting "reply all" unless you really think everyone on the
list needs to receive the email.

4. Include a signature block.

● Provide your reader with some information about you. Generally, this would state your full name, title, the
company name, and your contact information, including a phone number.

● Use the same font, type size, and color as the rest of the email.

5. Use professional salutations.

● Don't use laid-back, colloquial expressions like, "Hey you guys," "Yo," or "Hi folks." Use “Hi” or “Hello” instead.

● The relaxed nature of our writings should not affect the salutation in an email.

● Do not shorten anyone's name. Say "Hi Michael," unless you're certain he prefers to be called "Mike.“

6. Use exclamation points sparingly.

● If you choose to use an exclamation point, use only one to convey excitement.

● Exclamation points should be used sparingly in writing.

7. Be cautious with humor.

● Humor can easily get lost in translation without the right tone or facial expressions.

Page 13 of 22


● In a professional exchange, it's better to leave humor out of emails unless you know the recipient well.

● Something perceived as funny when spoken may come across very differently when written. When in doubt,
leave it out.

8. Know that people from different cultures speak and write differently.

● Miscommunication can easily occur because of cultural differences, especially in the writing form when we
can't see one another's body language.

● Tailor your message to the receiver's cultural background or how well you know them.

9. Reply to your emails — even if the email wasn't intended for you.

● It's difficult to reply to every email message ever sent to you, but you should try.

● This includes when the email was accidentally sent to you, especially if the sender is expecting a reply. A reply
isn't necessary but serves as good email etiquette, especially if this person works in the same company or
industry as you.

● Here's an example reply: "I know you're very busy, but I don't think you meant to send this email to me. And I
wanted to let you know so you can send it to the correct person."

10. Proofread every message.

● Your mistakes won't go unnoticed by the recipients of your email. And, depending upon the recipient, you
may be judged for making them.

● Don't rely on spell-check. Read and reread your email a few times, preferably aloud, before sending it off.

11. Add the email address last.

● You don't want to send an email accidentally before you have finished writing and proofing the message. Even
when you are replying to a message, it's a good precaution to delete the recipient's address and insert it only
when you are sure the message is ready to be sent.

12. Double-check that you've selected the correct recipient.

● Pay careful attention when typing a name from your address book on the email's "To" line. It's easy to select
the wrong name, which can be embarrassing to you and to the person who receives the email by mistake.

13. Keep your fonts classic.

● The cardinal rule: Your emails should be easy for other people to read.

● Generally, it is best to use 10- or 12-point type and an easy-to-read font such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New
Roman. As for color, black is the safest choice.

14. Keep tabs on your tone.

● Just as jokes get lost in translation, tone is easy to misconstrue without the context you'd get from vocal cues
and facial expressions.

● To avoid misunderstandings, you read your message out loud before hitting send. If it sounds harsh to you, it
will sound harsh to the reader.

● For best results, avoid using unequivocally negative words ("failure," "wrong," or "neglected"), and always say
"please" and "thank you."

Page 14 of 22


15. Nothing is confidential — so write accordingly.

● Always remember: Every electronic message leaves a trail.

● A basic guideline is to assume that others will see what you write, so don't write anything you wouldn't want
everyone to see.

● A more liberal interpretation: Don't write anything that would be ruinous to you or hurtful to others. After all,
email is dangerously easy to forward, and it's better to be safe than sorry.


Social networking through sites like Facebook and Twitter is changing the way customers and businesses interact.
And the way you conduct yourself through your social media accounts is a direct reflection on your business.

Here are 12 rules of social media etiquette that you should never break.

#1. Fill out your online profiles completely with information about you and your business. Use your real
name and your own photo. Your cat may be adorable, but unless you are a veterinarian specializing in the care
and treatment of felines, don't get cute.

#2. Use a different profile or account for your personal connections. Business and pleasure do not mix in this

#3. Create a section on your main profile detailing who you are seeking to befriend and ask that visitors
abide by that information. Everyone need not apply.

#4. Offer information of value. Don't talk just about yourself and your company.

#5. Don't approach strangers and ask them to be friends with you just so you can then try to sell them on
your products or services. You will quickly lose credibility and your so-called 'friends.'

#6. Pick a screen name that represents you and your company well. Don't call yourself 'Loser1' unless you
want to be known by that name.

#7. Don't send out requests for birthdays, invitations to play games or other timewasters for those using
the site.

#8. Don't put anything on the Internet that you don't want your future boss, current client or potential
clients to read.

#9. Check out the people who want to follow you or be your friend. Your mother was right when she said that
people will judge you by the company you keep.

#10. If someone does not want to be your friend, accept their decision gracefully. They have the right to make
that choice and you have to accept it.

#11. Never post when you're overly-tired, jet lagged, intoxicated, angry or upset.

#12. Compose your posts, updates or tweets in a word processing document so you can check grammar and
spelling before you send them.

Everyone should ask themselves the following 12 questions before posting content in Social Media:

1. Should I target a specific audience with this message?

2. Will anyone really care about this content besides me?

Page 15 of 22


3. Will I offend anyone with this content? If so, who? Does it matter?

4. Is this appropriate for a social portal, or would it best be communicated another way?

5. How many times have I already posted something today? (More than three can be excessive.)

6. Did I spell check?

7. Will I be okay with absolutely anyone seeing this?

8. Is this post too vague? Will everyone understand what I’m saying?

9. Am I using this as an emotional dumping ground? If so, why? Is a different outlet better for these purposes?

10. Am I using too many abbreviations in this post and starting to sound like a teenager?

11. Is this reactive communication or is it well thought-out?

12. Is this really something I want to share, or is it just me venting?

Run through these 12 questions in your mind—before clicking “post.” You’ll be happy you double-checked before
sharing with the world.


Cell phones, being mobile, are often used in situations where the phone user and the conversation are not welcome.
Their use in some venues may be considered rude and even downright offensive.

Almost all the tips on telephone etiquette apply to cell phones with the addition of one very important one – don’t
contribute to noise pollution.

There is no doubt that cell phones have a permanent and essential role in modern society. But when cell phones
interrupt important proceedings and are used in the wrong place at the wrong time, it is unacceptable and makes us
grind our teeth in despair at the users’ rudeness and blatant lack of care and consideration for the people around

The following are some of the places and events where cell phones should be switched off or the ring tone muted.

If it is important to be reached in such places then the call should be kept brief and the voice low:

- On public transport in proximity to other commuters

- In hospitals, restaurants and shopping centres

- At checkouts, cinemas and theatres

- Train stations, bus stops and air ports

- Doctors’ surgeries, churches and conventions

- Waiting rooms, libraries and lecture rooms

- At christenings, weddings and funerals

- And at a dozen other places that you can think of without my help

● It’s not the use of cell phones that is the problem; it’s the loud and annoying ring tone.

● It’s the shouting into the cell phone; it’s the airing of one’s private life on the cell phone in the presence of strangers.

Page 16 of 22


● It’s the endless verbal diarrhoea and ear bashing that one and all are subjected to without fear or favour that
is the problem.

● Driving or walking on the street while talking on the mobile phone delays the reflexes and can shorten
someone’s life.

● That life could be yours. So be safe or be sorry.

● It is bad cell phone etiquette to make a call whilstin the company of another person.

● In fact, it is downright rude.

● If you absolutely must make that call, apologisefirst, then make the call.

● Keep it very brief.

● Sending text messages in company is even worse.

● Once again, if you must, excuse yourself first and then be very brief.

● Share the message with those present as a courtesy to let them know that they are not the subject of the message.

● It is unforgiveable to talk on a mobile phone while 'dealing' with another person such as a checkout in a shop
or bank-teller or greeting or fare welling someone.

● Lastly, camera cell phones. These are so useful and handy.

● Be aware of privacy laws, the rights of others and charges of voyeurism if used inappropriately in the wrong places.

● Practicing good cell phone etiquette will not improve your popularity but it will certainly not make you unpopular.

● Importantly, you will not be contributing to cell phone rage.


“That’s an hour of my life that I’ll never get back.” You’ve probably said this to yourself after a conference call that
went horribly wrong. Either people are showing up late, speaking out of turn, or the conference call was unorganized
and unproductive. This is because people aren’t following conference call etiquette which would make these meetings
a productive part of your day. There are too many people ruining conference calls. You can easily avoid being one of
them by just following these tips.

Etiquette before the call

 Choose Your Location Wisely

Whether it’s a conference call with team members or an important client, always plan where you will be joining the
call. Choose a quite area where you know you won’t be disturbed so that you can give your undivided attention and
actively participate on the call. If you’re in a situation where you have no other alternative than to be in a noisy area,
make sure to exercise your right to the mute button.

 Have an Agenda

Conference calls are frustrating when the discussion goes in circles without accomplishing anything. If you’re leading
the call then have a clear and organized agenda. Organize a list of important topics that you want to cover and stick to
it. A good practice is to send out the agenda in the email invitation for the call, this will accomplish a few things:

o Everyone will know what the conference call is about

Page 17 of 22


o Attendees have time to prepare important information

o Everyone will know when the conference call is over

After everyone has joined the call and introduced themselves, take control by saying “Here’s a loose agenda for today’s

 Set a Goal

If you’re not leading the call then ask yourself “What do I want to get out of this conference call?” Create a checklist of
the things you need from the attendees to get your work done. This is the time for you to get questions answered so
that you can move forward with the projects that you’re working on.

Etiquette During the Call

 Early is On Time

Good conference call etiquette includes being on the call a few minutes early, especially if it’s with clients. Conference
calls start when everyone has entered the call, when you’re late that means everyone else is waiting on you. You don’t
want to be the person who is late, or even worse, forgot that there was a call that day. Keep track of the conference call
date and time so that you can be there early to greet other attendees.

 Use Names, Including Yours

Not everyone on the call will have access to a visual interface, meaning that they won’t know who is talking and when.
State your name when you join the meeting, and also before speaking during the call. Address people by their names
during the call. If Tim, the CEO of an IT company, addresses an important topic reply by using his name “Tim, this is
Danny.” This shows professionalism and avoids any confusion of who is talking.

 Give Your Undivided Attention

Conference calls are productive when everyone contributes. It’s hard to contribute when you’re too busy checking
emails, playing solitaire, or speaking with other coworkers in the background. Everyone notices when there are
people on the call who are ‘playing dead’. Focus on the meeting by taking notes and contribute to the conversation.

 Know When to Speak

Your contribution is important, but don’t hog the line by speaking every chance you can. Give everyone a chance to
speak and only jump in if you have something constructive to say or ask. If you’re not sure when to jump in, take a
short pause before speaking to give others a chance to speak.

Etiquette While Ending the Call

 Wrapping it Up

You should know when the conference call is coming to an end because you’re following an agenda. At the end of the
meeting quickly revisit the actionable tasks which were discussed, and confirm with the group about who is doing
what. Write all the actionable tasks down so that you can send them as part of an email to your team and attendees. A
good conference call email should include the important issues discussed in the conference call, and the future tasks
to be accomplished by the group.

The Do's and Don'ts

The conference call is becoming a mode of conducting official affairs. Thus, it has its own rules of etiquette, which
ensures having a successful and meaningful communication.

Page 18 of 22


The Do's

* Before you go into a conference call, be well prepared on the subject matter of discussion.

* You should be punctual, and arrive before the conference call can begin.

* You should adjust the volume of the microphone and speak clearly into it.

* Before you start to talk about matters of concern, you must tell the others who you are.

* As you begin, you should be brief and to the point. Also, when asking questions you should name the person to
whom your question is directed.

* You would need to remember that, the participants in the conference call cannot see you, and hence, are not
aware of your expressions, or other non-verbal communication. For this reason you should express yourself in
verbal terms.

* You should be aware of the conference call agenda and the time that you have been allotted for making
presentations or fielding questions.

* You would be required to see that background noises, if any, should be almost negligible.

* When mentioning telephone numbers or web site addresses, speak slowly and do not rush. Repeat them for a
better comprehension.

The Don'ts

* Do not ever put your conference phone on hold. If you do that it may start playing music which would disturb
the discussions of the others. It is always better to mute your phone and call back into the conference.

* Do not carry on a conversation with the person sitting by your side while a conference call is going on.

* Do not use acronyms or terms specific to your agency.

Always maintain a friendly attitude towards the other participants. Do not worry about the titles of the people
attending the conference. In fact, try not to be either overly formal or informal.


Elevators are a very unique place. While you are only on them for a short period of time, there are unwritten rules and
etiquette that people are expected to follow. To avoid offending anyone when using an elevator, follow these
unwritten rules for boarding and exiting.

Page 19 of 22



• Allow people to exit the elevator – When waiting for the elevator, stand clear of the doors. Only board the
elevator when you are sure no one else is exiting.

• Who boards first? – Those who are closest to the door should be allowed to get on first. Gentleman should,
however, allow ladies the option to board first.

• Know the direction – Before boarding an elevator, make sure you know it is going in the direction you want to
travel. This will save you from embarrassment and from delaying the car.

• Entering a crowded elevator – If the car is crowded when the doors open, see if the passengers either verbally
invite you to squeeze in or welcome you by making room. As a rule of thumb, there should be room for two
people for every one that is attempting to board.

• Holding the door – This should only be done for someone who is running toward the elevator when the car is
empty or there is consensus among the passengers that they do not mind waiting.

• Closing the door – The door close button should only be pressed when it is clear that no one else is trying to
board the elevator.

• Where to stand – It is proper etiquette to stand as close to a wall as possible. Also consider your destination, if
you are going to a higher floor you should stand towards the back. If you choose to stand near the buttons,
understand that you may have the increased responsibility of pressing the floor for incoming passengers.


• Ladies first – Gentlemen should allow ladies to exit the elevator first unless you are blocking the doors.

• Reaching your floor – When in a crowded elevator and you have reached your floor, announce to the other
riders that this is your floor and excuse yourself as you go past them. Pushing is discouraged.

• Getting out of the way – If you are standing between someone who is trying to exit and the door, do your best to
move out of the way. If the elevator is crowded, it is acceptable to exit the elevator, allow them to leave, and
then re-board.

To Sum Up


Dear gentlemen, before you enter or exit the elevator please allow your fellow lady passengers to go before you.
It's plain and simple decorum. End of story.


When in doubt, zip your lip. Elevator rides are not meant for cell phone conversations. I think I speak for 99%
of your fellow elevator passengers when I say don't to want to hear you talk to your Aunt Gertrude about her
hip replacement. Also, if you are in the elevator with co-workers or friends, keep your noise to a minimum (or
honestly, just stop talking) and consider what you are speaking about. No office gossip, F-bombs, and think
before you speak.


When entering the elevator move to the back so that everyone can file in in an orderly fashion.


Pick up a tasty treat during your lunch break? That's great, and you should enjoy every morsel of that delicious bite...
in the privacy of your own office. It is rude (and just well.. gross) to snack on your food in a crowded elevator.

Page 20 of 22



Is your honey visiting from out of town and you finally have what you think is a private moment? If you are
adjusting your hair/dress in the elevator mirror, just keep in mind ladies and gents, there is a camera in there.
So act like a decent human being.


For safety purposes, just don't be the person that says this. There are too many horror tales of fatal accidents
occurring while someone is trying to hold the elevator door open for another passenger. Simply wait your turn
for the next elevator to come.


In the back of the elevator and your stop is next? No worries, simply educate your other passengers by saying
"Pardon me, this is my floor." And when they step aside, say thank you!


In the elevator with others in your apartment or office building. We encourage you to use the following
pleasantries "Good morning!" "Have a great day!" "Good Evening!". Because kindness always counts and makes
the world a better place.


You may not believe but people judge you for how you behave than what you are.

The etiquette that you follow at cafeteria or your office food court matter to many. Sometimes relationships are made
and broke on a coffee table so this means how serious etiquette matters to a class of people.

If you wish to take the ladder of success in career and personal life, it is important that you know how to behave and
how to eat and our basic cafeteria etiquette will help you. Take a look at the list. Cafeteria Etiquette

1. Do not fail to wash your hands before you go through the buffet line. Do not making the serving until your hands
are dry. If you aren't keeping well (have fever or cold) ask your colleague or friend to prepare a plate for you. Do
not reserve space for friends when you are in the buffet line.

2. While making the serving, do not dump food onto your plate. Pick only a fair share. Never dawdle or chat while
serving food as you are making the others in the line wait.

Page 21 of 22


3. Never grab a spoon from the nearby table just to make the serving, wait for your colleague or friend to finish with
his. Always cover your mouth with a handkerchief or tissues before you sneeze.

4. Always look behind when you are to turn or move from the place as there may be someone standing with a
loaded plate. Never push or hurry up with the plate as you may spill food and make a mess.

5. Do not leave the dropped food on table or in your plate. Pick them up and put them into waste bins or you can
also ask the staff to clean up.

6. Make it a point to greet colleagues who accompany you for the meal. Pick a general discussion and make the
person get a good impression about you.

7. Avoid making faces. Whether you are at a cafeteria in a public place or office, etiquette and table manners are a
must to follow as it is the only way to make the unknown know and feel good about you.

Etiquette in a Buffet:

 Do wash your hands before heading towards the buffet line.

 Please do not "break the line”.

 If you have a cold, please stay away from the buffet and have someone else prepare a plate for you to avoid
sneezing close to the food.

 Do not turn around or move back up without looking. There may be someone behind you holding a loaded plate.

 Use table manners at all times.

 Do not reserve seats for those who are going to join you in “some time”. One person can actually finish his food in
the same span.

 Do not leave dropped food on the counter or floor; pick it up and move it out of the way, or at least notify the
housekeeping staff to clean it up.

 Return all trays, dishes and utensils at the end of your meal to the collection counters.

 All litter is to be thrown in the trash bin. Please cooperate in keeping the area clean.

 When leaving the table, please make sure that your chair is pushed back to avoid any obstruction in the walkway.

 Never show the sole of your footwear while you are seated.

 Be courteous and considerate at all times.

Page 22 of 22