Discovering the US 2020

Etiquette Greetings and Introductions

In the US, a greeting to a new or old friend is, “Hi! How are you?” or “How are you doing?” This phrase is common between two people, even if not literally asking how that person is. It is a conversation starter and generally considered a polite thing to ask. Handshakes are very common when first meeting someone, especially in business. If you are not familiar with the social situation or the people you are with, allow them to take the lead. First impressions are very important in the American culture, so engaging in an introduction and light- conversation is a good way to make a great first impression. A firm handshake, combined with adequate personal space and good eye contact is appropriate during a typical greeting. Addressing People It is important to know the title of the person to whom you are speaking. These may include Doctor or Professor. Also when greeting someone, it is polite to use their name to show that they had a memorable impact on you. Business Etiquette The traditional office dress is formal business attire unless otherwise noted. For men this generally means a suit and tie, while women will dress in a suit or dress and jacket. Business casual for men can include khaki or dark slacks, paired with a polo or button down shirt. A woman can wear a nice blouse or sweater with slacks. If you are unsure what to do, it is better to be overdressed than to be underdressed. Check the company dress code for instructions. In the US, business is conducted rapidly. There is very little small talk before discussing the business matters at hand. At most meetings, it is common to attempt to reach an oral agreement before the meeting adjourns. Typical business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., usually with an hour lunch break around noon. Punctuality Everyone’s time is equally important, and therefore punctuality is imperative. When a meeting has a start time, participants aim to be punctual, even arriving a few minutes early if possible. If you are going to be late, it is considered polite to alert the meeting organizer. Tipping Practices Service employees who count on tips include restaurant wait staff, bartenders, hotel maid, bellman, doorman, concierge, and room service delivery person. Other service employees who expect tips regularly include hair dressers, cab drivers, parking attendants, tour guides, car wash attendants, pet groomers, and delivery people. You do not need to tip at fast food restaurants, in cafeterias, at self-service buffets, a laundry mat, utility repairmen, grocery store cashiers or baggers, nurses or doctors, real estate agents, travel agents, or postal service personnel.

© 2020 Dwellworks, LLC

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Discovering the US

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