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How to avoid etiquette mistakes in japan

According to local expert Yohei Shoji.

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

By Tess Falotico

In Japan, bowing (ojigi) is used as a greeting, a way of showing remorse, and as a sign of respect. The origins of this tradition go back hundreds of years, and the custom has evolved from fifth-century Buddhism to 12th-century samurai warriors to modern business culture. Today, there are bows for meetings, bows for acquaintances, bows for groveling, and many bows in between.

It can be daunting for an outsider to learn the intricacies and etiquette, but as Journy’s resident Japan expert Sarah Corsa says, “Visitors are given a lot of leeway in Japan when it comes to etiquette, and any attempt to recognize local customs is appreciated.” It’s a good rule of thumb in any foreign country: it’s always best to try to follow local etiquette as a way of showing respect, even if you make mistakes.

Here are a few simple tips to help your do your best with a traditional Japanese bow.

When to bow

A few common bowing situations to keep in mind:

  • Greeting someone or being introduced to a new person
  • Apologizing
  • Showing gratitude
  • At work or in a meeting

Nods, bows, and kneels

The correct way to bow in terms of the degree angle of your upper body depends on the situation and your relationship to the other person. “The deeper the bow, the more reverence you’re showing to the person you’re bowing to,” says Yohei Shoji, who grew up in Japan and did extensive training on bowing in business culture. Bows that are five degrees apart can mean different things, but consider Shoji’s simplified list to be your cheat sheet for all the types of bows:

  1. A nod of the head and a smile: A friend/neighbor, colleagues with slight seniority, hotel door men.
  2. 30- or 45-degree bow, looking down: Your boss or an older person you’re meeting for the first time.
  3. Full formal bow at the waist, looking down: Formal occasions or meeting clients.
  4. On your knees, arms and forehead on the floor: “You really messed up and you’re groveling for your life.”

Common “don’ts” to avoid in the art of bowing

Don’t do prayer hands. Shoji has seen visitors make the common mistake of holding their hands in a prayer position, but they should be down at your sides—not in front of your chest.

Don’t forget to keep your eyes down when you’re doing any bow that’s deeper than a nod. It’s a sign of respect.

Don’t bow too intensely for the situation — for example, “a full bow to your cab driver after you get out of the car.” Shoji says it could seem like you’re making fun of bowing culture at worst, and you’ll look silly at best.

Don’t overthink it. “Japanese people are fairly lax when it comes to foreigners,” says Shoji. “They don’t expect you to abide by strict Japanese norms of bowing etiquette.” While it’s not native to Japanese culture, Shoji adds that it’s not a faux pas to shake hands in any situation where it would make sense to do so for Westerners.

For more on Japanese etiquette, read up on the dos and don’ts of staying in a traditional ryokan.

12/12/2019 — By Liza Weisstuch

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

Different cultures follow different rules and traditions. Here’s what not to do when you travel.

Exploring new places and cultures is part of the thrill of travel, but it’s important to keep in mind that, just like when you’re a guest in someone else’s home, when you’re overseas, you’re a guest in someone else’s homeland. The same rules may not apply.

We’ve put together this handy guide to help you navigate foreign etiquette. If you can be sure to avoid these faux pas, then you’ll certainly be welcomed back.

1. India: Your right hand is the right hand

Sorry, lefties, but if you’re heading to India, you’ve got some preparing to do before you leave. In India, custom dictates that the left hand is used for cleaning your feet and other parts of your body typically covered with clothes. When it comes to eating, shaking hands, and all other social events, the right hand is, well, the right hand. Also bear in mind that the left hand is used for removing your shoes, which is a must when you enter someone’s home, a mosque or temple, and even some stores.

2. Greece: Beware the toilet paper trap in Greece

Arguably the biggest attractions in Greece are the Parthenon, the Coliseum, and all the other ancient architectural marvels. The ancient Greeks were as advance in their plumbing capabilities as they were with their building savvy, what with a Minoan king of Crete inventing the first flushable toilet about 2,800 years ago. But the technical know-how in that department has not kept pace. Toilets throughout the country today are equipped with pipes that are about two inches in diameter, about half that of pipes in the U.S. Toilet paper easily clogs them, so bins are supplied in every loo for paper waste.

3. Germany: Mind your hands

Germans may not be known for speaking with their hands the way Italians are, but you still have to mind them when you’re around others. Don’t talk to someone with your hands in your pocket. It’s considered quite rude. It’s also customary to keep your hands on the table when you’re eating. And Germans are big on shaking hands, too. Whenever you arrive to meet or depart from a group of people, shake hands with each and every individual or consider yourself and outcast.

4. France: Don’t split the bill

Here’s a term you should know before you head to Paris: La note separee (say-pa-RAY). That’s how to ask for separate checks when you’re dining out in the City of Lights. In France it’s considered vulgar to talk about money, so to get into a whole who-owes-what deliberation when you’re out with friends would be the ultimate indiscretion. Play it safe and ask for individual checks. If you’re out to ingratiate yourself to someone, just say “Ce soir, c’est moi qui vous invitons.” (Tonight, it’s on me.)

5. Japan: Keep it clean

Walk through any U.S. city and you’ll spot countless pedestrians hurrying down the street with a coffee cup in one hand and their phone in the other. That’s precisely what not to do in Japan. In Japan, cleanliness is truly next to godliness. Even the subway’s public bathrooms are as immaculate as a five-star hotel’s. Keeping cities spotless is instinctive to every citizen, which is why nobody drinks coffee, eats, or even smokes when they walk. It lowers the risk of making a mess – of your surroundings and yourself. And smokers, beware: lighting up in some public spaces is illegal, so make sure to check for signs first.

6. Chile: For best results, use a fork and knife

Got Chile on your bucket list? Here’s what you need to know before you get there: finger food does not exist here. Yes, of course restaurants serve appetizers and fries and such, but it’s considered extremely uncouth to touch your food. It’s said that Chileans get this from a strong cultural link with Europe, so pick up your knife and fork before digging into those fries.

And here’s a bonus tip: Mexico has the opposite etiquette. You’ll be deemed unworthy of your taco if you eat it with a knife and fork.

7. Thailand: Keep your hands to yourself

If you accidentally touch someone’s head in Thailand, be sure to apologize. According to Thai Buddhist spiritual beliefs, the head is considered a very sacred part of the body so making contact with someone’s head is disrespectful. Of course, this doesn’t count in privacy when you’re with a loved one, but it does hold for children, so be sure not to pinch the cheeks of any cute kids you encounter.

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How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

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by Irma Hunkeler 4 min read March 7, 2018

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

In the world of business, maintaining good manners and etiquette could be the deal clincher when it comes to securing new and lasting business opportunities and working relationships. A big etiquette mistake can have a detrimental impact and could lead to lost business. Of course we’re all prone to slip ups from time to time, but by being aware of the most common business etiquette mistakes, you can ensure that you steer clear of them as much as possible. Here are seven common business etiquette mistakes to avoid:

Being Late

Punctuality is extremely important in the world of business because it shows that you respect other people’s time. Tardiness makes you appear unprofessional and it can also be a disruptive influence on proceedings. According to the global etiquette guide created by travel experts Expedia, being late to an appointment or a business meeting is a huge faux-pas around the world, so it’s important to take this into account when conducting international, as well as domestic, business. If unforeseen circumstances make it impossible to arrive on time, be sure to let people know as soon as possible.

Being Impolite

Perhaps one of the most obvious and avoidable mistakes you can make in a business environment is being impolite. This applies not only to your colleagues and clients, but also to anyone else in the vicinity. If you are in a restaurant for a business meeting, for example, extend the same courtesy to the staff as you would to your peers to exemplify how respectful you are. Show gratitude for even the smallest things, such as someone passing you a pen. Listen intently when others are speaking, and avoid interrupting anyone mid-flow.

Bad Introductions

In nerve-wracking situations it’s all too common to rush introductions. Always take the time to introduce yourself to new people, regardless of hierarchy, offering a firm handshake, a smile and eye contact. Slow down and you will be more likely to remember their names and create an initial feeling of trust and respect. When in the company of two or more people who do not know each other, it’s your job to introduce them to one other. Failing to do so means you run the risk of appearing rude and creating an awkward situation.

Getting Straight Down to Business

You may think that colleagues and clients are only there to talk business, but before and after a meeting it’s important to make small talk to build relationships, bond, and gain the trust of others. Without small talk, you risk coming across as abrupt, cold and unfriendly. If you come across as friendly and interested, people are more likely to want to work with you again.

Dressing Inappropriately

Dressing inappropriately is a mistake that can easily be made by people who work in a more casual environment. You should always take heed of the dress code for any business events you’re planning on attending, as you won’t want to arrive wearing jeans if everyone else is in business attire. First impressions are crucial when you’re networking, so it’s important that you look the part when meeting people for the first time. Most event invitations will specify whether you should be dressed in standard business attire or smart casual, so be sure to double check the invite beforehand.

Using Your Phone

While it’s true that mobile phones are being used more and more for business purposes, there’s a time and a place for their use, and if you are in a meeting or having a discussion with someone, you should give people your full attention and avoid looking distracted. You may be able to multitask, but staring at your phone while someone is speaking to you comes across as rude and disrespectful. If you do get a call or a text that simply can’t wait, apologize and excuse yourself while you attend to it in private.

Not Following Up

After a meeting has ended it’s common courtesy to send a quick email to thank attendees for their time. Not only does this show your gratitude and respect, it also gives you the opportunity to follow up on any points from the meeting.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.

by Joshua Oates May 13, 2019, 9:53 am 195 Views

Don’t be that person in the office! You know, the one who waltzes in late, coffee in hand, and then swans out at 5pm on the dot. The one who talks about other coworkers in hushed whispers. The one who brings smelly food to the office and nauseates the rest of the office during lunch.

Truth be told, no one ever thinks they are “that person”. They just lack the workplace etiquette and awareness that what they are doing is annoying their colleagues. Good manners and etiquette go a long way in the professional world, so try to steer clear of certain behaviours.

Regardless of whether you’re the boss or the intern, these mistakes happen too often in the office. From time-management to eating habits, here are the workplace etiquette mistakes you may be unknowingly committing.

Being late every day

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

Punctuality is a gift that a few people don’t possess, yet not having it is one of the most infuriating things for coworkers. Consistently showing up late for work will not only put you on the boss’s radar, but it will annoy the hell out of your colleagues too.

If you are the boss, well, you’re not gaining any respect from your employees. You should be leading by example and showing up to work a little bit early every day. If you get there a few minutes early, your employees will start doing the same.

Workers who roll in an hour late and act casual about it are frustrating to other employees. If they can show up on time every day, then the latecomer can too. It’s perhaps more annoying when the latecomer packs up and leaves at 5pm on the dot. They’re effectively doing an hour or two less work than the other employees every day, making it a habit that needs to be stopped immediately.

Missing or being late to meetings

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

Carrying on with time management (yes, it’s a basic adult function), missing meetings or showing up late to them is extremely unprofessional. It delays everyone and shows complete disregard for their time.

It affects the whole company as decisions become delayed and everyone sits there wasting time while they wait for the late person. Worse, still, is not showing up to meetings at all. Even if the meeting will be a waste of your time, you don’t want your colleagues, managers and bosses to sit there for 15 minutes before taking the hint that you’re not showing up.

There’s a reason why people are included in meetings; the bosses want input from everyone there. By not showing up, important decisions may be put on hold. People who miss meetings or show up late are seen as unreliable by others, seriously damaging their reputation and career. Meetings can be long and boring, but everyone has to take part, so be punctual and present.

Talking about colleagues

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

Every office has a gossip. Although it may be harmless most of the time, talking about coworkers behind their backs is a bad habit to fall into. Not only does gossip lead to a loss of productivity, but it can also damage a person’s credibility among their peers; colleagues will trust a gossip less and it can lead to isolation.

Rather talk about the kind people in the office and the good work that your colleagues have done, rather than spreading rumours and stories that may have been told in confidence. Your work relationships with colleagues will be far more positive if they trust you and enjoy working with you.

Try to avoid gossip – don’t listen to it and if you hear a rumour about yourself, be professional about it and try to clear the air. Never retaliate with lies and rumours of your own. Be an adult and address the rumours appropriately and clearly. Your colleagues will think more of you for taking it in your stride and remaining calm.

Eating smelly food

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

Some foods are less offensive than others. Whether you eat lunch at your desk or in the kitchen, certain food smells can travel far and wide. The smell of some foods can make other employees feel nauseous, make them lose their appetite or simply make them irritated.

There are unwritten rules about office food and at the top of the ‘what not to eat’ list is fish. Seriously, it doesn’t matter if it’s tuna, salmon or battered hake – fish should never be brought to work.

The same goes for other strong-smelling meat such as leftover lamb chops and boerewors. Be careful what you microwave too – certain foods smell funny when you take them out of the microwave.

It’s best to ask your coworkers if they mind certain smells before opening your lunchbox. Tell them what you’ve brought and ask if anyone will have a problem with the smell of it. If they do, rather take your lunch outside or into a private room where you can eat without worrying about the smell.

If you happen to commit one of these workplace etiquette mistakes, own up to it and apologise to those you may have offended. It will boost your reputation among your peers and people will genuinely forgive you if you acknowledge your mistake.

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In a country with a unique culture like Japan, visitors can feel daunted by the rules and social norms that regulate public life and interpersonal relations. Foreigners visiting Japan are not expected to be familiar with Japanese etiquette, but knowing a few basics will go a long way in helping you adapt to local customs and avoid making cultural gaffes. If you’re planning a trip to Japan, here are a few cultural faux pas you should be aware of.

1. Don’t break the rules of chopstick etiquette in Japan.

The Japanese will be impressed if you’re comfortable using chopsticks. But making the following faux pas will definitely raise eyebrows. Never stick your chopsticks vertically in your bowl of rice — this resembles a funeral ritual. If you need to put them down, always use the chopstick holder next to your plate. Avoid using your chopsticks to pass food to someone else’s chopsticks, as this is another taboo. When sharing dishes, use your chopsticks to take the food and put it on your own plate before eating it. And don’t rub your chopsticks together – it’s rude.

2. Don’t wear shoes indoors when visiting Japanese homes (and some businesses).

If you’re visiting a Japanese home, your shoes should be immediately removed once you’re through the door. “Outdoor” shoes are considered unclean, and for this reason they’re replaced with “indoor” slippers at the entranceway. This no-shoe rule also extends to traditional ryoken hotels, some public spaces like temples and shrines, fitting rooms, and schools and hospitals. If you see shoes lined up at a doorway or entrance then you can be sure that they must be removed, and usually slippers will be available for you to slip on. Shoes are also a no-no in the areas of restaurants where diners sit on the floor on traditional tatami mats. In this case, slippers are not worn at all — they could damage the straw matting — so make sure your socks match and are free of holes! Another important rule is to exchange your “indoor” slippers for the special “toilet” slippers when using the toilet. These are kept at the doorway of the toilet area (which is often separate from the bathroom) specially for this purpose. And don’t forget to once again do the switch when leaving the toilet area!

3. Skipping the line when waiting for trains (or anything else) in Japan.

That whole stereotype that Japan is an incredibly orderly and organized place? It’s true. With that in mind, you should expect to find single-file lines anywhere you have to wait for anything. That includes bus stops, train platforms, elevators, street food vendors, vending machines, and so on. On platforms at train stations, there are lines on the floor indicating where to stand and wait for your train. When the train arrives, the doors will open exactly in-between the two parallel lines that have been formed by waiting commuters. Needless to say, do wait until passengers have left the train before boarding single file.

Etiquette is something that is easy to let slide. Be mindful of your manners and do your best to always do the right thing. You and everyone around you will ultimately benefit, and you’ll have fewer regrets over your behavior.

It’s easy to call out other people when you see them commit manners mistakes. Remember that everyone makes etiquette faux pas every now and then . even etiquette experts. The key to making things right is to apologize for whatever it is and move on. Learn from your mistakes and try not to keep making the same ones over and over.

Following certain rules of etiquette is essential in both social and professional situations, so it’s a good idea to learn them. It can mean the difference between keeping or losing friends and getting ahead in business. Just as important is to learn what not to do.

Being Impolite to Anyone

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

Being nice to others in all situations is the most important rule of etiquette you can follow. You may not know proper placement of dinnerware or when to use which fork, but most people will forgive you for those small infractions.

However, being rude to people is something that you may not be able to undo. People have long memories when they feel they’ve been wronged or treated badly.

Politeness extends to everyone you come in contact with, from the doorman of your office or apartment building to your boss and other company executives. Showing gratitude and respect to servers at restaurants, sales clerks at retail outlets, and the bagger at your grocery store can make the difference in the service person’s day. Not being nice to these people shows a lack of character on your part.

Being Late

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

If you are one of those people who are chronically late, you are showing disrespect for other people’s time. When you agree to show up at a certain time, be there on time. If you are occasionally late, you will probably be forgiven if it isn’t something you do often.

Always call and let someone know your circumstances and your estimated time of arrival. Try to avoid doing this on a regular basis, or you might not get invited to do things with friends.

Failing to Introduce Others

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

When you are with two people who don’t know each other, you should always introduce them. If you can’t remember either of their names, politely say something like, “I’m sorry. I know we’ve met, but I can’t recall your name.” Then use the person’s name during the introduction and afterward in conversation. If you include something you discussed with that person in the past, it will soften the fact that you forgot his or her name.

Chatting or Texting on Your Cell Phone While Physically with Others.

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

Always give the person you are physically with your attention. If your cell phone rings, or you receive a text that needs immediate response, politely excuse yourself and keep all electronic contact brief. Then when you return to the person, apologize and refrain from making a habit of chatting on the phone or texting when you’re with someone.

Never text while dining with others. That is rude and frustrating for other diners.

Failing to RSVP.

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

When you are invited to any event – whether it’s a dinner party or wedding – let the host know whether or not you’ll be there as soon as possible. Failing to RSVP can hamper the plans of the person who must organize the guest list, food, and space. If you send regrets and later discover that you are able to make it, call the host and ask if there it isn’t too late. Be understanding if the host has already filled your position.

If you have accepted, and you get sick at the last minute, call the host immediately. Never change plans if something more interesting comes along. You may never get invited by that host again if he finds out.

Being Too Self-Absorbed.

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

When chatting with friends, family, or coworkers, give them equal time during the conversation. If you have a pattern of making the discussion all about you, you may discover people walking a wide berth around you or running away when they see you coming. You don’t want people to see you as narcissistic or self-absorbed.

The best way to have a decent conversation with someone is to ask questions about him or her and then be attentive. If you are a good listener, chances are the person will turn around and ask you questions. Back-and-forth conversation is more enjoyable for both parties and will gain you favor among people you care about.

Having Bad Table Manners.

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

In this world of people rushing around, you may have become accustomed to running through fast food drive-thru lanes and eating on the run. Not only is this bad for digestion, it gets you out of the habit of exercising good table manners.

When dining with others, take your time to observe proper table manners. If you are unclear about which utensil to use, learn before you go. Don’t be in a rush while eating, or you may wind up having accidents that could have easily been avoided.

Take time to chew your food properly, and don’t talk with your mouth full. If someone asks you a question right after you take a bite, she most likely will understand and be willing to wait until you chew and swallow.

After you finish eating, wait for the others. It is rude to leave the table while others are still eating.

Forgetting to be Thankful.

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

When someone gives you a gift or does something special for you, always show your gratitude. Immediately say, “Thank you.” When you get home, send a brief thank you note.

If time gets away from you, don’t let that be an excuse to ignore what you should have already done. Send a thank you note as soon as possible.

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

by Teva Serna

Doing Business in Japan? Costly Mistakes to Avoid

Planning a business meeting in Japan or dealing with Japanese partners? The Japanese business etiquette has been the subject of many books and studies, but in many ways, there are many similarities between the Japanese and British business cultures. The main difference lies in the degree of formality, which is higher in Japan. We have put some tips together to help you improve your chances of success in the Japanese market. Here are the top 5 mistakes you should avoid at all costs:

1. Adopting a Hard Sales Approach

High pressure and aggressive sales tactics are ineffective in Japan. By staying objective and adopting a conservative and sober approach, you will be taken more seriously than if you are brash. Just like in the UK, confrontation should be avoided. Instead, try to express disagreements in an indirect and subtle manner. The Japanese rely mainly on non-verbal cues and will pick up on your reservations even if you express them indirectly.

2. Congratulating an Individual

Japan, like most other Asian countries, is known for placing the group above the individual. As a result, you should always avoid praising a single individual. Both the individual and the rest of the group will feel uncomfortable, and it could cause tensions within the group.

3. Forgetting the Hierarchy

Unlike in most Western countries, in Japan executive seniority is dependent on age. The hierarchical system is strong and older executives should be treated with slightly more deference than younger ones. You should always introduce yourself to the oldest person in the room first.

4. Not Reading a Business Card

Business cards are a key part of someone’s identity and the ritual around them is very important in Japan. When accepting a business card, take it with both hands, briefly read it and carefully place it in your cardholder, not in your pocket. You should always have business cards ready. Have your cards printed in both English and Japanese, and present the Japanese side when giving your card. Never slide or throw a business card across the table, and avoid writing on it.

5. Expecting a Decision to be Made During Meetings

Perhaps the most important point to remember, meetings in Japan are held to collect information, not to make decisions. Your Japanese partners will meet you to listen to what to have to say, not to finalise the outcomes. Trying to reach a final decision during a meeting could harm your relationship with your Japanese partners. Decisions will however usually be made swiftly after the meeting due to the growing competition across Asia. Additionally, verbal agreements are traditionally favoured over written contracts. As a result, your Japanese counterparts should not be pressured into signing documents.

How to be Ready: Cross-Cultural Training

Having Japanese language skills will help you develop business partnerships in Japan. But being culturally aware will optimise your chances of closing a deal and establishing strong business relationship. Cross-cultural training will help you develop key cultural awareness skills for doing business in Japan. At Cactus Language Training, we offer several options that you can combine together to be fully trained and ready:

Contact Us

To receive more information about how Cactus Language Training can increase your profits, or to get a quote, simply call us or contact us with any questions you may have. Cactus also offers a free no obligation language consultation for corporations and individuals.

Cactus language offers the following types of language courses:

Evening language courses: 19 different languages in 15 UK locations
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Online courses: for teacher training, English and French

ETIQUETTE MISTAKES YOU SHOULD AVOID

Check out this video and learn one of the most important things ever – etiquette mistakes everybody should know. For example, how to behave when you have a romantic dinner. You shouldn’t eat alone, always wait for your partner. Girls should always offer to share the bill. Remember that you should have a distance of about one meter when you talk with other people. Etiquette rules are very important as they may affect our professional and private life. Most people do not know how to behave in public with your boyfriend. It’s so cool if you are in love but you shouldn’t express your feelings in public. Remember that you should keep your romantic feelings as private as possible. Romantic evenings are the best time to display your affection, not in public. One more important thing is that girls should carry their bags on their own. Everybody should learn table etiquette and we collected the main rules:
-Don’t forget to remove a tea bag from a cup and place it on the side of your plate
-Always eat spaghetti using both a fork and a spoon
-Do not use your phone when you spend time in a restaurant with your friend or boyfriend. Leave it in your bag and spend time with fun. You should always give the person you are having a meeting with your attention
-Always fill the glass of wine below the middle to allow the wine to breathe inside the glass
-Do not put your elbows on the table
-Don’t forget to wipe your lips before drinking to avoid lipstick stains on wine glasses

00:09 Important etiquette rules
01:33 How to behave at work
05:05 Do not display your affection in public
08:07 Table manners you should know

Here’s the bad news: you send emails that your customers, clients, and colleagues misinterpret and it’s having a negative impact on your relationship.

We hate to say it, but it’s true. We’re not saying it happens all the time. But a study by The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people could only correctly interpret the tone and mood of an email, on average, 50% of the time. On top of that, people believe they’ve accurately interpreted the tone of an email 90% of the time. That means that, even if you’re happy 100% of the time, the recipients of half the emails you send might interpret them as frustrated, agitated, irritated, upset, unhappy, or just “meh.” And nine times out of ten, they’ll think they’re right about it.

When you realize that more than 269 billion emails were sent per day in 2017 – totaling more than 98 trillion emails annually (that’s 98 followed by twelve zeroes) – you can imagine how many misread emails are happening.

It’s not entirely surprising, though. Emails are impersonal in the sense that your intended tone doesn’t necessarily translate into the way it’s written. Emails eliminate the subtle but important facial cues, body language and tone of voice that help people pick up on your mood or tone in a face-to-face conversation.

But fear not. Here comes the good news: with a few simple tweaks, you can make sure you’re giving your email the best chance of being correctly interpreted. Here are seven tips to do it.

1. DON’T YELL

Have you ever looked at a sentence – or even a full email – written in all caps and thought “WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING AT ME!?” If you haven’t noticed this, then you might be a culprit. While many people use capital letters to indicate urgency, most people perceive them as brash and aggressive. Use capital letters sparingly! If you want to highlight an important word, this would be the time to capitalize it. And if you do, in fact, want to e-shout at somebody for a sentence or two, then go ahead and use all caps. But these are the only instances where it is it acceptable to put all caps in an email.

2. Avoid Negative Words

Understanding that email lacks the physical cues and tonality of an in-person conversation, it’s important to be hyper-sensitive to your use of negative verbiage – even more so than in regular conversation. Pad your wording, make it sound softer than you might speak it. Do everything in your power to ensure your words can’t be taken the wrong way. For instance, avoid saying “I won’t be able to get the project done until December 1 st .” Instead, try “I’ll be able to get the project done by December 1 st .” See the difference? Use pleases and thank yous generously. Avoid words like “fail,” “wrong,” and “blame.” Do your best to emphasize the positive – even when providing criticism.

3. Provide Comprehensive Details, Concisely

In a survey by Ragan, 43% of respondents indicated they see email as the main cause of confusion or resentment in the workplace. Why? Because emails are often vague and cryptic. This means the onus is on the sender to help the reader avoid feeling confused or dejected. The ability to convey comprehensive detail in a concise manner is fine art to master, but it can be done – and it will go a long way in making you an effective email communicator. Don’t be afraid of bullet-points. Eliminate jargon and simplify thoughts. Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Look at the email you’re writing with that lens. Simplify as much as possible while including all relevant details.

4. Don’t Be Passive Aggressive

There are very few things that drive people crazier than passive-aggressiveness. This feeling is amplified by email. The worst part is, you might not even realize you’re doing it. But it’s important to make sure you’re avoiding passive aggressive verbiage like the plague. Eliminate phases like, “per my last email,” “awaiting your reply,” “please advise,” “circling back,” and “thanks in advance.” And whenever possible, avoid the dreaded reattachment of an email string.

5. Not Too Short, Not Too Long

Good email etiquette requires a fine balance: you don’t want it too short, but you don’t want it too long. Lengthy emails lose the reader and create frustration. On the flip side of that coin, overtly short or blunt emails can also be taken negatively – especially one-word responses like “yes” and “OK.” Refer to point 4 to cut back appropriately as needed. On the other hand, take a second to add a greeting and a sign-off, even if the email only requires a brief response.

6. Save it for Later and Re-Read

When in doubt, write your email, save it in your drafts, and re-read it again later. In the flurry of email answering, it’s easy to blast out a message that might be misinterpreted. So, if you feel there’s any chance you might be writing one that could be taken the wrong way, give it some room to breathe. Looking at with a refreshed mindset might help you eliminate possible misunderstanding.

7. Consider If It Would Be Better as a Phone Call

It’s important to remember that email is not the end-all, be-all. Do not neglect other valuable forms of communication. Sometimes, you just need to know when things are better off as a phone call. It’s easy to get caught up in an extended email exchange, but understanding emails are a main point of confusion and resentment amongst professionals, it’s important to embrace that some problems can often be solved much more quickly with a brief phone call. If you’re having a misunderstanding and it has lasted more than three emails, pick up the phone.

While email is a common point of misinterpretation, 92% of people still value it as a communication tool. So, take your time, examine your email with a skeptical eye, and make sure you’re avoiding these common email issues. Your recipients will appreciate it.

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

Man is a social animal. We set ourselves apart from animals by how we communicate and present ourselves. Similarly, the notion of a brand is built on how the brand portrays itself in the eyes of its customers and prospects. Out of the multiple channels of communications between a brand and a customer, an email is the only one where the conversation can be personalized based on the individual journey. While mistakes are bound to occur, it is important for marketers to avoid certain common email marketing faux pas.

Common Email Etiquette Mistakes

No welcome email

60% of subscribers expect a welcome email as soon as they subscribe to a brand. It is a great way to build a relation with your subscribers, but unfortunately 41% of brands miss out on making the first impression as they do not reach out even after 48 hours of subscription.

Remedy: A welcome email needs to be the first triggered email in your automation and the first communication your subscriber receives.

Not using emails as permission-based marketing

Most marketers assume that the subscriber is interested in everything under the sun that the brand caters to. However, this is not the case. In fact, it is the quickest route to getting unsubscribed as your subscribers will be overwhelmed by the number of emails they receive, most of which may not interest them at all.

Remedy: Since the implementation of data protection and privacy law GDPR, brands need to make sure that the subscriber provides permission for email communication to be sent. Additionally, brands have to take care to not send them something they have not opted for. Learn how important it is to implement GDPR in emails .

Need help? Let me sell it you

As per inbound methodology, a visitor subscribes to your email newsletter as they trust your brand can help solve their problems. Sometimes, email marketers tend to sell their products under the pretext of providing a solution.

Remedy: Customers don’t mind a small amount of sales pitch as long as you provide the valuable information they are looking for.

Not fixing on a sending schedule

Email marketers sometimes forget the importance of setting a sending schedule for their emails. By sending your emails at a time least expected by your subscribers, there is a higher chance that your email will be less effective by the time the subscriber opens it.

Remedy: By setting an email send schedule, you create anticipation amongst your subscribers and increase their expectations from your brand. Fixing your sending schedule also helps you to plan your emails better.

No list segmentation

This is one of the most common mistakes committed by email marketers. Sometimes, they send emails to a batch of their mailing list without list segmentation. As we stated earlier, sending emails that are of no interest to your subscriber can cost you their subscription.

Remedy: Always segment your list before sending the email. Move from segmentation based on demographics to customizing your list segmentation based on customer journey location.

Email series nightmare

Email marketers may set overlapping automation workflows wherein the subscriber starts getting multiple emails. While they may contain different messages, the subscriber in short gets spammed.

Remedy: Double check your email automation workflows for any gaps.

Clinging on to stop them from leaving

Sometimes things don’t work out and your subscriber wishes to unsubscribe, but marketers tend to hide or forget to add the unsubscribe link making it difficult to break the communication. When marketers manage their list manually, the customers who unsubscribed are not taken out of the list sometimes. This is a very costly mistake since it lowers your sender reputation.

Remedy: Always respect the request to unsubscribe and investigate the reason for their action to improve your campaign performance.

Email Copy Mistakes To Avoid

Improper punctuations & grammar

Regardless of what kind of business you are in, there is no excuse for poor grammar, especially punctuations. Your grammar is a reflection of your image and bad grammar can influence your subscriber in a negative way. Add to it improper formatting and your subscriber is already having trouble with your email moments after opening.

Remedy: Always proofread your email copy at least thrice before using a tool for spellchecking. Send the email only after the copy has been checked thoroughly.

Improper email tone

A spell-checked email copy is useless if it conveys the wrong tone. The prime areas where marketers tend to miss their footing in setting email tone is improper salutation, wrong choice of words or even how they sign off.

Remedy: Stick to the personality that your brand has. Addressing your subscribers with Hey becomes too intimate and should be used in conjunction with the subscriber’s first name. Hi or Hello sounds very formal, while you lose the personal touch by using generic terms such as Sir, Madam or Friend. The middle ground is using ‘Dear [First name]’.

“Domo Arigato, Mr. Oliver”

Addressing your subscriber with wrong personalization is one of the common mistakes that email marketers tend to commit. The root cause of the error exists in wrong list entry, wrong personalization tag or even the lack of a tag.

Remedy: Always prune your email lists for wrong entry and double check your merge tag syntax.

Wrapping Up

Your email is a reflection of you. When you commit such common email etiquette faux pas, not only does the brand’s personality get dented, but you also weaken the relation between you and your subscriber. Did we forget any other mistakes? Share your views in the comment section below.

Would Miss Manners approve? Emily Post wrote the iconic newspaper column “Miss Manners” which taught etiquette to generations of people. Thankfully, she left behind some rules for workplace etiquette that holds true to this very day. Many of the mistakes discussed in this article that you should avoid are based on her advice. Freedom Forever encourages everyone to shine as brightly as the sun that powers our success in the solar marketplace. To set you up for success, here are some workplace etiquette mistakes to avoid.

Avoid late starts

Get to work early enough to complete personal activities like getting coffee or catching up on texts before you start work. Timeliness is a virtue that everyone appreciates, that includes your coworkers and supervisors. Punctuality helps ensure that all of us can get our jobs done on time.

Don’t wait to be told if you already know what to do

Think about the tasks that you know you are responsible for. Why wait to be told what you already know you need to do? You can show leadership every day by taking the initiative to get those things done. Your coworkers and supervisors will really appreciate it because you are making their jobs easier.

Never show up for work unkempt

Your appearance matters. Every day at work is an opportunity to re-present yourself anew. Take pride in your appearance, mind the Freedom Forever dress code. Our dress code exists to set you up for success by giving you guidelines on maintaining a clean, professional appearance. Unkempt hair, dirty or wrinkled clothes reflect badly on you. If your work is public-facing, then an unkempt appearance reflects badly on all of us.

Don’t do personal things on company time

It is disrespectful to do personal things during the time that you are on the clock because that’s not what you’re being paid to do. Avoiding personal matters such as personal calls or surfing the web and sticking to those tasks that you are being paid to do shows your coworkers and supervisors that you value your position at Freedom Forever.

Never gossip

Gossiping is one of the single most harmful things you can do in the workplace. Gossiping about coworkers leads to bad feelings that will interfere with your ability to do your job. Gossip can and does destroy promising careers. Hold yourself accountable, if you wouldn’t say it to the person, don’t tell it to your coworkers. If someone shares gossip with you, don’t spread it any further. Let its spread end with you.

Don’t flirt with others

Flirting in the workplace can cause real problems such as creating a hostile work environment. Everyone around you will notice that you are putting your personal life before the good of the company and you can be sure no one will appreciate it. Strive to keep any jokes or humor innocent. If that joke is too dirty to tell your grandma, you shouldn’t tell it to your coworkers.

Avoid swearing and negativity

Try to keep it clean and positive. Swearing reflects poorly on you. Negativity not only looks bad on you, it adversely affects the moods of people around you. If you really feel the need to say something negative, take a few deep breaths and consider whether you would be better off saying nothing at all

[ Author’s note : In my personal life and here at work, I strive to follow the Lakota nations’ rule for speaking, which is: Never speak unless it improves upon silence ]

Avoid arguing and stubbornness

Nobody ever truly wins an argument. When two people argue, the score always ends up 0 for 2 with two people hurt. Disagreements do arise, but you can lead-by-example by always seeking the counsel of cooler heads and strive to resolve disagreements for the greatest good.

Likewise, stubbornness produces no winners. Cooperation is one of the cornerstones upon which Freedom Forever’s success has been built. Willingness will get you everywhere. It shows your supervisors and coworkers that you are a leader because you are willing to take that extra step to ensure everyone’s success.

Never be inconsiderate, disrespectful, or dishonest

The Golden Rule, ‘do unto others as you would have done unto you’ should be your lodestar when deciding how you are going to treat others. If you wish to be treated with consideration and respect, you must show that same level of consideration and respect for others.

You are your word. How honest we are with others and how well we keep our word is the true measure of our worth to others. Honesty and follow-through are also important aspects of leadership. Powerful people say what they mean and then they do it. If you truly want to lead here at Freedom Forever, do so by striving to be a powerful person.

Be considerate in common spaces

Be mindful that the space you work in is the same space others must inhabit during their workday. Avoid strong-smelling perfumes and colognes, loud music or noises, and eating at your desk as these are things that can distract your co-workers. When in the bathroom, be sure to clean up after yourself, turn off the lights and shut the door behind you when you leave. When in the kitchen and breakrooms, be sure to wipe up your mess, clean your own dishes, and restock items as you notice them running low. Another shared space is the parking lot and street. Be considerate of how much space you are taking up when parking, and leave enough room for the cars around you to park and leave safely. We are all one family and should treat our office and surrounding workplace better than you would your own home.

Every day is in an interview for the next promotion or raise

Every moment of every day is a brand new opportunity to show your coworkers and supervisors that you are worthy of promotion. You always have the opportunity to show everyone the value that you bring to the table that deserves a raise. Your future and our future is in your hands. Who you choose to be, and how you choose to treat others defines both your future and ours. Great workplace ethics will lead you to a bright future here at Freedom Forever! We value you both as a person and as a coworker, we hope you feel the same.

When traveling or moving to a completely new country, it is expected that you might commit a social faux pas or two. But with some experience and being reminded that “this simply isn’t done here” by the locals, you eventually learn what the acceptable behavior is.

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

In Japan, as with anywhere else, there are social rules of conduct that would benefit you to follow. The only thing is, the Japanese tend to be a little shy when confronting people about their behavior. In other words, you may never know that you are offending people, as it is possible that no one will tell you. So, here are the top five etiquette mistakes to avoid when in Japan.

1. Eating or drinking on trains

Generally speaking, people don’t eat while walking on the street or in crowded commuter trains. It’s not necessarily rude, but it does look a little shabby and might annoy other people. However, on the shinkansen (bullet trains) and on planes where food is served, it’s fine to consume your own food and drinks.

2. Speaking in a loud voice on trains

Another thing that annoys people is speaking in a loud voice on trains and other public transportation. Using your phone on a train is a definite no-no. It’s common for people to get off at the next stop to take a call rather than face the collective ire of their fellow commuters. Japanese people tend to be less vocal and expressive when in public compared with some of their western counterparts, so please keep it down. Yes, I’m talking to you, you loud foreigner.

3. Public displays of affection

Although this is changing with the younger generation, the Japanese tend to be a little conservative when it comes to physical contact or displaying affection in public. Friends don’t usually kiss or hug when meeting, and shaking hands is not so common. Things tend to loosen up after drinking and singing karaoke with your friends and colleagues. However, at first, being low key is the thing when meeting new people.

4. Incorrect chopstick etiquette

Here are some chopstick etiquette dos and don’ts.

  • Do place your chopstick on the chopstick rest when you are not eating.
  • Do use your chopsticks as much as possible and avoid using your fingers.
  • Don’t fiddle or play with your chopsticks.
  • Don’t pass food from chopstick to chopstick (this gesture is reminiscent of a traditional Buddhist funeral, when the bones of the deceased are passed between ceremonial chopsticks of the family members).
  • Don’t stick your chopsticks vertically in your rice (again, this reminds people of burning incense for the deceased).

5. Not separating your trash properly

If there is one thing that raises the blood pressure of your poor suffering neighbors the most, it is (gasp!) not separating your trash correctly. In Japan, there are very specific and strict rules about this. Failure to comply might result in passive aggressive notes left on your front door, or your trash being returned to your doorstep. Plastics, burnable and non-burnable trash have to be properly sorted, inserted into the right garbage cans, and thrown out on the right day. Your apartment building will usually distribute information on how to sort and throw out your trash. It is advisable to read and remember this to avoid problems with your neighbors.

This is, of course, not an exhaustive etiquette list for Japan. There are plenty of other etiquette points, such as being punctual, never making excuses, and not pouring your own beer at a party. However, as with anywhere you travel, a little awareness, common sense and decency toward your fellow human beings are key.

If you do happen to put your foot in your mouth, then check out our next article, which will teach you how to apologize in Japanese (perhaps the single most important social skill in Japan). Good luck!

For more useful Japanese learning materials, including PDF cheat sheets and podcasts, please visit Learn Japanese Pod.

The wedding invitation is the most important announcement before the wedding, make sure to not make these etiquette mistakes!

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

  • Planning the wedding
  • Advice
  • Guest-blogger
  • Save-the-date
  • Bridal couple

This article is written by Ellie Coverdale

Choosing stationary and addressing wedding invitations is one of the better wedding planning tasks because you’re giving your guests a little preview into the wedding theme and details. In addition to the key information, you also have to give hints of the design and formality of the wedding. To make sure you’re doing it right, there are certain things you should know and mistakes to avoid. Keep the wedding plans on track by avoiding the 7 wedding invitation mistakes outlined below – not only will this help you have a great wedding with all the guests you want, but you can avoid an awkward faux pas or wedding etiquette failure.

1. Waiting too long to send invitations.

This is one of the most common mistakes because it’s easy to get sidetracked with other wedding preparations. However, it’s very important to dedicate the time you need to order your invitations, address them, and mail them out. The general wedding etiquette states that wedding invitations should go out two months before your wedding date. That means you should have two months in addition to that time (so four months in total) to order the stationary, proofread the invitations, and finalize everything before you send them out to the guests.

2. Bringing up the gift registry on the invitation.

According to Nancy Phillip, a wedding blogger at Academized and Uktopwriters , “it’s a big wedding invitation faux pas to send the registry information with the invite to the wedding. Instead, you should wait for guests to ask about where you’re registered before giving that information, or include it on a wedding website if you have one.”

3. Including the wrong postage for the invites.

Don’t want to miss out on the latest trends for your wedding?

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Wedding invitations are generally thicker and heavier than standard letters and cards. Before you mail them all out, you should bring a completed envelope to the post office and ask them to weigh it so you can find out if you have the right amount for postage. The last thing you want is to have your invitations returned to sender because you didn’t include enough postage.

4. Providing a suggested dress code for the wedding.

Your wedding invitation tone and design should indicate to your guests what kind of ceremony it will be and by extension the dress code. You shouldn’t mention the dress code on the invite; instead, be clear about how formal or casual the special day will be.

5. Not giving accurate directions to the venue.

It’s almost guaranteed that some of your guests will be from out of town, so proper wedding etiquette suggests that you provide direction cards. You don’t want anyone to get lost or bother you for directions on your wedding day, so be sure to include driving directions to both the ceremony and the reception.

6. Including details of the reception on the ceremony invite.

You should provide a separate reception card with the wedding invitation, especially if it will be at a different location than the ceremony. According to etiquette for wedding invitation, it’s especially important to do this if the reception guest list isn’t the same as the wedding ceremony guest list. If the reception and ceremony are in the same place with the same guest list, you may include a phrase saying that “reception immediately following”. You should also add the date for RSVPs on the wedding invitation or reception card.

7. Having spelling mistakes on the invitation.

It’s very important to have a friend with good writing and editing skills to review your invitation text – maybe ask more than one friend! As per Tanya Weisman, a writer at Best British Essays and Write My Australia , “surprisingly, a lot of invitations go out with mistakes that the stationer and the couple have all missed. This includes everything from the spelling of names to the addresses of the venues.”

Etiquette for wedding invites is helpful for answering some questions about what should be included on the invitation and what is best left out. You don’t need to follow every single etiquette rule, but by avoiding these common mistakes you can make sure that your family and friends are aware of all the appropriate details without feeling uncomfortable thinking about your special day details.

About the author

Ellie Coverdale is a lifestyle writer at Australian Reviewer and Paper Fellows . She enjoys sharing her tips and tricks on different lifestyle and wedding planning topics. She is always plugged in to the latest news and developments in lifestyle trends. She also teaches writing skills at Assignment help .

The wedding invitation is the most important announcement before the wedding, make sure to not make these etiquette mistakes!

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

  • Planning the wedding
  • Advice
  • Guest-blogger
  • Save-the-date
  • Bridal couple

This article is written by Ellie Coverdale

Choosing stationary and addressing wedding invitations is one of the better wedding planning tasks because you’re giving your guests a little preview into the wedding theme and details. In addition to the key information, you also have to give hints of the design and formality of the wedding. To make sure you’re doing it right, there are certain things you should know and mistakes to avoid. Keep the wedding plans on track by avoiding the 7 wedding invitation mistakes outlined below – not only will this help you have a great wedding with all the guests you want, but you can avoid an awkward faux pas or wedding etiquette failure.

1. Waiting too long to send invitations.

This is one of the most common mistakes because it’s easy to get sidetracked with other wedding preparations. However, it’s very important to dedicate the time you need to order your invitations, address them, and mail them out. The general wedding etiquette states that wedding invitations should go out two months before your wedding date. That means you should have two months in addition to that time (so four months in total) to order the stationary, proofread the invitations, and finalize everything before you send them out to the guests.

2. Bringing up the gift registry on the invitation.

According to Nancy Phillip, a wedding blogger at Academized and Uktopwriters , “it’s a big wedding invitation faux pas to send the registry information with the invite to the wedding. Instead, you should wait for guests to ask about where you’re registered before giving that information, or include it on a wedding website if you have one.”

3. Including the wrong postage for the invites.

Don’t want to miss out on the latest trends for your wedding?

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Wedding invitations are generally thicker and heavier than standard letters and cards. Before you mail them all out, you should bring a completed envelope to the post office and ask them to weigh it so you can find out if you have the right amount for postage. The last thing you want is to have your invitations returned to sender because you didn’t include enough postage.

4. Providing a suggested dress code for the wedding.

Your wedding invitation tone and design should indicate to your guests what kind of ceremony it will be and by extension the dress code. You shouldn’t mention the dress code on the invite; instead, be clear about how formal or casual the special day will be.

5. Not giving accurate directions to the venue.

It’s almost guaranteed that some of your guests will be from out of town, so proper wedding etiquette suggests that you provide direction cards. You don’t want anyone to get lost or bother you for directions on your wedding day, so be sure to include driving directions to both the ceremony and the reception.

6. Including details of the reception on the ceremony invite.

You should provide a separate reception card with the wedding invitation, especially if it will be at a different location than the ceremony. According to etiquette for wedding invitation, it’s especially important to do this if the reception guest list isn’t the same as the wedding ceremony guest list. If the reception and ceremony are in the same place with the same guest list, you may include a phrase saying that “reception immediately following”. You should also add the date for RSVPs on the wedding invitation or reception card.

7. Having spelling mistakes on the invitation.

It’s very important to have a friend with good writing and editing skills to review your invitation text – maybe ask more than one friend! As per Tanya Weisman, a writer at Best British Essays and Write My Australia , “surprisingly, a lot of invitations go out with mistakes that the stationer and the couple have all missed. This includes everything from the spelling of names to the addresses of the venues.”

Etiquette for wedding invites is helpful for answering some questions about what should be included on the invitation and what is best left out. You don’t need to follow every single etiquette rule, but by avoiding these common mistakes you can make sure that your family and friends are aware of all the appropriate details without feeling uncomfortable thinking about your special day details.

About the author

Ellie Coverdale is a lifestyle writer at Australian Reviewer and Paper Fellows . She enjoys sharing her tips and tricks on different lifestyle and wedding planning topics. She is always plugged in to the latest news and developments in lifestyle trends. She also teaches writing skills at Assignment help .

December 18, 2018

Biz Tip:

Man is a social animal. We set ourselves apart from animals by how we communicate and present ourselves. Similarly, the notion of a brand is built on how the brand portrays itself in the eyes of its customers and prospects. Out of the multiple channels of communications between a brand and a customer, an email is the only one where the conversation can be personalized based on the individual journey. While mistakes are bound to occur, it is important for marketers to avoid certain common email marketing faux pas.

Common Email Etiquette Mistakes

No welcome email

60% of subscribers expect a welcome email as soon as they subscribe to a brand. It is a great way to build a relation with your subscribers, but unfortunately 41% of brands miss out on making the first impression as they do not reach out even after 48 hours of subscription.

Remedy: A welcome email needs to be the first triggered email in your automation and the first communication your subscriber receives.

Not using emails as permission-based marketing

Most marketers assume that the subscriber is interested in everything under the sun that the brand caters to. However, this is not the case. In fact, it is the quickest route to getting unsubscribed as your subscribers will be overwhelmed by the number of emails they receive, most of which may not interest them at all.

Remedy: Since the implementation of data protection and privacy law GDPR, brands need to make sure that the subscriber provides permission for email communication to be sent. Additionally, brands have to take care to not send them something they have not opted for. Learn how important it is to implement GDPR in emails .

Need help? Let me sell it you

As per inbound methodology, a visitor subscribes to your email newsletter as they trust your brand can help solve their problems. Sometimes, email marketers tend to sell their products under the pretext of providing a solution.

Remedy: Customers don’t mind a small amount of sales pitch as long as you provide the valuable information they are looking for.

Not fixing on a sending schedule

Email marketers sometimes forget the importance of setting a sending schedule for their emails. By sending your emails at a time least expected by your subscribers, there is a higher chance that your email will be less effective by the time the subscriber opens it.

Remedy: By setting an email send schedule, you create anticipation amongst your subscribers and increase their expectations from your brand. Fixing your sending schedule also helps you to plan your emails better.

No list segmentation

This is one of the most common mistakes committed by email marketers. Sometimes, they send emails to a batch of their mailing list without list segmentation. As we stated earlier, sending emails that are of no interest to your subscriber can cost you their subscription.

Remedy: Always segment your list before sending the email. Move from segmentation based on demographics to customizing your list segmentation based on customer journey location.

Email series nightmare

Email marketers may set overlapping automation workflows wherein the subscriber starts getting multiple emails. While they may contain different messages, the subscriber in short gets spammed.

Remedy: Double check your email automation workflows for any gaps.

Clinging on to stop them from leaving

Sometimes things don’t work out and your subscriber wishes to unsubscribe, but marketers tend to hide or forget to add the unsubscribe link making it difficult to break the communication. When marketers manage their list manually, the customers who unsubscribed are not taken out of the list sometimes. This is a very costly mistake since it lowers your sender reputation.

Remedy: Always respect the request to unsubscribe and investigate the reason for their action to improve your campaign performance.

Email Copy Mistakes To Avoid

Improper punctuations & grammar

Regardless of what kind of business you are in, there is no excuse for poor grammar, especially punctuations. Your grammar is a reflection of your image and bad grammar can influence your subscriber in a negative way. Add to it improper formatting and your subscriber is already having trouble with your email moments after opening.

Remedy: Always proofread your email copy at least thrice before using a tool for spellchecking. Send the email only after the copy has been checked thoroughly.

Improper email tone

A spell-checked email copy is useless if it conveys the wrong tone. The prime areas where marketers tend to miss their footing in setting email tone is improper salutation, wrong choice of words or even how they sign off.

Remedy: Stick to the personality that your brand has. Addressing your subscribers with Hey becomes too intimate and should be used in conjunction with the subscriber’s first name. Hi or Hello sounds very formal, while you lose the personal touch by using generic terms such as Sir, Madam or Friend. The middle ground is using ‘Dear [First name]’.

“Domo Arigato, Mr. Oliver”

Addressing your subscriber with wrong personalization is one of the common mistakes that email marketers tend to commit. The root cause of the error exists in wrong list entry, wrong personalization tag or even the lack of a tag.

Remedy: Always prune your email lists for wrong entry and double check your merge tag syntax.

Wrapping Up

Your email is a reflection of you. When you commit such common email etiquette faux pas, not only does the brand’s personality get dented, but you also weaken the relation between you and your subscriber. Did we forget any other mistakes? Share your views in the comment section below.

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Are you looking for a list of cell phone etiquette mistakes to avoid? Bad cell phone etiquette, or for my fellow Australians, bad mobile phone etiquette, is something that everybody seems to have been irritated by at one time or another.

Maybe you’ve been in a movie theatre where somebody had neglected to turn off their cell phone irrespective of those mannerly reminders on the theatre screen.

Or maybe you’ve been in a conversation with a friend who has that outstanding ability to focus 100% on talking to you, and text at the same time.

Bad cell phone etiquette is rampant in many of today’s social and business settings.

As an etiquette expert, I want to encourage you to use good cell phone etiquette.

On your journey to good cell phone etiquette, I want to share with you the following 5 cell phone faux pas that you should avoid if you want to set a good example and make a positive impression.

Don’t Talk on Your Phone When You’re Ordering Your Morning Coffee

Ask any barista, and this is probably one of their highest rating pet-peeves. So much that it’s not uncommon for signs to appear on the counter stating something like, “If you’re too busy to place your order, then I’m too busy to serve you”.

Your local barista isn’t somebody you should disrespect. Apart from making your morning coffee, they can be a good source for referrals and connections for your business.

Don’t Answer Your Phone in the Movie Theatre

If you’ve forgotten to turn your mobile phone off, and it rings during the movie, don’t answer it in the theatre while you’re scurrying to move outside.

Not only would you have already annoyed your fellow theatre goers with the phone ringing, but if you pick up the phone and start talking inside the theatre, you’re only going to irritate them more.

Instead, immediately stop your phone from ringing, and then step outside to call that person back.

Don’t Cell Yell

You don’t have to yell into your phone so the person on the other end of the line can hear you. I guarantee you, they will hear you just fine if you speak at a normal conversational tone.

If you do have a tendency to cell yell that you can’t seem to break, simply cup your hand over your mouth when you’re talking into the phone.

This is something I picked up in Japan and it’s become so second nature, I automatically use it every time I’m speaking on my phone in a public place.

Don’t Choose an Offensive Ring

Although it’s tempting to personalise your ring with the latest hit phrase from your favourite movie, ask yourself: “Will this make me look professional if my boss hears it?”.

Your professional image is not only about the clothes you wear, your body language, or what you say in business meetings, it also extends to your phone, and the ring you’ve chosen for it.

Consider your phone to be a part of your professional outfit, just like your bag or belt.

Don’t Commit Phubbing

“Phubbing” is “the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention”.

The term was created as part of a campaign by the Macquarie Dictionary in Australia to encourage positive mobile phone use.

Phubbing is probably one of the biggest cell phone etiquette mistakes because it’s often made when you’re around people you care about.

By committing phubbing, you’re essentially snubbing, or ignoring your friends and family because there’s somebody else more important you need to connect with.

Here’s How You Can Deal With Phubbing

If you’re a victim of phubbing, I want to share with you a solution that I hope will help you deal with this situation.

Positive reinforcement often promotes positive behaviour (or good cell phone etiquette).

Instead of reprimanding the other person, you can compliment them on their good cell phone usage before they’ve even proven this to you.

For example, if you’re at lunch with a friend, at the beginning of the lunch reach into your bag for your cell phone and turn it off.

Say to your friend “You’re always very courteous with your cell phone when we have lunch, so I’m just going to turn mine off so I can focus 100% on you”.

This type of statement avoids reprimanding the other person and sets the expectation of cell phone usage during your lunch.

That person will hopefully want to be consistent with the image you’ve created of them (somebody with good cell phone etiquette) and will hopefully practice good cell phone etiquette during that lunch and in the future.

Now it’s over to you: What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to cell phone etiquette? Leave your comments in the section below.

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

Image courtesy of stock photos/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

When we are at a social or professional function, we usually gather in groups to dine together. But sometimes, lack of dining etiquette can create a very bad impression for you, both at the professional and personal level. At times, many people make mistakes without knowing it. Therefore it is imperative to learn table etiquettes properly.

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan6 Common Mistakes you must Avoid

There are some very simple rules that you need to keep in mind in order to avoid some common mistakes.

1. Cutlery

While talking several people wave their cutleries which look very odd and can lead to accidents too. Also after you have finished eating with a specific cutlery do not put it back on the table, but always on the plates. While placing the knives, be careful to place facing the inside of the plate.

2. Chewing

Never chew with your mouth open, it is considered to be a very bad manner. Also do not try to speak or laugh with the food inside your mouth, that way you might spill a lot of food on yourself and the plate. It is prudent not to speak too much while having food.

3. Napkins

It is considered a lack of dining etiquette to rub the napkin over your mouth. The correct way to use a napkin would be to dab it gently on near the mouth. Moreover, after the dinner, do not refold the napkin.

4. Bread Etiquette

Generally one kind of bread or the other is served with the meal. If bread and butter have been served, do not put butter on both sides of the bread or the entire roll of the bread at one go.

5. Speed

Remember, you do not have to eat as fast as it might look like you have a plane to catch. Take your time, relax and chew properly. Gulping down the food is both unhealthy as well as unattractive. So if you need to make a good impression at the table, take it easy.

6. Picking your Tooth

Even if you have a tiny morsel of food stuck in your teeth, do not pick in front of everyone, because it will most definitely put off your companion(s). If it is bothering you, excuse yourself and go to the restroom and pick it out.

If you avoid these simple mistakes you will be able to make good impression on the people who are dining with you.

— December 17, 2018

How to Avoid Etiquette Mistakes in Japan

Man is a social animal. We set ourselves apart from animals by how we communicate and present ourselves. Similarly, the notion of a brand is built on how the brand portrays itself in the eyes of its customers and prospects. Out of the multiple channels of communications between a brand and a customer, an email is the only one where the conversation can be personalized based on the individual journey. While mistakes are bound to occur, it is important for marketers to avoid certain common email marketing faux pas.

Common Email Etiquette Mistakes

No welcome email

60% of subscribers expect a welcome email as soon as they subscribe to a brand. It is a great way to build a relation with your subscribers, but unfortunately 41% of brands miss out on making the first impression as they do not reach out even after 48 hours of subscription.

Remedy: A welcome email needs to be the first triggered email in your automation and the first communication your subscriber receives.

Not using emails as permission-based marketing

Most marketers assume that the subscriber is interested in everything under the sun that the brand caters to. However, this is not the case. In fact, it is the quickest route to getting unsubscribed as your subscribers will be overwhelmed by the number of emails they receive, most of which may not interest them at all.

Remedy: Since the implementation of data protection and privacy law GDPR, brands need to make sure that the subscriber provides permission for email communication to be sent. Additionally, brands have to take care to not send them something they have not opted for. Learn how important it is to implement GDPR in emails .

Need help? Let me sell it you

As per inbound methodology, a visitor subscribes to your email newsletter as they trust your brand can help solve their problems. Sometimes, email marketers tend to sell their products under the pretext of providing a solution.

Remedy: Customers don’t mind a small amount of sales pitch as long as you provide the valuable information they are looking for.

Not fixing on a sending schedule

Email marketers sometimes forget the importance of setting a sending schedule for their emails. By sending your emails at a time least expected by your subscribers, there is a higher chance that your email will be less effective by the time the subscriber opens it.

Remedy: By setting an email send schedule, you create anticipation amongst your subscribers and increase their expectations from your brand. Fixing your sending schedule also helps you to plan your emails better.

No list segmentation

This is one of the most common mistakes committed by email marketers. Sometimes, they send emails to a batch of their mailing list without list segmentation. As we stated earlier, sending emails that are of no interest to your subscriber can cost you their subscription.

Remedy: Always segment your list before sending the email. Move from segmentation based on demographics to customizing your list segmentation based on customer journey location.

Email series nightmare

Email marketers may set overlapping automation workflows wherein the subscriber starts getting multiple emails. While they may contain different messages, the subscriber in short gets spammed.

Remedy: Double check your email automation workflows for any gaps.

Clinging on to stop them from leaving

Sometimes things don’t work out and your subscriber wishes to unsubscribe, but marketers tend to hide or forget to add the unsubscribe link making it difficult to break the communication. When marketers manage their list manually, the customers who unsubscribed are not taken out of the list sometimes. This is a very costly mistake since it lowers your sender reputation.

Remedy: Always respect the request to unsubscribe and investigate the reason for their action to improve your campaign performance.

Email Copy Mistakes To Avoid

Improper punctuations & grammar

Regardless of what kind of business you are in, there is no excuse for poor grammar, especially punctuations. Your grammar is a reflection of your image and bad grammar can influence your subscriber in a negative way. Add to it improper formatting and your subscriber is already having trouble with your email moments after opening.

Remedy: Always proofread your email copy at least thrice before using a tool for spellchecking. Send the email only after the copy has been checked thoroughly.

Improper email tone

A spell-checked email copy is useless if it conveys the wrong tone. The prime areas where marketers tend to miss their footing in setting email tone is improper salutation, wrong choice of words or even how they sign off.

Remedy: Stick to the personality that your brand has. Addressing your subscribers with Hey becomes too intimate and should be used in conjunction with the subscriber’s first name. Hi or Hello sounds very formal, while you lose the personal touch by using generic terms such as Sir, Madam or Friend. The middle ground is using ‘Dear [First name]’.

“Domo Arigato, Mr. Oliver”

Addressing your subscriber with wrong personalization is one of the common mistakes that email marketers tend to commit. The root cause of the error exists in wrong list entry, wrong personalization tag or even the lack of a tag.

Remedy: Always prune your email lists for wrong entry and double check your merge tag syntax.

Wrapping Up

Your email is a reflection of you. When you commit such common email etiquette faux pas, not only does the brand’s personality get dented, but you also weaken the relation between you and your subscriber. Did we forget any other mistakes? Share your views in the comment section below.

Author: Kevin George

Kevin is the Head of Marketing at EmailMonks, one of the fastest growing Email design and coding companies. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He is a brand magician who loves to engage, share insights with fellow marketers. Check out Kevin’s email tutorials and articles at… View full profile ›