In business as in life, there are certain situations where only common sense is needed to have appropriate etiquette. Anyone with decent judgment should know that it’s never OK to scream profanities at your boss, steal someone else’s lunch from the refrigerator or fall asleep in your cubicle.
Yet there are some etiquette gray areas where right and wrong aren’t always as easily defined. And it’s especially tough to crack these protocol codes when you’re new to the working world or you’ve just joined a company.
In these situations, the first step you should take to better understand your company’s business customs is to ask your manager. “As a success and business coach, I find that having a transparent discussion with your boss at the start of your work avoids many of these uncomfortable situations,” says Laura Lee Rose, owner and certified business/life coach at Rose Coaching.
But you may not always have easy access to your boss, or you may not feel comfortable having these types of discussions with your manager. To help, Rose and other career and etiquette experts weigh in on what actions to take in some of the most confusing business situations.