Well-groomed manners are still considered a sign of a trained personality. They signal an interest in a civilized way of dealing with People and show with it Respect and respect for other people.

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Greetings and greetings

Let's start with greetings - greetings are always done in passing, from a Distance out and is verbal.

The rule in business:

Whereby the rule in 21. Century applies:


"Kiss-the-Hand', 'Gnädige Frau', 'Frau Doctor' or 'Frau Hofrat'.


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Contrary to verbal greeting, welcoming is connected with physical contact. They shake hands and change at least a few words.

The official order of greeting:

Examples from everyday life:

Respect in a natural way when people do not want to be greeted with a handshake. Do not consider this a personal refusal.

Handshake and body language

Note the different handoutsRegulate in the private and business sphere. The right to shake hands first has: privately the lady and a clearly older person; professionally, the person one level (or more) higher on the "hierarchy ladder". But never leave a hand stretched out to you in greeting "hanging in the air". That's very rude.

The role of the host

If you are in the role of the host or host, remember that your job is to reach out to guests. In case of equal status, give priority to foreign guests over domestic ones.

Respect greeting habits of foreign guests. Do not force a handshake on them if they are unknown or unpopular in that country, such as Japan.

willingness to talk

Don't forget that a handshake is a willingness to one Conversation signaled. If you are in a hurry, decide If necessary, ask for a (verbal) greeting.

Remember that older people in the Background are brought up: only a handshake is really polite. Above all, pay attention to the quality of your handshake: not too slack, not too firm, not too short, not too long and never with a sweaty hand - and don't shake it.

For example:

A couple comes up to you, and the man reaches out to you - because something is going in front of his wife - first of all. Then do not measure him by walking past him and first greeting the woman. Discretely ignore any faux pas of others.

Get up at the welcome

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In business today, women stand up when they say hello. Private she could remain seated unless an elderly person or important person is being greeted, yes Womenwho are used to getting up at work do the same in private life. Getting up has klare Benefits for the woman: they encounter their interlocutor on eye level, show respect and can influence the distance zone.

The man always gets up at the welcome - professionally as well as privately - and closes a button of his jacket (with the 2 button jacket always the upper button.) In the 3 button jacket the middle button or the upper two buttons).

Hand kiss: kisses, kisses

It still exists - the hand kiss. The lips must never touch the hand, they are not sharpened and a smacking must not be heard! The woman's hand is at chest height at the hand kiss, the man bends down and does not pull the woman's hand up.

In Austria, the kiss on the hand is still widespread, especially in Vienna. In the Business should be avoided today.

Bussi-Bussi: What about the cheek kiss?

It happens again and again that people come up to you and greet you with a kiss on the cheek. Often you no longer have the opportunity to ward it off because it is so fast goes. It's inappropriate in business, especially if you're not very familiar with that person.

If this type of familiar greeting is already chosen, then note that the kiss is only hinted or breathed. Most of the right cheek kisses the right of the opposite ...

Keep closeness and distance

In the greeting, we reach out to each other's hands, not only having a strong handshake, but also paying attention to the distance zone. In our culture, the distance between the two people is an arm's length - if we do not know each other.

Unintended closeness

Only people who are very important and close to us, we would like to get closer to us, for example, family members and friends.

In the lift or on public transport, people are often unintentionally too close. People compensate for that with her Behavior – They try not to make eye contact with other people and thus create distance.

Maintaining a reasonable distance

By maintaining an appropriate distance from the person you are talking to, you ensure a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere in the conversation. If you get too close to your conversation partner, your counterpart will not feel comfortable feel.

The perception of these distances is very different depending on the culture. Proxemists research the spatial behavior of people and found four distance zones, which are not fixed quantities, however, because the spatial behavior of people towards one another is dependent not only on their current position but also on cultural norms, gender, Job or the temperament of the communication partner:

The intimate zone (familiar ones, lovers...) extends to about 60 cm, the personal zone (good friends, acquaintances, Family) from 50 to 150 cm, and the societal or social zone (people who communicate with each other in social functions) from 150 to 360 cm. The public zone (theater performances, lectures) is larger than 360 cm.

Saying goodbye

Take the chance that your customers/guests also get a pleasant last impression of your entrepreneur. Say goodbye with a handshake, accompany your visitor to the exit or at least to the lift and sometimes even to the car.

In general, the further you meet a person, the more Esteem bring it to him. This also applies to the farewell:

The further you accompany a customer, the more he feels respected! After all, the last impression is the most important thing, because it is the lasting one!

Imagining, advertising and self-image

When introducing and advertising the following rules apply:

In privacy:

... made known

In business life:

… presented

This means:


In the self-presentation, there are the following options:

It is more personal and more concise to say the first name and surname, both in personal self-perception and on the phone. The own title is omitted.

Never imagine yourself as "Mrs. Weber" or "Mr. Gruber", but always as "Eva Weber" / "Franz Gruber.

The order of introducing and advertising in the business:

This is all about rank - regardless of Age and gender.

Examples at work:

Examples of private life:

Addressing informally and addressing formally

In German-speaking countries, it is customary to first person to people who we do not know.

The “du” should never be imposed – especially in a professional context. Ideally, the person being asked should always have the opportunity to say no without embarrassment. The you is an offer and can also be used in the Companys not an order unless it is part of the company culture.

If you are unsure whether a person is suitable for another person, you can also have a third party ask you for permission or disapproval.

Who offers whom to you?

In business, there may be situations where you trump colleagues / supervisors, even though you are usually by you. At official events, customer discussions or in dealing with employees, this professional tone of conversation can be an advantage.

Of course, the people involved must understand why this is necessary in a specific situation. The decisive factor in this case is that there is no asymmetry in the relationship (to the customer). Often the "official you" is already sufficient: "Mr. Weber, please bring me the folder number 4".

Do you reject the offer?

If it is inappropriate in daily business life, you can refuse the offered you friendly, but definitely. It is usually helpful to use the word "respect" for it.

In the professional life rejecting you is already a sensitive thing. However, anyone who refuses a du-offer in private life does not make friends.

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