Cards from Corporate: To whom does a new Director send holiday cards?

Q: Our Director of Sales has been with us for about 3 weeks. It’s time to send out the Holiday cards to our clients but he doesn’t really know them yet and some may not even know we have a new Director of Sales. Is it appropriate to enclose his business card in the Christmas card? Should he write a note in each card (we’re talking over 100 cards) explaining who he is? Or should he only send cards to the clients he’s met?

A: He would send cards only to clients he has met, and then it would be nice for management to send a letter introducing him to all the clients he has not yet met so when he pays a call or telephones they will know who he is.

Gifting Your Boss: How much is too much?

Q: In regards to business gift giving, is it appropriate as a group to give the boss an impressive Christmas gift ($150-$200) each year? The boss always takes these 8 people out for a holiday lunch, which is nice. But the gift to the boss seems excessive and feels awkward.

A: In an office, individuals may contribute to a group Christmas gift. The value of the gift doesn’t have to be based on what the boss spends for a holiday lunch but what the individuals can afford and want to give toward a group gift. It’s a matter of choice.

Gender Neutral Niceties: Who extends their hand first?

Q: When meeting in a business environment, should a woman extend her hand first to shake hands, should the man be the one to extend his hand first, or does it make no difference?

A: Traditionally speaking, when a woman and man were introduced, it was up to the woman to extend her hand first, or choose not to, and simply smile and say, “Hello. Pleasure to meet you.” If the man did happen to extend his hand first, then she had to accept it, for nothing is more rude than rebuffing a courtesy.

In a business situation, etiquette is as gender neutral as possible – it does not matter who extends their hand first.