Etiquette has always been an important part of life, be it social or business. However, it seems that business etiquette has become more important in the last decade.
In today’s competitive world of business where there is very little difference between goods and services from one company to another, what set one’s business apart from the competitors are one’s relationships and one’s people skills. And the best way to improve people skills is to learn and use the rules of business etiquette.
Classic rules of business etiquette
You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Dress in appropriate attire. Know the difference between formal and casual and how to dress in specific business settings.
It is a place of business so understand the importance of business rules in general to your place of work.
Limit the amount of conversation regarding your personal life.
Understand basic rules of dining etiquette (when in doubt watch the host)
Understand how to introduce and address people properly. Remember the classic hello and a smile still goes a long way.
E-mail communication should always be a well-written memo not of a casual conversation. Remember e-mails have a tone. Tone is the quality in your writing that reveals your attitude toward your topic and reader. Telephone manners are critical. Be upbeat. Put on your “inner smile.”
Accountability is a key ingredient to successful business etiquette repertoire. To be accountable is more than being responsible. You need to do what you say you are going to do.
Practice proper meeting etiquette by being on time, prepared and willing to participate.
Unfavorable business behavior
- Unprofessional office attire
- Arriving at work and not acknowledging fellow co-workers
- Speaking loudly across the room
- Cell phone rudeness
Nicole Griffin is the founder and president of Griffin Staffing Network in Springfield, MA. She is a visionary who is passionate about entrepreneurship and empowering others through employment opportunities and career development. Nicole serves on several boards and committees. In 2014 Nicole received the Business West 40 under 40 Rising Star Award and in 2015 received the National Urban League Community Builder’s Award.
Article originally appeared in March 2012 edition of Lioness
Photo courtesy of normalityrelief [FLICKR]