Business etiquette is not just knowing what to discuss during a business dinner or how to address colleagues; it is a way of presenting yourself in such a way that you will be taken seriously. This involves demonstrating that you have the self-control necessary to be good at your job, expressing a knowledge of business situations and having the ability to make other comfortable around you. Poor business etiquette can cost you the trust of your workers and your customers, and the loss of valuable business opportunities
One of the most basic elements of business etiquette is courtesy, or respect, which should be displayed to the people you work with, including your customers, no matter what. You should consider the feelings of others and address conflicts in a straightforward and impersonal manner. Raising your voice, using bad language and interrupting others is discourteous and shows disrespect for others. People who are disrespectful may find themselves losing credibility and the respect of their peers.
Show others that you value their work by taking time to visit and talk with them. This can include not only your immediate colleagues, but also people who work under you, such as secretaries and janitorial staff. These people can help you look more professional and will go the extra mile for you if you treat them with respect. Make time to actually talk to people; do not rush off immediately after exchanging greetings. You can also create a database of your colleagues and contacts, in which you list their birthdays, spouses’ names and birthdays, etc. Send a card or word of congratulations when an important event occurs in their lives. Such thoughtfulness will help you build better relationships.
Business etiquette involves communicating effectively. This includes always returning phone calls and emails. When calling or receiving a call, you should always identify yourself and your department, and speak in a polite and considerate manner. Personalize the conversation with a short question about the other person rather than rushing straight into business. This will help you to make a connection with your caller. When sending an email, use a specific subject line and keep the message businesslike and not overly personal or casual.
Dress and Appearance
Good business etiquette includes dressing appropriately. This shows consideration for others, and indicates that you take yourself and your job seriously. An unkempt appearance indicates that you do not care about yourself or respect those around you. When you are unsure what type of dress is required, it is best to err on the conservative side. For work-related social events, do not be afraid to ask what the dress code will be. Remember that even if you are dressing down, such as for a casual Friday, it is still important to practice good grooming.
Peers, Subordinates and Superiors
Good etiquette involves showing respect not only to your superiors, but also to your peers and subordinates; in other words, to everyone. If you treat everyone with respect, you will avoid making costly mistakes and experiencing discomfort by accidentally treating a superior in a disrespectful way. A consistently respectful attitude will also build your credibility within the business or industry. Showing respect also means refraining from gossip and from being critical and negative to or about others.
Need for Etiquette
- Etiquette makes you a cultured individual who leaves his mark wherever he goes.
- Etiquette teaches you the way to talk, walk and most importantly behave in the society.
- Etiquette is essential for an everlasting first impression. The way you interact with your superiors, parents, fellow workers, friends speak a lot about your personality and up- bringing.
- Etiquette enables the individuals to earn respect and appreciation in the society. No one would feel like talking to a person who does not know how to speak or behave in the society. Etiquette inculcates a feeling of trust and loyalty in the individuals. One becomes more responsible and mature. Etiquette helps individuals to value relationships.
Types of Etiquette
- Social Etiquette- Social etiquette is important for an individual as it teaches him how to behave in the society.
- Bathroom Etiquette- Bathroom etiquette refers to the set of rules which an individual needs to follow while using public restrooms or office toilets. Make sure you leave the restroom clean and tidy for the other person.
- Corporate Etiquette- Corporate Etiquette refers to how an individual should behave while he is at work. Each one needs to maintain the decorum of the organization. Don’t loiter around unnecessary or peep into other’s cubicles.
- Wedding Etiquette- Wedding is a special event in every one’s life. Individuals should ensure they behave sensibly at weddings. Never be late to weddings or drink uncontrollably.
- Meeting Etiquette- Meeting Etiquette refers to styles one need to adopt when he is attending any meeting, seminar, presentation and so on. Listen to what the other person has to say. Never enter meeting room without a notepad and pen. It is important to jot down important points for future reference.
- Telephone Etiquette- It is essential to learn how one should interact with the other person over the phone. Telephone etiquette refers to the way an individual should speak on the phone. Never put the other person on long holds. Make sure you greet the other person. Take care of your pitch and tone.
- Eating Etiquette- Individuals must follow certain decorum while eating in public. Don’t make noise while eating. One should not leave the table unless and until everyone has finished eating.
- Business Etiquette- Business Etiquette includes ways to conduct a certain business. Don’t ever cheat customers. It is simply unethical.