Business Etiquette

By Rosalyn L. (@MsRosalynOfficial)

What is business etiquette?

Business etiquette is a set of manners that is accepted or required in a profession. Often upheld by custom, it is enforced by the members of an organization. Those who violate business etiquette are considered offensive. The penalty for such behavior frequently lies in the disapproval of other organization members.

Business etiquette is important because it creates a professional, mutually respectful atmosphere and improves communication, which helps an office serve as a productive place. People feel better about their jobs when they feel respected, and that translates into better customer relationships as well.

To help you define the type of manners or behavior that are expected in your workplace, consider the following:

How do you treat clients or customers?

How do you treat your coworkers and supervisor?

How do you conduct yourself in your cubicle or office?

How do you conduct yourself during meetings?

What kind of email messages do you send?

Do you follow a dress code?

How do you conduct yourself in the break room?

How do you conduct yourself during business-sponsored social events?

How do you conduct yourself during training events?

How do you conduct yourself on the telephone?

Improving business etiquette

Improving your business etiquette can have a positive impact on your career. Remember to use common courtesy. Adopt the “you” attitude—consider others’ needs and feelings first. This behavior leads to good manners and common courtesy, thereby improving your business etiquette.

Examples of courteous behavior include:

Using please and thank you as appropriate

Addressing others using Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms. unless otherwise requested

Speaking clearly and distinctly while using a pleasant tone of voice

Maintaining eye contact

Smiling and offering a firm handshake when meeting someone new

Writing thank-you notes and letters of appreciation, congratulations, and condolence as appropriate.

Failing to display proper business etiquette won’t help your career, but engaging in unprofessional conduct could result in losing a promotion or even your job.

You can improve your business etiquette skills by:

Conducting some research. When at work, pay attention to the manners and habits of your supervisor, mentor, senior management, and other key players. If you are unsure about displaying proper etiquette, consider asking your supervisor or mentor for advice.

Improvement is important.

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