Business Etiquette

Business etiquette is in essence about building relationships with people. In the business world, it is people that influence your success or failure. Etiquette, and in particular business etiquette, is simply a means of maximising your business potential.

If you feel comfortable around someone and vice versa, better communication and mutual trust will develop. This comfort zone is realised through presenting yourself effectively. Business etiquette helps you achieve this.

Business etiquette revolves around two things. Firstly, thoughtful consideration of the interests and feelings of others and secondly, minimising misunderstandings. Both are dependent upon self conduct. Business etiquette polishes this conduct.

Business etiquette varies from region to region and country to country. For the international business person, focusing too deeply on international business etiquette would leave no time for business. However, there are some key pillars upon which good business etiquette is built.

Behaviour

Your manners and attitude will speak volumes about you. They will point to your inner character. If you come across selfish, undisciplined or uncouth your relationship is unlikely to prosper. Appropriate business etiquette promotes positive traits.

Honesty

A reputation for delivering what you say will deliver goes a long way in the business world. Remember, a reputation for integrity is slowly gained but quickly lost. Understanding a particular country’s business etiquette provides a framework in which you can work without fear of crossing boundaries in terms of agreements, promises and contracts.

Character

Your character refers to what you as an individual bring to the business table. Proper business etiquette allows you to exhibit your positive qualities. For example, knowing when to be passionate and not emotional or self-confident without being arrogant. Just through learning another’s business etiquette you demonstrate an open-mindedness which will earn respect.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity and consideration underlie all good business etiquette. Being prepared for foreign ways and methods and responding thoughtfully is achieved through experience and business etiquette know-how. By avoiding misunderstandings and misinterpretations through business etiquette you lay foundations for a strong business relationship.

Diplomacy

Avoiding thoughtless words and actions protects you from negative consequences. Impulse often leads a business person astray. Business etiquette encourages the careful thought of the interests of others and choosing acceptable forms of expression.

Appearance

Dressing appropriately, standing and sitting in the right place at the right time, good posture and looking physically presentable are all elements in making a good impression. Business etiquette teaches you how to suitably present yourself and what to avoid.

Analysing, understanding and implementing the above will help you recognise what business etiquette is and how it should be employed within the business world.

For the international business person business, etiquette acts as a key. It locks the doors of poor communication and misunderstandings and opens doors to successful business relationships.

Business Etiquette – Are you Making These Mistakes in Business Etiquette?

Business etiquette is changing as quickly as the business world is evolving. The old etiquette rules no longer apply. Are you making these etiquette mistakes? If so, it may cost you success in your career or business. Don’t worry. Here are the solutions to your business etiquette questions.

Business etiquette mistake #1: Poor dining etiquette

Poor table etiquette ranges from not knowing which place setting is yours, to talking with your mouth full, chomping into a roll or not passing the bread basket. There are many ways to make a “crumby” impression with table etiquette.

Solution: Brush up on your table manners, either by getting help from someone who knows, or buying a book or How-to Guide to help you. Don’t risk losing a client, contract or job because of faux pas at the table.

Business etiquette mistake #2: Not treating business cards with respect

In North America business cards are treated quite casually. But in other cultures, business cards are considered part of a business person’s persona, and writing on their cards is considered very bad etiquette.

Solution: Don’t write on anyone’s cards if you can help it. If you absolutely must write something important and have nowhere else to write it, ask them first if you can write on their card. Then write on the back, not the front of the card.

Business etiquette mistake #3: Sending sloppy email

Email is a quick form of communication. But when emails become difficult to understand due to poor spelling and grammar, and unclear writing, you lost credibility.

Solution: Take a few extra seconds to read your message before you send it. Emails are still a form of written communication that can be saved and passed around, and poor writing will reflect badly on you.

Business etiquette mistake #4: Lack of cell phone etiquette

Common faux pas of cell phone etiquette include taking a call when you are with a client or your boss, and talking too loudly in public about confidential matters.

Solution: Turn off your cell phone in meetings and focus your attention on the meeting or on your client. When taking a call in a public place, keep it brief and private as much as possible, and don’t shout into the phone.

Business etiquette mistake #5: Putting people in Voice Mail Jail

Not responding to voice mail within an appropriate amount of time, and not leaving a clear message that moves the conversation ahead.

Solution: Try to respond to voice mail within 24 hours. If you are away from the office, leave a message telling callers who to contact, or when you will get back to them. When you call someone, leave a clear message that moves the conversation to the next step.

You are invited to use these solutions to the biggest business etiquette mistakes, to help you have good etiquette in the business world.

You’re also invited to receive a free report: “Breakthrough Communication Skills” packed with powerful tips for business success, at [http://www.ImpressforSuccess.com] when you join my Communication Capsules newsletter.

Powerful Business Etiquette Tips

Have you observed social gaffes and just plain inappropriate behavior at business meetings? Have you ever seen someone make a fool of themselves in a business meeting? Do you feel comfortable in knowing what to do as proper business etiquette in a business meeting? It is very important to know proper business etiquette because it is very critical to your image and the relationship building process.

In my business career and in particular, during my business coaching endeavors, I have learned some very powerful tips to help avoid mistakes in business etiquette that are so easy to make. Your strategic thinking business coach wants to share ten (10) of my favorites. Here they are:

Business Etiquette Tip #1: Always pay attention when someone is talking with you. This is one of the best tips and a great compliment to give the other person.

Business Etiquette Tip #2: Use a firm handshake when being introduced to someone. This shows confidence, warmth, openness and sincerity. Avoid a strong aggressive grip handshake, which makes you appear insensitive and domineering.

Business Etiquette Tip #3: Only speak after the other person has stopped talking. It is very rude to interrupt. This will indicate you are polite and will enable you to listen better, which will enhance your becoming a great conversationalist.

Business Etiquette Tip #4: When speaking, use a calm and even voice and a volume to suit the business situation.

Business Etiquette Tip #5: Dress appropriately for the business meeting situation only “dress down” only the host or hostess of the meeting has given permission.

Business Etiquette Tip #6: Squarely face the person you are speaking with and avoid turning your body away from that person. This behavior can be insulting and very negative.

Business Etiquette Tip #7: Always obey the rules about smoking. Remember that when you light up to smoke you will be instantly disliked by those who do not like smoke and even by those people that do.

Business Etiquette Tip #8: When drinking alcohol, always hold your drink in your left hand. This enables you to shake someone’s hand with your right hand. And it keeps your right hand dry and warm. And remember to always control your drinking!

Business Etiquette Tip #9: Record the person’s name, along with contact and personal and business information in your personal organizer. Visualize the person as you do this and repeat their name aloud a few times also.

Business Etiquette Tip #10: Always respect the other person’s “comfort zone” which is about 3 feet around a person’s body. Be sensitive to avoid standing too close and invading the person’s “comfort zone” which will cause them to dislike your intimidating and insensitive behavior. And be careful with touching gestures. The only safe place to touch another person is the hand when you shake hands.