Define Business Etiquette

Business etiquette

Business etiquette is about more than knowing where to sit.

Restaurant image by René Schulz from Fotolia.com

Related Articles

  • 1 [Business Etiquette Important] | Why is Business Etiquette Important?
  • 2 [Business Etiquette] | Importance of Business Etiquette
  • 3 [Business Etiquette] | The 10 Basics of Business Etiquette
  • 4 [Business Etiquette] | Advantages in Business Etiquette

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.

Courtesy

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.

Building Relationships

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.

Communication

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.

References (3)

  • Ravenwerks Global Ethics, Etiquette and Effectiveness: Business Etiquette – More Than Just Eating with the Right Fork
  • Bloomberg Business Exchange: Business Etiquette
  • Business Etiquette: 101 Ways to Conduct Business with Charm amp; Savvy ; Ann Marie Sabath; 2002

About the Author

Since graduating with a degree in biology, Lisa Magloff has worked in many countries. Accordingly, she specializes in writing about science and travel and has written for publications as diverse as the Snowmass Sun and Caterer Middle East. With numerous published books and newspaper and magazine articles to her credit, Magloff has an eclectic knowledge of everything from cooking to nuclear reactor maintenance.



American Business Etiquette

by Claire Valenty on January 23, 2010

Business etiquette

In the United States business is conducted at the speed of light!

Being one of the largest economies of the world, its business practices are generally very well respected. But when going to the United States, remember that the Americans like to be efficient and quick with their work.

So what should you expect on the first meeting with a potential client?

1. A corporate gift

2. Product specs and a final contract

3. Rounds and rounds of drinks before getting to business!

Yup, number 3 isn’t even a remote option when conducting business in US. American business etiquette dictates that gift giving in business context doesn’t happen until the deal is closed, especially between men! Although there aren’t any taboos about gift giving, gifts from your local country or culture are always appreciated.

So yes number 2 is the correct answer. American business people are so eager and quick that expect many sales reps to travel with a final contract just in case! Business talk is started after a very small exchange of words.

In short, Americans like to get down to business!

So, American business etiquettes say that punctuality is a must. The bad thing is that in major American cities traffic delays are normal. So when leaving for an appointment, make haste! If you have been invited to a dinner, being on time is very crucial to your image.

Some more points to keep in consideration:

* Keep at least an arms length distance when conversing.

* Business is usually conducted on a more direct, first name basis.

* Americans smile a lot, even at strangers. They appreciate it if their smiles are returned.

* Eye contact is important when shaking someone’s hand. But keep a firm grip!

* “See you later” is just an expression. People say this even if they never plan to see you again.

* Americans prefer directness in communication. Yes means yes and No means no!

But all this informality doesn’t mean you forget your manners! Words like “thank you”, “please”, “excuse me” should be used regularly.

A word of caution: American business etiquette requires that American women be treated no differently than men. American women don’t appreciate the gender- related “special help” that most Asian and Middle Eastern men usually find OK. So, whenever going to lunch, keep in mind that whoever invites pays!



Define Business Etiquette

Business etiquette

Business etiquette is about more than knowing where to sit.

Restaurant image by René Schulz from Fotolia.com

Related Articles

  • 1 [Business Etiquette Important] | Why is Business Etiquette Important?
  • 2 [Business Etiquette] | Importance of Business Etiquette
  • 3 [Business Etiquette] | The 10 Basics of Business Etiquette
  • 4 [Business Etiquette] | Advantages in Business Etiquette

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.

Courtesy

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.

Building Relationships

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.

Communication

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.

References (3)

  • Ravenwerks Global Ethics, Etiquette and Effectiveness: Business Etiquette – More Than Just Eating with the Right Fork
  • Bloomberg Business Exchange: Business Etiquette
  • Business Etiquette: 101 Ways to Conduct Business with Charm amp; Savvy ; Ann Marie Sabath; 2002

About the Author

Since graduating with a degree in biology, Lisa Magloff has worked in many countries. Accordingly, she specializes in writing about science and travel and has written for publications as diverse as the Snowmass Sun and Caterer Middle East. With numerous published books and newspaper and magazine articles to her credit, Magloff has an eclectic knowledge of everything from cooking to nuclear reactor maintenance.



American Business Etiquette

by Claire Valenty on January 23, 2010

Business etiquette

In the United States business is conducted at the speed of light!

Being one of the largest economies of the world, its business practices are generally very well respected. But when going to the United States, remember that the Americans like to be efficient and quick with their work.

So what should you expect on the first meeting with a potential client?

1. A corporate gift

2. Product specs and a final contract

3. Rounds and rounds of drinks before getting to business!

Yup, number 3 isn’t even a remote option when conducting business in US. American business etiquette dictates that gift giving in business context doesn’t happen until the deal is closed, especially between men! Although there aren’t any taboos about gift giving, gifts from your local country or culture are always appreciated.

So yes number 2 is the correct answer. American business people are so eager and quick that expect many sales reps to travel with a final contract just in case! Business talk is started after a very small exchange of words.

In short, Americans like to get down to business!

So, American business etiquettes say that punctuality is a must. The bad thing is that in major American cities traffic delays are normal. So when leaving for an appointment, make haste! If you have been invited to a dinner, being on time is very crucial to your image.

Some more points to keep in consideration:

* Keep at least an arms length distance when conversing.

* Business is usually conducted on a more direct, first name basis.

* Americans smile a lot, even at strangers. They appreciate it if their smiles are returned.

* Eye contact is important when shaking someone’s hand. But keep a firm grip!

* “See you later” is just an expression. People say this even if they never plan to see you again.

* Americans prefer directness in communication. Yes means yes and No means no!

But all this informality doesn’t mean you forget your manners! Words like “thank you”, “please”, “excuse me” should be used regularly.

A word of caution: American business etiquette requires that American women be treated no differently than men. American women don’t appreciate the gender- related “special help” that most Asian and Middle Eastern men usually find OK. So, whenever going to lunch, keep in mind that whoever invites pays!



The Web’s leading resource for

Business etiquette

Click on the country you want more information about

Welcome to your information source for international business etiquette, manners, and cross cultural communication. As global business continues to expand and bring everyone closer, the critical element of a successful business outcome may be the appreciation and respect for regional, country, and cultural differences – known as cultural diversity and requiring good intercultural communication. In these pages you will find a wealth of information and resources on international business etiquette and manners to utilize during your international travels and overseas assignments. In fact, you may want to print a copy to review during your next international flight.

Business etiquette Etiquette, manners, and cross cultural, or intercultural communication have become critical elements required for all International and Global Business executives, managers, and employees. As international, multinational, transnational, multi domestic, and global business continues to expand and bring people closer, the most important element of successful business outcomes may be the appreciation and respect for regional, country, and cultural differences – known as cultural diversity.

Business etiquetteLearning the skills of proper etiquette, manners, and intercultural communication contained in these pages of the International Business Etiquette and Manners website will give you a wealth of information and resources that you can immediately apply during your international business travels and overseas assignments. In fact, you may want to print a copy to review during your next international flight.

Business etiquette This Site is recommended and used by college professors to teach their business school students the importance of understanding the uniqueness of cultures around the world and how to apply the skills of proper business etiquette and manners to become more successful. Geert Hofstede’s work on cultural dimensions has been integrated into each Country’s page to help students better understand underlying cultural differences.

Each Country’s page on this Site has the following format:

Business etiquetteBrief description of the country’s population, cultural heritage, language, and religion.

Business etiquetteSpecial or unique notes, thoughts, or comments about the country

Business etiquetteHaving insight into the cultural dynamics of a country can be very helpful to understand why people act the way they do, and the appropriate way you should act while in that country. To assist with this understanding, each country page contains a Geert Hofstede Analysis. Geert Hofstede developed a model that identifies four primary dimensions to differentiate cultures. Explanation of Geert Hofstede Dimensions and see Hofstede Scores

Business etiquetteHighlights the religious diversification within the country

Business etiquetteHighlights business etiquette do’s and don’ts involving Dress, Clothing, Body Language, and Gestures

Business etiquetteHighlights business etiquette do’s and don’ts involving Dining, Gifts, Meetings, and General behavioral guidelines

Business etiquetteHighlights business etiquette do’s and don’ts involving Greetings, Introductions, and Conversational guidelines

Business etiquetteA guide is located at the bottom of each Country’s Page listing Websites and reading materials applicable to that Country.



#business etiquette

#

Skills – Workplace Etiquette

Making Positive Impressions

How you present yourself to others in the business world speaks volumes. People often form first impressions about others within seconds of first meeting them therefore it is crucial to ensure you are properly prepared to present yourself as a professional. Here are some important tips towards making a good impression.

  • Stand straight, make eye contact, turn towards people when they are speaking, and genuinely smile at people.
  • Follow your office dress code, perhaps dressing a step above the norm for your office.
  • Your briefcase or bag and the things you carry in them say something about you. Messy items may detract from the image you would like to present.
  • When meeting someone for the first time, be sure to shake hands palm to palm with a gentle firmness.
  • Be alert. Sleepiness looks bad in the workplace.
  • Kindness and courtesy count!
  • Arrive early to work each day.

People

How you treat people says a lot about you.

  • Learn names and learn them quickly. A good tip for remembering names is to use a person’s name three times within your first conversation with them. Also, write names down and keep business cards. People know when you don’t know their names and may interpret this as a sign that you don’t value them.
  • Don’t make value judgments on people’s importance in the workplace. Talk to the maintenance staff members and to the people who perform many of the administrative support functions. These people deserve your respect!
  • Self-assess: Think about how you treat your supervisor(s), peers, and subordinates. Would the differences in the relationships, if seen by others, cast you in an unfavorable light? If so, find where the imbalance exists, and start the process of reworking the relationship dynamic.
  • What you share with others about your personal life is your choice, but be careful. Things can come back to haunt you. Don’t ask others to share their personal lives with you. This makes many people uncomfortable in the work space.
  • Respect people’s personal space. This may be very different than your own.

Communicating

It’s sometimes not what you say, but how you say it that counts!

  • Return phone calls and emails within 24 hours – even if only to say that you will provide requested information at a later date.
  • Ask before putting someone on speakerphone.
  • Personalize your voice mail – there’s nothing worse than just hearing a phone number on someone’s voice mail and not knowing if you are leaving a message with the correct person. People may not even leave messages.
  • Emails at work should be grammatically correct and free of spelling errors. They should not be treated like personal email.
  • When emailing, use the subject box, and make sure it directly relates to what you are writing. This ensures ease in finding it later and a potentially faster response.
  • Never say in an email anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.
  • Underlining, italicizing, bolding, coloring, and changing font size can make a mild email message seem overly strong or aggressive.

Meetings

This can easily be the most intimidating part of starting a new job. The environment of a meeting requires some careful navigation to maintain your professional image, whether the meetings are one-on-one, with several colleagues or with external clients.

  • For a meeting in someone’s office, don’t arrive more than five minutes early, as they may be prepping for your meeting, another meeting later that day, or trying to get other work done. You may make them uncomfortable, and that is not a good way to begin your meeting.
  • Don’t arrive late. ever. If you are going to be late, try to let someone know so that people are not sitting around waiting for you. Don’t forget that being on time for a meeting means arriving 5 minutes early – for an interview, arrive 10 minutes early.
  • When a meeting runs late and you need to be somewhere else, always be prepared to explain where you need to be (understanding that the value of where you need to be will likely be judged).
  • Do not interrupt people. This is a bad habit to start and a tough one to end.
  • There is a time and place for confrontation, and a meeting is almost never that place. You will embarrass and anger other people, and you will look bad for doing it. Give people time and space outside of meetings to reflect on issues that need to be dealt with.

Work Space

You may spend more waking hours in work spaces than in your home space so:

  • Keep the space professional and neat with appropriate personal touches! People will see the space and consider it a reflection of you.
  • Whether it is a cubicle or office, respect others’ space. Don’t just walk in; knock or make your presence gently known. Don’t assume acknowledgement of your presence is an invitation to sit down; wait until you are invited to do so.
  • Don’t interrupt people on the phone, and don’t try to communicate with them verbally or with sign language. You could damage an important phone call.
  • Limit personal calls, especially if you work in a space that lacks a door.
  • Learn when and where it is appropriate to use your cell phone in your office.
  • Food consumption should generally be regulated. Smells and noise from food can be distracting to others trying to work.

International Business Etiquette

As the global market grows, the need to understand multiple international standards of business etiquette grows. Research the country you will be working in or visiting; note the proper etiquette, culture and customs for that country. There are, however, a few key things to keep in mind when conducting business internationally:

  • Knowing the language makes an excellent impression on the people you are doing business with. Barely knowing the language, but feigning fluency, could really harm the work you are trying to accomplish.
  • Be mindful of time zones. You don’t want to wake someone up on their cell phone or call someone with an unreasonable deadline or concern at an awkward time of day for them.
  • As there is no standard global work day, you should keep in mind that work hours vary from country to country. This is important when scheduling meetings or conference calls.
  • Know the holidays that will be observed, and be respectful of the time surrounding the holidays, as people may be less available.
  • Meals can be extremely crucial in making a positive international business etiquette impression. The customs that are followed when dining are often very important, and mistakes in this area could be costly. Knowing the etiquette well in advance should allow you to relax and enjoy what could be an amazing new experience!

Vigilantly observe the corporate culture in which you work, and be aware that change will happen. Your eyes and ears are your best resource in this learning process! For etiquette when interviewing for a position, please see the interviewing section of our Career Planning Guide. Numerous resources exist on-line on the topic of business etiquette, and there are professional courses you can take to help you learn more. There are also workshops at CCE on this topic in addition to resources in the Career Resource Center.

Additional Resources



#business etiquette

#

Skills – Workplace Etiquette

Making Positive Impressions

How you present yourself to others in the business world speaks volumes. People often form first impressions about others within seconds of first meeting them therefore it is crucial to ensure you are properly prepared to present yourself as a professional. Here are some important tips towards making a good impression.

  • Stand straight, make eye contact, turn towards people when they are speaking, and genuinely smile at people.
  • Follow your office dress code, perhaps dressing a step above the norm for your office.
  • Your briefcase or bag and the things you carry in them say something about you. Messy items may detract from the image you would like to present.
  • When meeting someone for the first time, be sure to shake hands palm to palm with a gentle firmness.
  • Be alert. Sleepiness looks bad in the workplace.
  • Kindness and courtesy count!
  • Arrive early to work each day.

People

How you treat people says a lot about you.

  • Learn names and learn them quickly. A good tip for remembering names is to use a person’s name three times within your first conversation with them. Also, write names down and keep business cards. People know when you don’t know their names and may interpret this as a sign that you don’t value them.
  • Don’t make value judgments on people’s importance in the workplace. Talk to the maintenance staff members and to the people who perform many of the administrative support functions. These people deserve your respect!
  • Self-assess: Think about how you treat your supervisor(s), peers, and subordinates. Would the differences in the relationships, if seen by others, cast you in an unfavorable light? If so, find where the imbalance exists, and start the process of reworking the relationship dynamic.
  • What you share with others about your personal life is your choice, but be careful. Things can come back to haunt you. Don’t ask others to share their personal lives with you. This makes many people uncomfortable in the work space.
  • Respect people’s personal space. This may be very different than your own.

Communicating

It’s sometimes not what you say, but how you say it that counts!

  • Return phone calls and emails within 24 hours – even if only to say that you will provide requested information at a later date.
  • Ask before putting someone on speakerphone.
  • Personalize your voice mail – there’s nothing worse than just hearing a phone number on someone’s voice mail and not knowing if you are leaving a message with the correct person. People may not even leave messages.
  • Emails at work should be grammatically correct and free of spelling errors. They should not be treated like personal email.
  • When emailing, use the subject box, and make sure it directly relates to what you are writing. This ensures ease in finding it later and a potentially faster response.
  • Never say in an email anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.
  • Underlining, italicizing, bolding, coloring, and changing font size can make a mild email message seem overly strong or aggressive.

Meetings

This can easily be the most intimidating part of starting a new job. The environment of a meeting requires some careful navigation to maintain your professional image, whether the meetings are one-on-one, with several colleagues or with external clients.

  • For a meeting in someone’s office, don’t arrive more than five minutes early, as they may be prepping for your meeting, another meeting later that day, or trying to get other work done. You may make them uncomfortable, and that is not a good way to begin your meeting.
  • Don’t arrive late. ever. If you are going to be late, try to let someone know so that people are not sitting around waiting for you. Don’t forget that being on time for a meeting means arriving 5 minutes early – for an interview, arrive 10 minutes early.
  • When a meeting runs late and you need to be somewhere else, always be prepared to explain where you need to be (understanding that the value of where you need to be will likely be judged).
  • Do not interrupt people. This is a bad habit to start and a tough one to end.
  • There is a time and place for confrontation, and a meeting is almost never that place. You will embarrass and anger other people, and you will look bad for doing it. Give people time and space outside of meetings to reflect on issues that need to be dealt with.

Work Space

You may spend more waking hours in work spaces than in your home space so:

  • Keep the space professional and neat with appropriate personal touches! People will see the space and consider it a reflection of you.
  • Whether it is a cubicle or office, respect others’ space. Don’t just walk in; knock or make your presence gently known. Don’t assume acknowledgement of your presence is an invitation to sit down; wait until you are invited to do so.
  • Don’t interrupt people on the phone, and don’t try to communicate with them verbally or with sign language. You could damage an important phone call.
  • Limit personal calls, especially if you work in a space that lacks a door.
  • Learn when and where it is appropriate to use your cell phone in your office.
  • Food consumption should generally be regulated. Smells and noise from food can be distracting to others trying to work.

International Business Etiquette

As the global market grows, the need to understand multiple international standards of business etiquette grows. Research the country you will be working in or visiting; note the proper etiquette, culture and customs for that country. There are, however, a few key things to keep in mind when conducting business internationally:

  • Knowing the language makes an excellent impression on the people you are doing business with. Barely knowing the language, but feigning fluency, could really harm the work you are trying to accomplish.
  • Be mindful of time zones. You don’t want to wake someone up on their cell phone or call someone with an unreasonable deadline or concern at an awkward time of day for them.
  • As there is no standard global work day, you should keep in mind that work hours vary from country to country. This is important when scheduling meetings or conference calls.
  • Know the holidays that will be observed, and be respectful of the time surrounding the holidays, as people may be less available.
  • Meals can be extremely crucial in making a positive international business etiquette impression. The customs that are followed when dining are often very important, and mistakes in this area could be costly. Knowing the etiquette well in advance should allow you to relax and enjoy what could be an amazing new experience!

Vigilantly observe the corporate culture in which you work, and be aware that change will happen. Your eyes and ears are your best resource in this learning process! For etiquette when interviewing for a position, please see the interviewing section of our Career Planning Guide. Numerous resources exist on-line on the topic of business etiquette, and there are professional courses you can take to help you learn more. There are also workshops at CCE on this topic in addition to resources in the Career Resource Center.

Additional Resources



#business etiquette

#

Skills – Workplace Etiquette

Making Positive Impressions

How you present yourself to others in the business world speaks volumes. People often form first impressions about others within seconds of first meeting them therefore it is crucial to ensure you are properly prepared to present yourself as a professional. Here are some important tips towards making a good impression.

  • Stand straight, make eye contact, turn towards people when they are speaking, and genuinely smile at people.
  • Follow your office dress code, perhaps dressing a step above the norm for your office.
  • Your briefcase or bag and the things you carry in them say something about you. Messy items may detract from the image you would like to present.
  • When meeting someone for the first time, be sure to shake hands palm to palm with a gentle firmness.
  • Be alert. Sleepiness looks bad in the workplace.
  • Kindness and courtesy count!
  • Arrive early to work each day.

People

How you treat people says a lot about you.

  • Learn names and learn them quickly. A good tip for remembering names is to use a person’s name three times within your first conversation with them. Also, write names down and keep business cards. People know when you don’t know their names and may interpret this as a sign that you don’t value them.
  • Don’t make value judgments on people’s importance in the workplace. Talk to the maintenance staff members and to the people who perform many of the administrative support functions. These people deserve your respect!
  • Self-assess: Think about how you treat your supervisor(s), peers, and subordinates. Would the differences in the relationships, if seen by others, cast you in an unfavorable light? If so, find where the imbalance exists, and start the process of reworking the relationship dynamic.
  • What you share with others about your personal life is your choice, but be careful. Things can come back to haunt you. Don’t ask others to share their personal lives with you. This makes many people uncomfortable in the work space.
  • Respect people’s personal space. This may be very different than your own.

Communicating

It’s sometimes not what you say, but how you say it that counts!

  • Return phone calls and emails within 24 hours – even if only to say that you will provide requested information at a later date.
  • Ask before putting someone on speakerphone.
  • Personalize your voice mail – there’s nothing worse than just hearing a phone number on someone’s voice mail and not knowing if you are leaving a message with the correct person. People may not even leave messages.
  • Emails at work should be grammatically correct and free of spelling errors. They should not be treated like personal email.
  • When emailing, use the subject box, and make sure it directly relates to what you are writing. This ensures ease in finding it later and a potentially faster response.
  • Never say in an email anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.
  • Underlining, italicizing, bolding, coloring, and changing font size can make a mild email message seem overly strong or aggressive.

Meetings

This can easily be the most intimidating part of starting a new job. The environment of a meeting requires some careful navigation to maintain your professional image, whether the meetings are one-on-one, with several colleagues or with external clients.

  • For a meeting in someone’s office, don’t arrive more than five minutes early, as they may be prepping for your meeting, another meeting later that day, or trying to get other work done. You may make them uncomfortable, and that is not a good way to begin your meeting.
  • Don’t arrive late. ever. If you are going to be late, try to let someone know so that people are not sitting around waiting for you. Don’t forget that being on time for a meeting means arriving 5 minutes early – for an interview, arrive 10 minutes early.
  • When a meeting runs late and you need to be somewhere else, always be prepared to explain where you need to be (understanding that the value of where you need to be will likely be judged).
  • Do not interrupt people. This is a bad habit to start and a tough one to end.
  • There is a time and place for confrontation, and a meeting is almost never that place. You will embarrass and anger other people, and you will look bad for doing it. Give people time and space outside of meetings to reflect on issues that need to be dealt with.

Work Space

You may spend more waking hours in work spaces than in your home space so:

  • Keep the space professional and neat with appropriate personal touches! People will see the space and consider it a reflection of you.
  • Whether it is a cubicle or office, respect others’ space. Don’t just walk in; knock or make your presence gently known. Don’t assume acknowledgement of your presence is an invitation to sit down; wait until you are invited to do so.
  • Don’t interrupt people on the phone, and don’t try to communicate with them verbally or with sign language. You could damage an important phone call.
  • Limit personal calls, especially if you work in a space that lacks a door.
  • Learn when and where it is appropriate to use your cell phone in your office.
  • Food consumption should generally be regulated. Smells and noise from food can be distracting to others trying to work.

International Business Etiquette

As the global market grows, the need to understand multiple international standards of business etiquette grows. Research the country you will be working in or visiting; note the proper etiquette, culture and customs for that country. There are, however, a few key things to keep in mind when conducting business internationally:

  • Knowing the language makes an excellent impression on the people you are doing business with. Barely knowing the language, but feigning fluency, could really harm the work you are trying to accomplish.
  • Be mindful of time zones. You don’t want to wake someone up on their cell phone or call someone with an unreasonable deadline or concern at an awkward time of day for them.
  • As there is no standard global work day, you should keep in mind that work hours vary from country to country. This is important when scheduling meetings or conference calls.
  • Know the holidays that will be observed, and be respectful of the time surrounding the holidays, as people may be less available.
  • Meals can be extremely crucial in making a positive international business etiquette impression. The customs that are followed when dining are often very important, and mistakes in this area could be costly. Knowing the etiquette well in advance should allow you to relax and enjoy what could be an amazing new experience!

Vigilantly observe the corporate culture in which you work, and be aware that change will happen. Your eyes and ears are your best resource in this learning process! For etiquette when interviewing for a position, please see the interviewing section of our Career Planning Guide. Numerous resources exist on-line on the topic of business etiquette, and there are professional courses you can take to help you learn more. There are also workshops at CCE on this topic in addition to resources in the Career Resource Center.

Additional Resources



#business etiquette

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Business Etiquette

International Business Etiquette definition and tips

Do you know the definition of Business Etiquette? Business etiquette is about building relationships with other people. Etiquette is not about rules regulations but is about providing basic social comfort and creating an environment where others feel comfortable and secure, this is possible through better communication.

Social media communication platforms (i.e. Facebook, Linkedin) are evolving rapidly day by day, as the concept of social media etiquette becomes a crucial part of business. Business etiquette consists of two things. Firstly, thoughtful consideration of the interests and feelings of others and secondly, being able to minimise misunderstandings. These are influenced by individual behaviour demeanour. Business etiquette instructs this behaviour.

Business etiquette differs from region to region and from country to country. This creates a complex situation for people as it is hard to balance the focus on both international business etiquette and other business activities at the same time. Therefore, a wise step is to focus on some key pillars of business etiquette.

Here are some key business etiquette tips that mean real success to business:

‘ Thank You ’ Note

If you want to differentiate yourself from others then never forget to write a‘Thank You’ note to your job interviewer or your client. This will leave a good impression and also reflect well on your company.

Give others respect by knowing their names which will increase goodwill and communication. it is also worth management stepping back and acknowledging people individually for their good work as this will enhance their self esteem and increase motivation.

Observe the Elevator Rule

Be mindful of saying appropriate things at a job interview or client meeting. Don’t start discussing business with a client or interviewer as soon as you step out of the lift. By doing so, you avoid the risk of damaging your reputation.

Focus on the Face, Not the Screen

Never forget to switch off your phone and try not to use any other device just to prove you are a multitasking individual. In fact, in the world of business this is considered bad manners. Concentrate on the meeting and listen to what people are saying.

Everyone is unique in their own way and uses a different approach to deal with situations. Therefore, if you disagree with another person’s approach instead of criticising try to understand it from their point of view. By doing so, you create a friendly environment. Always remember you get respect by giving respect.

Whether in business or between individuals, one concern is brand awareness. Individuals want to be noticed both socially and professionally. People want to be remembered by others.

However, in the digital landscape you have to be very careful when trying to pursue your brand awareness. Think carefully before doing. What we mean by this is that before creating a hashtag, posting on a Facebook wall or texting think how the other person will feel when they receive your message.

Character, Behaviour, Honesty

Your character reflects your individuality and your behaviour exhibits your personality. Business etiquette encourages revealing your positive qualities. This helps your reputation.

Always be honest and remember that it takes a long time to develop trust and a good reputation and only one small mistake to lose it. Business etiquette provides a framework for stating the boundaries of terms conditions, contracts and promises.

Sensitivity Diplomacy

A key pillar of business etiquette is sensitivity, meaning giving careful thought to every business aspect before making a judgement. This gives a strong foundation to your business. Also, thoughtless words and actions lead to a negative outcome. Being aware of business etiquette encourages careful thought.

Elements of business etiquette

Business etiquette instructs on you how to present yourself professionally in different cultures. The keys for making a good impression are dressing appropriately, your body language, presenting your business cards, gift giving, conducting meetings and many other important elements.



#business etiquette

#

Business Etiquette

International Business Etiquette definition and tips

Do you know the definition of Business Etiquette? Business etiquette is about building relationships with other people. Etiquette is not about rules regulations but is about providing basic social comfort and creating an environment where others feel comfortable and secure, this is possible through better communication.

Social media communication platforms (i.e. Facebook, Linkedin) are evolving rapidly day by day, as the concept of social media etiquette becomes a crucial part of business. Business etiquette consists of two things. Firstly, thoughtful consideration of the interests and feelings of others and secondly, being able to minimise misunderstandings. These are influenced by individual behaviour demeanour. Business etiquette instructs this behaviour.

Business etiquette differs from region to region and from country to country. This creates a complex situation for people as it is hard to balance the focus on both international business etiquette and other business activities at the same time. Therefore, a wise step is to focus on some key pillars of business etiquette.

Here are some key business etiquette tips that mean real success to business:

‘ Thank You ’ Note

If you want to differentiate yourself from others then never forget to write a‘Thank You’ note to your job interviewer or your client. This will leave a good impression and also reflect well on your company.

Give others respect by knowing their names which will increase goodwill and communication. it is also worth management stepping back and acknowledging people individually for their good work as this will enhance their self esteem and increase motivation.

Observe the Elevator Rule

Be mindful of saying appropriate things at a job interview or client meeting. Don’t start discussing business with a client or interviewer as soon as you step out of the lift. By doing so, you avoid the risk of damaging your reputation.

Focus on the Face, Not the Screen

Never forget to switch off your phone and try not to use any other device just to prove you are a multitasking individual. In fact, in the world of business this is considered bad manners. Concentrate on the meeting and listen to what people are saying.

Everyone is unique in their own way and uses a different approach to deal with situations. Therefore, if you disagree with another person’s approach instead of criticising try to understand it from their point of view. By doing so, you create a friendly environment. Always remember you get respect by giving respect.

Whether in business or between individuals, one concern is brand awareness. Individuals want to be noticed both socially and professionally. People want to be remembered by others.

However, in the digital landscape you have to be very careful when trying to pursue your brand awareness. Think carefully before doing. What we mean by this is that before creating a hashtag, posting on a Facebook wall or texting think how the other person will feel when they receive your message.

Character, Behaviour, Honesty

Your character reflects your individuality and your behaviour exhibits your personality. Business etiquette encourages revealing your positive qualities. This helps your reputation.

Always be honest and remember that it takes a long time to develop trust and a good reputation and only one small mistake to lose it. Business etiquette provides a framework for stating the boundaries of terms conditions, contracts and promises.

Sensitivity Diplomacy

A key pillar of business etiquette is sensitivity, meaning giving careful thought to every business aspect before making a judgement. This gives a strong foundation to your business. Also, thoughtless words and actions lead to a negative outcome. Being aware of business etiquette encourages careful thought.

Elements of business etiquette

Business etiquette instructs on you how to present yourself professionally in different cultures. The keys for making a good impression are dressing appropriately, your body language, presenting your business cards, gift giving, conducting meetings and many other important elements.