Every business concern, irrespective of the product or service on offer, is inherently people oriented. We are in a day and age where globalization is rapid and our interactions with people across various platforms is at the core of our business transactions. These interactions have a direct impact on our businesses at a profound level. In such a scenario, awareness and practice of ethics and business etiquette is vital. Business etiquette, simply put, is a set of manners that is accepted or required in any given profession. Often unwritten and upheld by custom, it is enforced by societal conditions and professional ethics. A violation of the same may prove detrimental and can have a lasting impact. In this article we will take a look at 6 simple business etiquette practices that will help you put your best foot forward!
Unless you know that a person is already acquainted with the other person, always make it a point to introduce one to the other as a formal gesture of politeness. This courteous act will always make one feel valued and important even when in the company of unfamiliar people, especially in a formal environment.
The handshake is still the standard for professionalism
Just as the English language is the international language of communication and commerce, there are certain standards of professionalism that are immutable regardless of which culture you encounter in the course of your professional journey. The handshake is right up there on top of the list. The humble handshake communicates that one is confident and firm, yet approachable.
2. Always say “Please” & “Thank you”
There are hardly any words in the English language that are more polite than “please” and “thank you”. This is manners and courtesy at its simplest and will never fail you. Always remember to express your gratitude for every level of assistance your receive.
3. Please don’t interrupt
Someone once said that there is a reason we have two ears and one mouth – so that we may listen more and talk less. We have become a generation of excessive talkers always in a hurry to state our point. In a professional setting we must curb the itch to interject someone mid-conversation regardless of what we think or how we may feel about the topic. We will always get our chance to speak and when that chance comes, we must know how to put forth our point with courtesy and respect to the other opinions shared.
4. Appropriate language
Sometimes as colleagues get familiar with each other, it is easy to settle into more candid mannerisms of communication. But professionalism must be maintained at all times regardless of the comfort level within the workplace. Intimate or casual language must be avoided at all costs and appropriate terms or jargon must be used according to the needs and circumstances.
5. Written communication
In this modern age of emails, business correspondence is flying more frequently across the web than before. Etiquette is not confined to only spoken or face-to-face communication but also to digital interactions. Always make sure to double-check emails and letters for grammatical errors and especially tone of voice before you click the ‘send’ button.
6. Avoid touchy topics
While casual banter is a part of every workplace, there are certain topics that are off-limits in most places around the world, for example; politics and religion. Regardless of one’s views and opinions on the most trending topic on the local news or social media, one must refrain from discussing such issues within the context of a workplace. Remember it is very easy to get pulled into a personal battle. Always be on guard and remember to stay calm and objective through all situations.