Business etiquette is essentially a set of written and unwritten rules of conduct. They make interactions in a professional scenario smooth and pleasant for everyone involved. The concept of etiquette is not new. Our parents start teaching us to “mind our manners” right when we are toddlers. Saying “Please”, “Thank you”, and “Excuse me”; giving up our seat to an older person; sharing our toys and snacks with others; not pointing our feet at someone. These are rules of social behavior that were taught to us so early that they’re completely ingrained. We follow them automatically and find it jarring if we someone doesn’t respect and follow these rules as well. These norms exist so we can show respect for people around us. Rules of business etiquette are basically an extension of the same principle. Respect the people you work with and make them feel comfortable around you. While this is a worthy goal by itself, it is also essential for your business and professional success. Similarly, as English is a global language, good English language skills are also essential for professional success.
Act in a Professional Manner
Whether you’re an individual contributor in a team, a team leader responsible for others’ performance, or a sales executive getting business from clients, you will have trouble with success if you’re not pleasant and easy to be around. Also, the impression you make on others matters. If the perception others have of you is that you’re ill-mannered or unprofessional, they won’t trust that you’re good at what you do either.
Be Flexible and Willing to Learn
As with any code of conduct, the rules of business conduct are many and it’s probably not possible to know them all. There are norms about a lot of different things such as, how to introduce yourself, how to interact with your co-workers, how to dress, how to behave at your workstation, how to present yourself at meetings, how to project your body language, and even how to act at team outings and dinners.
Develop Your English Language Skills
Good English Language skills can be key for professional interactions. To improve your conversation skills, it would be a good idea to develop the ability to listen and have a good hold on the English language. If you feel you lack in your English speaking skills, you can try EnglishHelper’s free English learning program and improve your spoken English.
Be Tolerant of Others’ Beliefs
The rules of business etiquette change depending on the company, the local culture, language, and other such factors. There are cultural nuances which almost always play a role in what is deemed acceptable or unacceptable social behavior. Again, it is not possible to know all the rules in every culture, it is a good idea to start learning about some major differences to avoid making a mistake when interacting with them.
Be Considerate, Polite, and Courteous
The norms and their many nuances may tend to overwhelm, but what’s most important is to follow the basic rule of being polite and courteous to everyone, in all situaltions. Be considerate of others’ feelings and don’t get personal. Don’t raise your voice and don’t be harsh or critical in your words. This seems very basic, but you’ll be surprised at how much respect you’ll earn by following these basic rules of etiquette. Of course, also take time to learn the details and practice them whenever possible.
Over time “minding your business manners” will be ingrained too.