How to Practice Proper Business Etiquette

Business etiquette is more than just knowing which fork to use first at dinner with a business partner or a client. It is all about presenting your polished self, showing that you must be taken seriously. Business etiquette is also largely about being relaxed and friendly around partners and clients and making them at ease around you. Here are some tips and guidelines that may help you deal with people in a business environment:

Be courteous and thoughtful

One of the most important things to remember when dealing with people is to be thoughtful and courteous to them. You have to consider their feelings and be very diplomatic when sticking to your convictions. Address conflicts not as person-related but situation-related. Apologize when you hurt someone’s feeling. As they say, be careful whose toes you step on today; they may be connected to the foot that will kick your butt tomorrow.

Talk to people

Just because you are the boss does not mean that you do not interact with your people. The truth is, secretaries and the janitorial staff have incredible influence to help or obstruct your career. If you need the conference room arranged for your presentation or if you need a document organized, check out the people involved and make sure to meet them to show your appreciation.

Build good relationship with everyone

According to a Manchester Partners International study, 40% of management appointees fall short in their first jobs because they are unable to build good relationships with their peers and subordinates. So show courtesy and respect to people in the lower ranks to avoid discomfort and to boost working relationships with them.

Never surprise your superiors

One of the major things you owe your superiors is more information. Discreetly let them know what you are doing. Alert them as early as possible about the potential problems that the company may face, and inform them of result and milestones. Never surprise them. You should also speak well of your superiors inside and outside the company.

Be considerate of others’ time

If you are calling subjects for a meeting, make sure that the gathering is well prepared so that their time is not wasted. Communicate beforehand what the meeting is all about, the objective, the duration, and the items to be discussed. Do not forget to thank the people who attended the meeting for their participation and time.

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