Business Etiquette


As your career progresses, you develop skills which are respected and
expected, professional etiquette. Professional etiquette builds leadership,
quality, business, and careers. It refines skills needed for exceptional
service. Whether you are an executive or just starting out, a seminar in
Professional business etiquette, nationally and internationally will definitely
be beneficial to you.
Without proper business etiquette, you limit your potential, risk you
image, jeopardize relationships that are fundamental to business success.
Etiquette, formerly perceived as soft skills, business professionals have found
that etiquette influences their success because it differentiates them in a
competitive market. Honors commitments to quality and excellence. Etiquette
enables them to be confident in a variety of people from many cultures.
Etiquette also modifies distracting and unacceptable behavior and develops
admired conduct (Klinkenburg.)
Why should we be concerned about etiquette issues in the business arenas
of the 90s? Basically because diversity, based on gender, cultural background,
age, and degree of experience in today\'s business, creates a clash of standards
and behavioral expectation. Not only is these differences internationally a
concern, but also a concern among the relationships of Americans. Finally
globalization has changed the way we do business, demanding new levels of
expertise in dealing with people (Klinkenburg.)
Rude business etiquette goes on daily in our country. Sometimes it is
so common, people start to perceive it as normal behavior of our society. As
stated before, proper business etiquette will get you farther, just that extra
step will lead you to better business and better relationships. One of the most
observed behaviors in United States is telephone rudeness. For instance, not
returning telephone calls, taking calls in meetings, and not identifying
yourself on the phone. The standard rule in business is to return routine phone
calls within 24 hours and to apologize if the call is later. Return phone calls,
fax, write a note or have your staff call, but do get back to people. It is an
expected professional gesture to identify yourself when you place a call. Say
your name, the company or business you represent to take people off the spot.
Then state the nature of you call. If you do not identify yourself, expect to
be asked and do not take offense. When answering telephone calls, your expected
to make a connection promptly when a call comes in. This is more than a form of
courtesy; prompt telephone service suggests to callers an efficient company.
The appropriate telephone greeting conforms with the time of day and then the
policy of the company - for example, “Good afternoon, The Smith Company,” or , “
Good afternoon, Procter and Gamble.” Knowing that he/she has the right number,
the caller merely has to ask for the individual he/she is calling.
Anyone who has a visitor in his office should avoid making calls, unless
they are pertinent to the business being discussed.
As for incoming calls, when the individual who is you guest is very
important, or the subject of your discussion is involved, tell your secretary
not to put through any but the utmost urgent calls that come in for hem/her even
when he/she has a guest, because the alternative is a long list of calls to be
made afterwards. If call do come in, excuse yourself to your guest and make the
telephone conversation as brief as possible. Do not continue your conversation
with your guest as you pick up the receiver; finish what you are say first and
then pick it up (Parker .)
Interruptions are another complaint that is commonly observed as rude
business etiquette. These rude interruptions are of conversations, of work, and
by telephone. Let people finish their sentences and their thoughts. Never
presume to know what they will say or how they should say it. Develop the
judgment to detemining whether to rush a person in expressing themselves or
allow them time to talk (Hilkenburg )
you can interrupt people if they begin to ramble, discuss unrelated work
incidents, or keep you from performing your necessary work. If someone else
interrupts anther in your presents, interrupt them to say, “Now, wait a minute,
I want John to finish his thought.” Always remember people and their opinions
deserve respectful consideration (Hilkenburg.)
Inappropriate business appearance is also neglected in our society often
people disregard the importance of appearance, but it does influence peoples
perceptions of you. Excessive hairstyles, makeup, jewelry, and fragrance
detract from the professional image, as do worn, spotted, or ill-fitting
clothing. Dress not to distract, but to accomplish your professional goals.
Yet clothing and visual image is a backdrop, not a feature, for your
professionalism. Your professional appearance matters.