Rudeness in business hurts us all. Whether it is being rude to a colleague, vendor, competitor, employee, or customer, it will follow you and develop a snowball effect that lingers on and on. Knowing and practicing good business etiquette pays dividends in the long run and is well worth the effort. As with all good practices, teaching good business etiquette to all your team members helps you hone your etiquette skills and seek better ways to apply them in your daily activities.
Business manners is a manner of conducting business in a humane way that is expected of a civilized organization. Knowing and practicing proper business etiquette means that you will always project professionalism and integrity at a high level. It is not just giving a firm handshake or using the correct eating utensil. It is learning to do the right things at the right time in the right setting.
"When I won my way to the international science fair, I didn't want to embarrass myself. It was the first time I was going to be away from home, the first time taking an airplane. I went to the local library, checked out every single etiquette book, and I read those books like I was uncovering some sort of treasure."
--- Charles M. Blow
Learning proper business etiquette doesn't mean that you have to give up your way of doing business-especially if your way has proven successful. It means that you can learn to do your way better. Proper etiquette enhances what you are already doing. It amplifies your successes.
"I make a distinction between manners and etiquette - manners as the principles, which are eternal and universal, etiquette as the particular rules which are arbitrary and different in different times, different situations, different cultures."
--- Judith Martin
If you are ever fortunate enough to conduct a seminar, (and I highly recommend that you jump at every opportunity given), study the rules for giving a good, successful seminar. If you are meeting with a client to discuss an upcoming project, learn the best ways of conducting yourself and your business. For every given situation, find out what the proper business etiquette is and perfect it.
"Ballroom dancing: it's a wonderful thing at so many levels because you've got to follow the rules. They used to call those rules etiquette once upon a time, but you don't really have that anymore."
--- Anton du Beke
The point of learning proper etiquette is so that you shine in every setting. You can still be yourself, but just a better self. You can still follow your principles and values, but they will show more to your audience whether a customer, employee, or competitor. Learning etiquette keeps you sharp and gives you the edge that you need to rise above others.
"Etiquette means behaving yourself a little better than is absolutely essential."
--- Emily Post
Take the time this month to review your company's etiquette level. If you or your team need to improve, and we all can, take steps today to make that happen. Brush up on the proper etiquette for every situation you may encounter and give your company the boost it deserves to excel.