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Etiquette Required by Business Professionals

As a professional in the business world, there are many times and situations when knowing the proper etiquette is more than just not embarrassing yourself with your lack of sophistication or social charm. Although it may be annoying to “play the business game” or “dance the business dance,” the reality is that not acting with proper business etiquette can be hazardous to your career because it can cause people to judge your business skills or competence by your actions. Acting without proper etiquette, even unintentionally, result in a loss of respect by employers and coworkers that can threaten your advancement up the professional ladder. To avoid these problems, here are some things to remember.

Business Etiquette 101

When thinking about business etiquette, it is important to remember that most behavior that is regarded as rude, disrespectful or coarse is often unintentional. When people are placed in business or social settings where they feel less-than-comfortable, it is very easy to do something that people may perceive negatively or misunderstand. One of the most important rules concerning business etiquette is to be courteous. If you are perceptive to the situation around you and responsive to people’s needs, you will seem caring and attentive instead of oblivious and rude. Learn to apologize gracefully and easily, putting both yourself and the other party at ease.

Respectful communication is essential in business etiquette. Speak softly, use only appropriate, non-offensive language, and avoid interrupting others. It is a good rule of thumb to listen more than you speak. It will give you less of an opportunity to say something wrong and it will not cause others to start wishing you would stop talking. When you do say something, they will be happy to hear it because it will seem well thought out and considered.

When in a business social setting where many people are present, do not spend the entire time talking to the coworkers with whom you are most familiar. Mingle and talk to everyone, regardless of position in the company. Show people that you genuinely care and they will remember you positively even if you do make a faux pas now and then.

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