"Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot". -Clarence Thomas
Business etiquette is an integral part of a company's overall culture. Success in any industry relies on relationships, whether with co-workers, clients, suppliers or investors. Consideration and good manners while dealing with others creates engaged, productive and long-term business relationships. Etiquette covers most aspects of social interactions, including self-presentation, communication, courtesy, and hospitality. Business etiquette, in particular, covers expectations in the interactions for all business relationships. Are the employees at your company accustomed to proper business etiquette?
While there are numerous rules regarding etiquette in general, below are six essential business etiquette rules to assist you and your employees in proper business interactions.
1. Always say "Please" and "Thank you".
It should go without saying, but even in a very casual professional atmosphere, saying "please" and "thank you" is a basic form of courtesy and is still imperative. In today's technologically driven world, sending a thank you e-mail is perfectly acceptable, but a handwritten thank you note is always a nice touch.
2. Double check before you click send.
While we are on the subject of communication, we recommend always checking your e-mails for spelling and grammatical errors. We have all been guilty of clicking "send" too quickly, but there is no excuse for typing errors. It is important to always spell check your correspondence before clicking send. Also, it is helpful to quickly read over your correspondence to ensure the meaning and tone are what you wish to convey. And no smiley's, please.
3. Don't interrupt.
We have become a nation of "over-talkers," so eager to offer our own opinions or press our point that we often interrupt others mid-sentence. It can be tongue-bitingly difficult to force ourselves not to interject, especially when the discussion is heated. Don't. It's rude and shows disrespect for the opinions of others. Remember, be assertive, not aggressive.
4. Know all of the players.
It's just as important to know your peers or employees as it is to develop relationships with clients, vendors or management. Reach out to all of the people in your company, regardless of their roles, and acknowledge what they do.
5. Be on time.
Everyone's calendar is packed full. If you are going to be late, call in advance. Punctually shows others you value their time. Arriving late does not mean you are busier than other people; it means that you are inconsiderate.
6. Don't walk into someone's office unannounced.
It is disrespectful to assume you have the right to interrupt other people's work. Knock on the door or say hello if it is open and ask if it is a good time to talk. If the discussion is going to take more than a few minutes, it is a good idea to call or e-mail and schedule a time which is convenient for both of you.
Keep in mind that proper business etiquette may improve a company or organization's bottom line.