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Business Etiquette Helping You Make a Success on the Social Side of the Business World Dr. Julia Barnes Forrest Junior College What is Business Etiquette? Etiquette in the Webster's Dictionary states:

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business etiquette helping you make a success on the social side of the business world
Business EtiquetteHelping You Make a Success on the Social Side of the Business World

Dr. Julia Barnes

Forrest Junior College

what is business etiquette
What is Business Etiquette?
  • Etiquette in the Webster's Dictionary states:

“Etiquette is the code of unwritten expectations that govern social behavior. It concerns the ways in which people interact with each other, and show their respect for other people by conforming to norms of society.”

  • Two main forms of etiquette:
    • Social
    • Business
social vs business etiquette
Social vs. Business Etiquette
  • Social Etiquette
    • Based on chivalry
  • Business Etiquette
    • Military origins
    • Hierarchy
    • Power
social versus professional behavior
Social versus Professional Behavior
  • In a professional environment, gender is not considered a factor
      • Introductions are made to the person more senior regardless of gender
      • Neither men nor women are expected to be helped with their chairs, unless they need it
      • Mainly clients or a higher-ranking professionals should be helped with their coats, whether men or women
      • The person that first gets to a door should hold it open for the rest of their group, regardless of gender
        • If it is a revolving door, the first person to go through should wait for the rest of their party on the opposite side
most common categories
Communication Skills


Listening Skills

Professional Dress

Business Casual

International Business Etiquette

Cultural Diversity

Business Introductions

Telephone Etiquette

Office Meeting Etiquette

Conference Etiquette

Speaking Skills

Table Manners

Business Networking

Workplace Etiquette

Sexual Harassment

Email Etiquette

Presentation Skills

Letter Etiquette

Executive Coaching

Most Common Categories
  • Dining Etiquette
    • Table manners
    • Table setting
    • Solutions to specific situations
  • Relationships
    • Social behavior in a professional setting
    • Sexual harassment
    • Romantic relationships
1 st things 1 st
1st Things 1st
  • Always make sure you are punctual. Being early doesn’t hurt.
  • Call ahead and inform your guest if you will be late.
  • Make appropriate greetings and introductions upon your arrival.
  • Let highest authoritative figure take his or her seat first before taking yours.
greetings and introductions
Greetings and Introductions
  • Rise if seated, smile and extend your hand to initiate a handshake.
  • Use the person’s name in your greeting
  • Introduce a younger person to an older person; a non-official person to an official person; and the junior to the senior.
  • Explain who they are and use their full name
table setting
Table Setting

1. Sherry Glass 5. Seafood fork 9. Salad Fork

2. White Wine Glass 6. Soup Spoon 10. Dessert fork

3. Red Wine Glass 7. Dinner Knife and spoon

4. Water Goblet 8. Dinner Fork 11. Butter Plate

table setting11
Table Setting
  • Many upscale dining establishments will present you with a variety of eating utensils.
  • The guideline is to start outside and work your way in.
  • Common Situation….

2 forks, same size…..begin with outside 1st

basic table manners
Basic Table Manners
  • Do not smoke while dining out
  • Sit up straight
  • When you are not eating, keep your hands on your lap or resting on the table.
  • Do not take phone calls
table manners cont
Table manners cont...
  • Never chew with your mouth full or chew loudly/noisily.
  • Remove food from your teeth in private.
  • Avoid controversial subject matter when conversing.
  • Try not to leave the table except for an emergency.
  • If you are a guest, you may want to ask what your

host /hostess recommends.

  • Order item in mid price range.
  • Do not order the most expensive item.
  • Order items that can be eaten with utensils.
  • Do not order alcoholic beverages.
  • The guest usually orders first unless otherwise stated by the host/hostess or waiter/waitress.
  • It is common for females to have their orders taken first
  • Wait for everyone at the table to be served before you begin to eat.
  • If guest suggests that you begin before he or she is served then you may.
  • Eat slowly until your host/hostess or guest is served.
the meal
The Meal
  • Be careful how you hold your utensils
  • Passing “community food” should be done so to the right.
  • Taste your food before seasoning it.
  • Bread should not be eaten whole. Break bread into manageable pieces.
  • Remember there are specific glasses for specific drinks.
  • Keep conversation appropriate and safe ( do not indulge in controversial topics)
  • Remember table manners
  • Leave the plates in the same position as you found them. Do not stack them or push them away.
  • Order dessert if host/hostess recommends it. Remember to use designated silverware.
  • Place napkin to the right of your plate if you are finished.
  • Common Professional Behavior
  • Social versus Professional
      • When co-workers become comrades
        • gossip, gift giving, and confrontations
      • Inappropriate behavior towards co-workers
      • Personal romantic relationships between co-workers
common professional behavior
Common Professional Behavior
  • Introductions and Greetings
      • Always introduce the lower-ranking person to the higher-ranking person
      • Simply a handshake is customary in the U.S.
      • The person who extends their hand first takes control over the situation
      • Nametags- placed on the upper right shoulder
      • Be sure to greet people of all ranking at the office
      • Other electronic etiquette: Conference Calls
common professional behavior20
Common Professional Behavior
  • Body Language
      • Posture
        • Casual versus formal posture
      • Eye contact
        • Direct but not intense
      • Space
        • About two feet is standard
social versus professional behavior21
Social versus Professional Behavior
  • In a business environment professional behavior is most appropriate
  • However, sometimes social relationships may be formed between co-workers
    • A recent study found that because some new hires were unable to form relationships with their co-workers, about 40% of them failed in their first job
  • Defined as rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature
  • It is not necessarily bad
  • Gossip requires a talker and a listener
  • Those that hold the information may feel that it is their duty to pass it along to others
  • Possible destructive results of gossip:
    • Wasted time resulting in decreased productivity
      • For example, if in a company of 200 employees, each person spent 1 hour/day gossiping, it would result in $160,000 of lost productivity a month, or $1.92 Million/year (based on $40/hr salary)
    • Spreading of fictional rumors
      • About people, or company expectations
    • Erosion of team efforts and relationships
      • Those that gossip are often labeled as untrustworthy
conflicts in the workplace
Conflicts in the Workplace
  • In a workplace there are many different people from different backgrounds, with differing opinions on everything from politics, humor, and how business should be operated
  • Dealing with people who have differing viewpoints is something that every person will have to deal with at some point in their professional career
some causes of work frustration
Some causes of work frustration
  • Though conflict may arise as a result of a large-scale issue, people usually become upset about the smaller things
    • Eating someone else’s food
    • Eavesdropping
    • Not acknowledging colleagues in the hallway
    • Disagreeing with someone about the way something should be handled
increased casualness
Increased Casualness
  • Having a more casual work atmosphere often decreases stress levels, but it also does not set up appropriate boundaries
    • Jokes
    • Flirting
    • Gossiping
how to approach someone about a conflict
How to Approach Someone about a Conflict
  • Define the behavior that is annoying
  • Reduce resistance from a co-worker
  • Speak openly, directly, and honestly while confronting another individual
  • Communicate your own limits and boundaries
e mail etiquette
E-Mail Etiquette
  • Business e-mails should be constructed more carefully than traditional memos.
    • Very easily transferable
      • Attachments
      • Forward messages
    • Stored indefinitely if not promptly deleted
    • No security guarantees
      • Hackers
      • Leaving the computer
e mail etiquette29
E-Mail Etiquette

Helpful tips

  • Never send anything you would not want to see in tomorrow’s newspaper – very easy for someone to forward your message to others.
  • Use caution when delivering messages with sarcasm and humor
  • Always log off your e-mail account upon leaving a computer
  • Avoid personal conflicts via email – handle them privately
  • Use formal language with correct structure when communicating with customers or management
  • Use the subject field to your advantage
  • Double check who you are sending the message to
  • Avoid sending large attachments via email
  • Remember: Laws that apply to other methods of communication also apply to e-mail
international etiquette
International Etiquette
  • Greetings and salutations
    • Use proper greetings when addressing others from different countries/cultures
      • E-mail
      • Letters
      • Phone
      • Introductions
    • Figure out proper greetings before meeting/addressing others
  • Respect the norms and values of other cultures
    • Ex. it is impolite to turn down wine with a meal in some countries – shows a sign of disrespect
for more information
For more information,


Forrest Junior College

601 East River St.

Anderson, SC 29624

(864) 225-7653