“Your Business Manners Matter” Written By: Loretta Di Vita Presented By: Maryana Katsman
Business etiquette… it’s no longer an 8 hour work day There is much to consider when it comes to business etiquette. Proper business etiquette no longer stops in the work place. Recently there has been a lot of emphasis placed on these so-termed communication skills. Dr. Robert Ing, a forensic intelligence specialist, emphasizes the importance of acquiring business etiquette, “In the world of business, it's not what you do but how you do it. With one small gesture you can impress, insult, appear cultured and educated, or simply become a social outcast” (n.p.).
Di Vata focuses mainly on… • Many companies have been making changes to their code of ethics • Companies are also going one step further and spending large amounts of money on educating their employees on business etiquette and intercultural communication • The typical work place is no longer the only “playing field in the game of business”
“The corporate world has had enough!” In today’s world it is not enough to just be nice. In order to succeed one has to act in a specific manner at all times. You must be friendly, polite, well mannered, in addition to being capable of being liked by a wide range of people. Today’s businesses are focusing on their image of how they treat people and having strong interpersonal skills. They have realized that there is room for improvement in the field of business etiquette and are slowly yet surely making changes.
Education Many businesses are partnering up with corporations in different countries. Not only, are businesses training their employees on socially acceptable manners within the United States, they are also having their employees learn about mannerisms of other countries, specifically the countries that have the businesses they wish to work with. The reasoning behind this understanding of other cultures lies in the foundation of what holds the two corporations together; a trusting relationship.
“Small rituals hold tremendous cultural significance.” Di Vita tells of his experience in Rome, Italy. “I remember alienating some coworkers by demonstrating my North American work ethic when I worked through the lunch-break. I couldn’t believe the impact of my actions. One nurturing co worker took me aside and said the others were offended. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I was setting an unwanted precedent. Lunch was sacred. Hadn’t I heard of the ‘slow food movement?’”
Business etiquette counts outside the safety zone What were once known as places to relax are now considered to be the exact location where “the seeds for good rapport are planted and cultivated”. The golf course and the restaurant are now locations where business etiquette really matters. It is here where it is easier to slip up and loose that huge business deal. Businesses are reinforcing the idea of manners in all of these leisurely locations since a company never knows when they are actually being interviewed and judged.
The slightest gesture can make a large impact It is believed that in the relaxed environment a boss, recruiter, customer, or other stakeholder can learn more about the candidate. For instance, Di Vita uses the example of a lunch interview; “… someone who lingers over a menu is perceived as a poor decision maker; the person who fumbles with his or her cutlery is judged unconfident and awkward; the nervous type who fidgets with food is seen as unsure; and someone more interested in their food than business matters is superficial and unfocused.”
A degree can only get you so far. Di Vita states that “Successful business people agree that people skills are what carry a business transaction from a mere premise to a done deal.” Corporations are all about business etiquette, the more mannered their employees are the more business their company will have; It’s as simple as that. Manners are back in style and businesses are slowly changing the customs in the workplace.
Business Etiquette Faux Pas • Accepting someone's business card but not offering yours in exchange. • Offering a client an inexpensive plastic pen (under $20) to sign a deal worth thousands. If you're worried about losing, or someone accidentally pocketing your favorite pen, have your initials or name engraved on it. Engraved pens seem to stay with their owner longer! • Not responding to e-mail messages within 24 - 36 hours. • Leaving long voice mail messages (lasting over 180 seconds). • Wearing extra strong cologne or perfume with business attire. • When asking for the name of a person on the telephone or in person, using the phrase "What was the name?" This is a definite cultural faux pas and an indirect insult to the person you're speaking with • When charging a business lunch or dinner, not leaving a cash tip but putting the tip on the credit card charge. • Putting the person you called on hold. If you initiate a telephone call, you are obligated to complete it without interruption.
Works Cited Di Vita, Loretta. “Your Business Manners Matter.” Accent 20 Nov. 2003. 3 February 2006 <http://www.accenti.ca/news/?NEWS_ID=79&NEWS_ARCHIVE=1&v=2491 > Ing, Dr. Robert. “The top ten business etiquette faux pas.” Searchwarp.com 2006. 6 February 2006 <http://searchwarp.com/swa17613.htm>