Business Etiquette; a Lost Art?
Is business etiquette a lost art? Perhaps the new era and next generation of business people are not aware of the intricacies of etiquette or simple manners? Or is that the easy answer to excuse a lack of knowledge or perhaps, poor management and/or training?
In general, business etiquette follows the same rules Miss Manners became famous for, many years ago.
“Grace, good manners, and good sense. “
- Say Please and Thank you.
- Admit it when you are wrong. Then apologize and make it right.
- Don’t blame.
- Don’t steal: leads, time, promotions, credit, money, customers, or appointments.
- Don’t be late, don’t be on time. Be early.
- Actively give credit, where credit is due. Recognition for work well done should not be a lost art.
- Help others. Helping others get what they need or want, will help get you what you need or want.
- Be present.
- Don’t gossip. My mother always reminds me; If they gossip with you, they are gossiping about you. This has proven to be true every time.
- If you ask someone to do something, be prepared to do it yourself. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.
- Any job worth doing, is worth doing well. And every job is worth doing.
- Build people up, don’t tear them down. Bullying does not just happen in school.
- Start with respect. When you start here, it is easy to stay here. Every person: client, prospect, peer, boss, employee, deserves respect.
- Don’t lie. Ever.
- Don’t interrupt.
- Listen. Actively. (I am reminded of the question, are you listening, or just waiting to speak?)
- Communication is the responsibility of the communicator. Make sure what you are saying is what is being heard.
- Be nice. Even the toughest negotiator can still be nice.
- Be transparent.
- Don’t stoop. Even when your colleagues do not practice, or follow these rules, don’t slip to their level.
I wrote this post as a reminder to myself. In this age of inclusion, it is easy to keep everyone in the loop and to make sure your colleagues are informed of all the appointments that they should be aware of. The trigger was when a colleague rescheduled one of my appointments, with one of my business contacts, so that they could attend. Rescheduled without my direction, permission, or acknowledgement. They hid behind supervisor direction. I was labeled as inflexible, and not a team player. All I could do was muster as much grace as I could, hold my head high, and accept the decision. Perhaps next time I will handle it more gracefully. That, and no more cc’s on any other appointments.
There’s good manners, and then there’s good sense.