Why you should master business etiquette
Your professional dealings can be made a lot easier when you approach it with thoughtfulness
Mastering business etiquette will simply put you into the fast growth track for individual and organisational success. Business etiquette skills make you a polished professional by helping you build and maintain successful relationships with clients, customers, suppliers and subordinates. Many think that business etiquette is not required if one has a degree. But it is not only about learning how to hold your forks and knives, or dressing appropriately. Business etiquette is as important for C-suite executives as it is for interns and new hires.
When you learn to apply business etiquette nuances strategically in official or professional situations, you will be able to close deals and raise funds much better than someone who hasn't been able to master those skills. Social skills, in fact, are an extension of business etiquette and not vice-versa.
What's the return on investment if you imbibe business etiquette?
1. The best opportunities to land new contracts.
2. Forging strong bonds with co-workers.
3. Good way to build and develop a team.
4. Great relationship with clients.
We all like to be liked. Etiquette helps make it possible for people and business associates to enjoy being with you. Because of the improved relationship at work, the business itself will be more successful. However, I also believe that for a professional to embrace business etiquette, the reasons have to be more than just 'it's-the- right-thing-to-do'.
High-end businessmen already have great manners; it's a specialised subject to learn and practise in a day-to-day business situation. It's as important as learning negotiation skills or business administration. People do business with people and that's how organisations grow on a larger scale. The professional who is representing the company is also its brand ambassador. He's the one clients are interacting with.
Business etiquette is not a one-time crash course. To truly master these skills, one should go for an analysis to understand if he or she should opt for business etiquette foundation or advanced. A specialised etiquette consultant will be able to do the analysis and recommend appropriately.
C-suite executives normally opt for advanced business etiquette understanding as it involves a discussion on international studies and polls. Also, a lot of emphasis is laid on international business protocol. High context versus low context cultural unawareness becomes a challenging issue for a business professional interacting internationally. For example, the UK and the US are considered low context, which means their way of conducting themselves in a business environment is completely different from someone who's operating from a high context environment like the UAE, China or India. Business etiquette is culturally varied.
Even the way you exchange your business card is different within high-vs-low context cultures. It's always good to start learning business etiquette at an early stage of career and gradually master it.