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07 March

“Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot”– Clarence Thomas 

Any form of gathering, whether formal, informal, social, or professional requires a degree of manners and etiquettes from individuals. The same is true in a business environment wherein exhibiting professionalism and developing a polished image garners admiration from associates as well as superiors. These social skills are instrumental in harnessing a reputable impression and nudging ahead in competitive business. 

Business etiquettes represent a code of professional conduct used to interact and form strong relationships with employees, customers, and other vital business partners. Fostering such binding relationships based on mutual respect play an unprecedented role in business development. 

There are various aspects of business etiquettes that many professionals are unaware of. Some of the types of etiquette include e-mail, dining, telephone, office, meeting, business card, appearance, and networking. These realms of developing courtesy allows professionals to put their best foot forward while protecting business owners and employees from internal and external conflicts. The following etiquettes have been elaborated to reveal the relatively unspoken verbal and non-verbal skills of communication that can garner business and personal growth. 


Meeting etiquettes 

This refers to the principles of conduct that one should maintain while in a business meeting. The first step must involve a firm and comfortable handshake It is important to maintain eye contact as it emanates confidence, respect, and trust. 

In addition, smart introduction initiates rapport which must include the following order – younger to older, non-official to official, junior executive to senior executive, and colleague to customer. In other words, authority defines whose name is said first. Business cards must be offered on introduction, and those received by an individual must be treated with respect and placed carefully in a card holder. A word of advice would be to place the cards from others on the table in order to remember peoples’ names. 

It is imperative to avoid nervous habits like tapping feet on the floor, tapping a pen, or rustling with papers. These actions make an individual appear nervous or uninterested. Conversely, it is recommended to be courteous and listen while others are speaking while also being participative in providing one’s own views for a productive meeting. Once over, the meeting must be acknowledged with gratitude and an invitation of a future meeting. 


Dining etiquettes 

Whether a business professional is having a quick lunch with colleagues or trying to impress a client at a formal dinner, it is important to maintain a professional image at all business-related meals. One must shake hands followed by introduction, and remain standing before the host sits. A napkin must then be placed on the lap after everyone else is seated. It is advisable to stand up while someone else either leaves or arrives. 

Ordering light food like salad, fish, or chicken is recommended to avoid any mess. One must inversely never order the most expensive item in the menu. It is also a must to be aware of the use of each silverware for different kinds of food.  While eating,the elbows must be off the table and it is also courteous to never talk with food in the mouth. 

There are various other forms of etiquette which play a massive role in appearing charming, respectable, and admirable in a professional setting. Hence, it becomes imperative for business leaders especially to understand these soft skills to make strong impressions in the corporate world. It is advisable to learn from a business etiquette coach to sharpen such traits that can prove instrumental for personal growth as well as that of a business.