Business Etiquette For Dummies
eBook - ePub

Business Etiquette For Dummies

Sue Fox

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eBook - ePub

Business Etiquette For Dummies

Sue Fox

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About This Book

Make no mistake, etiquette is as important in business as it is in everyday life — it's also a lot more complicated. From email and phone communications to personal interviews to adapting to corporate and international cultural differences, Business Etiquette For Dummies, 2 nd Edition, keeps you on your best behavior in any business situation.

This friendly, authoritative guide shows you how to develop good etiquette on the job and navigate today's diverse and complex business environment with great success. You'll get savvy tips for dressing the part, making polite conversation, minding your manners at meetings and meals, behaving at off-site events, handling ethical dilemmas, and conducting international business. You'll find out how to behave gracefully during tense negotiations, improve your communication skills, and overcome all sorts of work-related challenges. Discover how to:

  • Make a great first impression
  • Meet and greet with ease
  • Be a good company representative
  • Practice proper online etiquette
  • Adapt to the changing rules of etiquette
  • Deal with difficult personalities without losing your cool
  • Become a well-mannered traveler
  • Develop good relationships with your peers, staff, and superiors
  • Give compliments and offer criticism
  • Respect physical, racial, ethnic, and gender differences at work
  • Learn the difference between "casual Friday" and sloppy Saturday
  • Develop cubicle courtesy
  • Avoid conversational faux pas

Business etiquette is as important to your success as doing your job well. Read Business Etiquette For Dummies, 2 nd Edition, and make no mistake.

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For Dummies
Part I

Conducting Yourself Gracefully in the Business World

In this part . . .
In this part, I give you the secrets of contributing positively to the workplace while building good relations with others above and below you on the corporate ladder. You find solid advice for surviving job interviews and ways to make a positive impression. This part also helps you respectfully navigate today’s culturally diverse work environments. Finally, I talk about professional appearance, how much it matters, what people read into your style of dress and body language, and what you can do to give yourself every grooming and style advantage to look sharp.
Chapter 1

Displaying Good Manners at Work

In This Chapter

Developing good etiquette on the job
Improving your communication skills
Surviving meetings and special events
Handling challenges in the workplace
Becoming a well-mannered traveler
Business etiquette is vitally important for creating a harmonious work environment and for representing your company in the best manner possible. Although many people consider their technical skills and intelligence to be their most important job qualifications, many employers consider the ability to get along well with colleagues and clients even more important. Being well mannered means two things above all else: respecting others, and treating people with courtesy and kindness.
Whether your company is a highly caffeinated startup, a small gift boutique, or a large law firm, good manners at work are important because they emphasize your willingness to control your behavior for the benefit of others. I introduce you to the basics of business etiquette in this chapter.

Conducting Yourself with Class

As a representative of your company, you stand not only for yourself, but also for the company as a whole. If you are poised, courteous, and respectful to your company’s clients, they will extend their approving judgment to other employees of your company. If you are inconsiderate, insolent, and rude to your company’s clients, you will be out of a job soon.
Acting with grace and tact is also crucial within your workplace. In the following sections, I introduce you to three important concepts: making a positive impression on your colleagues, working well in a diverse environment, and dressing appropriately.

Making a good impression

Your considerate behavior in the office and with clients makes a big impression; it’s instantly recognizable and beneficial to both you and to your company. When a courteous employee works with others, including his peers, staff, and superiors, his grace lends an air of professionalism to the workplace that others emulate and that employers reward.
Being a well-mannered business professional is harder than memorizing a bunch of stuffy rules. The greatest challenge is to incorporate the rules of good behavior so readily that you don’t have to think about them at all. For details on how to make a positive impression on the job, see Chapter 2.

Working in diverse environments

In today’s increasingly global business environment, people of various physical abilities, races, ethnicities, and genders work together. But misunderstandings, thoughtlessness, and poor attitudes create barriers among colleagues and cause fear, hurt, and isolation. The use of appropriate language is crucial for respectful and dignified communication. Education and considerate thought are needed to remove misunderstandings and unnecessary discrimination in the workplace. See Chapter 3 for full information about acting gracefully in diverse work environments.

Dressing well

Psychologists say that most people form impressions of others in the first four minutes and that 80 percent of an impression is based on nonverbal signs. In other words, what comes out of your mouth has very little to do with how people judge you. Also, after you make a first impression, getting people to change that judgment is hard.
How you dress, how you groom yourself, and how you handle your body language in the workplace are all part of your “packaging.” As in product packaging, you can present yourself to be most appealing, and you can present yourself differently according to the time and place.
A well-mannered person always considers the impression communicated by clothing, body language, and grooming. Always be thinking about what your appearance says about you. Never pretend to be anything you aren’t. You should not be uncomfortable or present an image that is not you, but you should present the best you that you possibly can. For more on appropriate business attire and professional presence, see Chapter 4.

Communicating in the Business Arena

Clear communication in business is an essential part of being courteous to others, whether you’re conversing in person, talking on the phone, writing a letter, or chatting on the Internet. What you say reflects who you are, so you want your words to build others up rather than tear them down in any way.

Polishing your introductions

In the business world, you meet new people all the time, for many reasons and in many situations. Being able to introduce others makes everyone feel comfortable and is...

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