Power Etiquette
eBook - ePub

Power Etiquette

Dana May CASPERSON

  1. 200 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

Power Etiquette

Dana May CASPERSON

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About This Book

In an era when companies are competing based on service, manners are much more than a social nicety -- they're a crucial business skill.

Can table manners make or break a megamerger? Can a faxing faux-pas derail a promising business relationship? Can an improper introduction cost you a client? Can manners (or lack of them) really kill a career? Absolutely. In fact, good manners are good business.

Power Etiquette provides quick guidance on such pertinent and timely topics as:

  • telephone, e-mail, and Internet etiquette
  • table manners
  • grooming and business dress
  • written communications
  • gift giving
  • resumes and interviews
  • making introductions
  • public speaking
  • networking

This no-nonsense "manners reference" refreshes you on everyday etiquette and makes sure you're on your best behavior.

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Information

Publisher
AMACOM
Year
1999
ISBN
9780814437575
Chapter 1
The First Impression
Business etiquette is the art of knowing how to behave in a given situation and knowing how to interact with people. Etiquette is the guideline for knowing how to behave appropriately in all situations. Good manners make good business. It is not enough to know your company and product well. You must also know how best to meet people and make introductions, how to dress for the occasion, how to use your business cards properly, and how and what to gift, among other things. Your knowledge encompasses your leadership style, your communication, and your behavior in different business settings. Good manners are not optional; they are essential tools you must use every day. Improve your skills if you wish to advance, rather than sabotage, your career. In this and the following chapters, we will examine many aspects of etiquette and how they apply, particularly in business situations. All these skills are important to your success and will be essential components of your Manners Tool Kit.
In today’s business world I often hear, “Manners are not important these days” or “I am who I am. I have been successful in business, so why should I change?” There is a deceptively simple answer: etiquette is power. Good manners open doors that position and money cannot. We all have room for improvement. Using the skills in your Manners Tool Kit will help you to be polished and professional; others will perceive you as knowledgeable and confident. Your colleagues may seem willing to overlook your blunders now, but be assured, they won’t overlook them indefinitely. At critical points in your career, you may be passed over in favor of someone who practices Power Etiquette.
Learning the “rules” of business etiquette is easy; they are 80 percent common sense and 20 percent kindness. But what does that mean? If you are looking to your coworkers for guidance, you may be disappointed. With insecurity in the job market and competition everywhere, you can’t afford to rely on your instincts or “to do what seems natural.” Formal education seldom includes much, if any, training in business etiquette. We learn our manners from our family, friends and, later, our colleagues. Manners are skills that must be continually practiced and updated.
ATTITUDE
Relating to others is what etiquette is all about. The many ways in which you relate to others begins with your attitude. Your style of connecting with others, your way of communicating your respect of others, and your behavior toward others are all reflections of your attitude. Your attitude and your professional image help form the first impression others have of you.
Attitude is a personality trait you continue to develop throughout your life. Your attitude pervades your actions and is evident in every detail of your life and how you relate to others. Your attitude is evident in your body language, how you complete tasks, your attention to details, your consideration of those around you, how you take care of yourself, and in your general approach to life. Attitude begins on the inside and shows on the outside. You can improve your attitude by creating pleasant surroundings, playing calming music, meditating, or sometimes even by wearing bright colors. Colors, sounds, and smells contribute to one’s sense of well-being. You must be happy at what you do, be content within yourself, create a pleasant environment within which to live, and continue to learn new things.
Attitude and self-discipline work together to make the good things happen for you. Good attitude is a cornerstone of Power Etiquette.
THE FIRST GREETING
Should I rise and shake hands when someone comes into my office?
Yes. When someone from outside your company enters your office it is a gesture of respect and courtesy to rise, move from behind the desk, and shake hands.
Your handshake speaks loudly about your professionalism, credibility, and confidence. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that your abilities may be judged by the five-second handshake. The handshake is an important contact or physical link between two people. A firm handshake conveys confidence, assurance, interest, and respect. A limp handshake can send the opposite message.
Your handshake communicates a powerful nonverbal message before you speak. A firm handshake conveys “I am interested in you and confident in my business skills,” whereas a weak handshake may be interpreted as “I’m unsure of myself and I’m uncomfortable being here and meeting you.” Eye contact and a smile during the handshake are also essential because they show attentiveness. The initial connection between two individuals is an opportunity to establish rapport and positive chemistry. An immediate bond develops from the touch of a hand and sets the tone for conversation and future business association, leading to a productive relationship.
All cultures have customary gestures of a handshake, kiss, hug, or bow that signifies a greeting and the commencement of an encounter. The unspoken greeting is an act of respect and an acknowledgment of another person. The handshake is the first physical connection we have with the person and serves as the bond. It is always appropriate to shake hands in the business setting. Gender is not a determinate on whether to shake hands or not. By shaking hands easily, often, and graciously, you actually influence your peers to shake hands more often.
Use your right hand to shake hands and don’t squeeze too hard. Keep in mind that a handshake should be firm, not bone crunching. Be especially considerate of seniors (and others) who may suffer from arthritis; return similar pressure to theirs. Your hands should touch with web to web (between thumb and forefinger); wrap your fingers around the other person’s hand (see Figure 1.1). Shake hands vertically with the thumbs up, facing one another squarely.
Your handshake should be brief, yet long enough for both persons to speak their name and a few words of greeting. Look directly at the other person and smile. Think about your handshake and the message you convey. Practice with a colleague who will be honest with you and then shake hands often!
Figure 1.1
Illustration of the proper handshake.
Image
As you develop and practice your handshake, there are some bad habits you will want to avoid. Clasping just the fingertips, pumping the hand up and down excessively, or rotating the hands with one hand on top of the other can be uncomfortable and may leave a negative impression on the other individual. Likewise, flapping the elbow or locking the elbow straight should be avoided. Be aware of your body language as well. It is best to face the person squarely and look at them when you shake hands. Standing angled away from the other person or looking away may leave the impression that you are not interested in them or their business.
A handshake is almost always appropriate. Shake hands whenever you are introduced to someone, whenever you introduce yourself to someone, and whenever you say good-bye. You will also want to shake hands when someone enters your office, when you encounter someone from outside your office, when you are introduced to others from outside the company, and when you leave a meeting attended by people from outside your company.
Do I rise and shake hands when a woman enters the office or boardroom?
Yes, as a gesture of respect and goodwill, rise and shake hands with anyone entering your office, whether male or female.
There is no gender distinction when using your handshake except in specific situations where your client’s religious or ethnic background may be a consideration. Be observant and follow the clues of those around you. The conservative approach is usually safest. If you are a woman meeting foreign guests, check your culture guide to learn the specifics about women’s role in business. When you need an answer quickly, call the nearest appropriate consulate or embassy.
GETTING ACQUAINTED
Introductions serve many purposes in business. An introduction may acquaint individuals with one another. An introduction may serve as an opener for conversation when approaching a new acquaintance or it may begin a telephone call to a prospective client. We use two kinds of introductions every day: (1) the introduction of two or more people to one another, and (2) the introduction of one’s self, the self-introduction.
Learn to introduce individuals properly so that it will be easy and comfortable. If you appear to avoid making introductions, you leave a negative impression with all involved. You will appear unprepared and unprofessional, both traits that can quickly undermine the image you want to project of yourself and your company. Plan and practice your introduction just as you would an important presentation.
Introducing People to One Another
There is an art to introductions. It is important to make the introduction even though you may be confused about which individual you should introduce first. If you forget someone’s name, apologize politely and say that you have forgotten his or her name. They will most assuredly repeat their name for you. Be gracious and make an introduction even if you feel slightly awkward. The individuals involved will be grateful that you made the effort.
To make an introduction properly takes practice, keen observation, and some sense of age and seniority. It is important to understand who is being introduced to whom. The purpose of an introduction is to give people an opportunity to get to know one another. During the introduction, you can help to facilitate easy and comfortable conversation between the individuals by weaving appropriate information into the introduction of each individual.
“John Brown, I would like you to meet Linda Jones, our recently elected chairperson. Ms. Jones, this is Mr. Brown, senior manager at Widget Express. Ms. Jones recently completed a fou...

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. POWER ETIQUETTE
  7. BUSINESS ETIQUETTE: TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
  8. CHAPTER 1 THE FIRST IMPRESSION
  9. CHAPTER 2 YOUR BUSINESS WARDROBE
  10. CHAPTER 3 MEAL MANNERS
  11. CHAPTER 4 WRITE IT RIGHT
  12. CHAPTER 5 ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION
  13. CHAPTER 6 WHEN YOU SPEAK
  14. CHAPTER 7 PREPARING FOR THE JOB
  15. CHAPTER 8 OFFICE FINESSE
  16. CHAPTER 9 BUSINESS TRAVEL
  17. CHAPTER 10 AFTER HOURS
  18. YOUR CHALLENGE: TO BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE
  19. BIBLIOGRAPHY OF INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMS
  20. INDEX
Citation styles for Power Etiquette

APA 6 Citation

May, D. (1999). Power Etiquette ([edition unavailable]). AMACOM. Retrieved from https://www.perlego.com/book/728161/power-etiquette-pdf (Original work published 1999)

Chicago Citation

May, Dana. (1999) 1999. Power Etiquette. [Edition unavailable]. AMACOM. https://www.perlego.com/book/728161/power-etiquette-pdf.

Harvard Citation

May, D. (1999) Power Etiquette. [edition unavailable]. AMACOM. Available at: https://www.perlego.com/book/728161/power-etiquette-pdf (Accessed: 14 October 2022).

MLA 7 Citation

May, Dana. Power Etiquette. [edition unavailable]. AMACOM, 1999. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.