By Aimee Johnson
Has an email ever rubbed you the wrong way? Do you have to confirm where to pin your name tag every time you head to a networking event? Have you ever listened to your conference line’s tinny music for over 10 minutes waiting for your forever-tardy team to call in? Why does this keep happening, you ask? Is business etiquette a thing of the past?
If you’ve asked these questions, you’re not alone. As technology changes and cultures clash, the ways we communicate with each other evolve — and during our 9-5 rush, sometimes it can seem like etiquette and simple manners are left in the dust.
Though they may seem small and irrelevant, I believe these small details can be powerful and set you apart in such a competitive market we live in today. There’s a renewed interest in etiquette. If you want proof, head over to YouTube and type in “manners” and you’ll find thousands of results.
Anywhere you go online you’ll find netizens with questions on proper manners, how to handle certain situations, corporate etiquette, and more.
Below are some great resources for various etiquette topics to help you in your personal and professional endeavors:
- Anna Post: Anna offers
wedding and lifestyle advise, though you can find tips on language barriers at
work and responding to a client’s note of appreciation on her business
- Diane Gottsman: Diane shares
insights on everything from table manners to New Year’s resolutions. Here are
great tips on professional etiquette and LinkedIn interaction.
- Jacqueline Whitmore: Check
out her thoughts on the benefits of handwritten
- Sharon Schweitzer: Sharon offers advice for anyone with questions about corporate and business etiquette. Here are tips for writing emails to international business contacts.
Why is business etiquette still important?
Etiquette is respect in action. Manners are a way of showing people we care about them and/or their ideas. This can help break down barriers and start relationship and trust building.
Sending an email or handwritten letter following an introduction or client meeting takes time and effort. Investing time in another person show them that you value and respect them. You’re not just telling them; you’re showing them proof.
Etiquette boosts morale. Think about when you were first starting your career — when the boss stopped by your desk to congratulate you on meeting your goals last quarter or asked for your feedback on a new project, how did it make you feel?
Etiquette allows professionals of all levels to show their employees that their wants and needs are important, and that their hard work is appreciated. The strongest companies are formed when everyone feels a sense of shared respect.
Etiquette is contagious. The great thing about office etiquette is that it’s contagious. By leading by example, one manager can influence others to adopt a new attitude. A single member of a company can completely change workplace dynamics for the better.
When YOU put a value on etiquette you inspire your colleagues to follow in your footsteps. Make it part of your personal brand and culture!
Etiquette reduces stress. There will always be some stress in your workday. If there isn’t, there should be — a healthy amount of stress shows you’re challenging yourself and taking the risks needed to exceed your goals. But if you dread opening an email from the director of marketing or asking the IT department for help with a server issue, that stress can definitely stall your work, sabotage your goals and even derail your career.
Think of proper corporate etiquette as the grease that keeps your productivity train rolling. When you practice etiquette in all of your interactions, you maintain healthy relationships with, leads, clients and colleagues and your lines of communication retain a healthy hum.
Etiquette raises your brand image. “So honey, how was your day?” When you’re asked this question, is your answer usually positive or negative? How do you think others would respond?
If you think about it, people are talking about your brand every day — and they’re doing it around dinner tables and happy hour menus. Putting an emphasis on etiquette can ensure the picture others paint is a positive one.