Knowing good manners can help you make effective business relationships, make useful contacts, develop long-term relationships, and enjoy being with a variety of people.
Many perceive etiquette as something archaic, believing that behind it there are far-fetched rules and ceremonies that only complicate life - we already know that we don't have to wipe our hands on the tablecloth. But, alas, basic knowledge is not enough - especially for people who are building a career, planning to promote themselves and their business. Here are 10 rules of business etiquette.
1. Greetings: who greets first?
If in modern secular etiquette gender issues are more important than subordination, then in business etiquette the opposite is true: here communication is conducted between professionals, and not between men and women. The first to greet is the one who is lower in official position - for example, a middle-aged woman accountant should be the first to greet a young male boss.
If there are other people in the office of the person you came to, limit yourself to a general bow and greeting. Then, shake hands with whoever invited you. It would seem that everything is simple and logical, but etiquette is a delicate and sometimes difficult matter.
During a conversation, you should not gaze intently into the face of the interlocutor or lean over him.
Don't tilt your head to the side, unless you're trying to flirt.
2. Correct handshake
If you walk up to a group of people and shake hands with one person, you need to shake hands with the rest. Advice from Igor Mann: “It is very important to be able to shake hands correctly: not for long enough (one or two strokes); moderately weak; if you want to demonstrate superiority, hold your palm when shaking hands from above; show respect for the interlocutor (for example, a lady) - your palm should be under the palm of the interlocutor. And, by default, the palm should be dry and clean."
Do not smoke during the handshake. Throw away the cigarette, then shake hands. If this is not possible, apologize for the fact that you are with a cigarette. Never reach out with your left hand to shake hands. Even if you are left-handed, use your right hand. They don’t shake hands in the washroom.
3. Get ready for small talk
Business communication often involves elements of informal conversation. The ability to conduct so-called small talk (light, casual conversation on an abstract, but exciting topic) is a very useful skill.
Good topics for conversation: sports, cars (for men), children (for women), hobbies, gourmet cuisine and pets, art and literature, interesting events and scientific discoveries, travel and attractions, local landscapes, nature and weather, attractions.
Forbidden topics for conversation: Diseases, problems, conflicts, income, high prices, debts, politics and religion, personal life of interlocutors or other people, age, position and nationality, "sore subject" of the interlocutor.
4. How to introduce yourself?
When introducing people of equal status, imagine the one with whom you know the best, the one with whom you know the least. A man is introduced to a woman, the younger in age or by official position - the elder. When a person is introduced to you, focus on remembering their name - call them by name more often during the conversation.
It happens, of course, that new names fly out of memory. The most reasonable thing in such a situation is to honestly admit that you are forgetful and, without losing your sense of tact and sense of humor, ask the interlocutor to recall his name.
5. Etiquette when parting
When leaving strangers, you don't have to personally say goodbye to everyone. And if you leave a crowded reception earlier than the rest of the guests, say goodbye only to the hosts of the meeting. Otherwise, your departure may serve as a signal for the party participants that it is time for everyone to go home.
If the conversation lasts too long, invite the other person to meet new people, introduce them to each other, apologize and say goodbye.
Goodbyes should be short - for example, shaking hands as if we were meeting. End the conversation politely with generic phrases such as, "It was great to see you."
If new people join the conversation, introduce them to your interlocutor. Don't leave without introducing them.
If you need to leave the meeting earlier, wait for a pause in the conversation, get up and say goodbye, expressing hope for a new meeting.
6. "Negotiation" etiquette
Both the protocol and the content should be carefully prepared. You should invite partners to negotiations at least two weeks in advance, so that they can also get ready - this will save time and create conditions for effective communication.
As for the composition of the delegation, there must be parity in the negotiations, that is, an equal number of participants from both sides and the correspondence of the positions of representatives with each. Only those employees are invited to the meeting, whose presence is really necessary. The venue for negotiations is proposed by the inviting party, but the invited person has the right to both accept and reject it.
7. How to meet foreign guests?
Guests at the airport must be met by the head of the delegation of the appropriate rank. He usually arrives accompanied by two or three people. The head of the host country is introduced first. He then introduces the spouse, then the staff (in descending order of rank). When escorting the delegation to the hotel, part with the guests not on the street, but in the lobby. You can also arrange a protocol visit there.
There is an unspoken rule (not categorical, but desirable) - if a guest arrives with his spouse, then the host leader arrives at the first meeting accompanied by his spouse.
8. Ability to listen to the interlocutor
Bernard Baruch, an American businessman and statesman, said: "Those successful people with whom I know listen more than talk." Dale Carnegie went even further, arguing that "The secret to influencing people is not speaking, but being a good listener."
Advice from Igor Mann: “Remember that different people have different rates of speech. Women, as a rule, speak faster (there is even a joke: "Women speak twice as fast as men listen"). Adjust the conversation to the pace of the interlocutor's speech - and you will make a more favorable impression."
Listen more than talk. If you do not agree with the proposal of the other side, before saying "no", give reasons for your position.
9. Telephone courtesy
Even if you are in a bad mood, do not let this be understood, smile, and your tone of voice will take on a cheerful color. Do not forget about the three pillars of a business telephone conversation - brevity, clarity, clarity. Do not forget to introduce yourself by giving your first and last name. Then tell them the purpose of the call. It is impolite to wait for more than 6 rings - it is better to hang up after the fifth ring. The person who started the conversation ends the conversation.
If the connection is interrupted, the caller calls back. It is best to answer after the second or third call - if you pick up the phone immediately, the caller may not have time to concentrate.
Don't take pictures of people who don't want to. Do not use the phone during a business meeting in a restaurant. This makes people around you think that you have more important things to do than this meeting.
10. Dress code of a business person
The leader should be an example for employees. He has the right to require them to comply with the dress code. Strictly and elegantly dressed employees are always a plus for the company's reputation. Your look should give the impression of natural grooming with a barely acceptable touch of negligence, sophisticated in itself.
A business person should have at least two or three suits. The shirt should fit well and have quality cuffs and collar. The pants should reach to the heel of your boots when you are standing, and in front form one soft fold above the instep. A businessman can only wear one ring - an engagement ring. The cost of the watch should not exceed two (maximum three) monthly salaries.
And remember: In the world of business, even at parties, elegance is welcome, not extravagance.