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Business Etiquette

Etiquette Essentials:

In today’s professional environment our demeanor is on display for all to see. Be sure to operate with everyone in a manner that promotes your sense of decorum, comfort and confidence. Put others at ease by demonstrating excellent manners. Etiquette in the workplace is not a restrictive set of rules. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Learning a few simple social expectations can alleviate the pressure of, “am I doing this right?”  Take this pressure off and allow yourself to focus on what matters: your colleagues, your clients, the opportunities in front of you, and even having a good time.

According to recruiters, image consultants and senior managers an image shake-up wouldn’t hurt most Administrative staff. Manners in the truest spirit of the term – being sensitive to the needs and feelings of others – still help determine whether you will get a job, whether you will advance, and how harmoniously your team will work together.

The most common, etiquette-related error in interviews is erring on the side of informality, and talking too much. Manners and image also play a role in advancement decision. People hire for skills, but they fire for attitude.

Today, the business environment tends to be less formal. I’m not sure that manners have declined, but certainly a great many things that could affect manners have changed. For example, in industries such as IT you have a more informal atmosphere accompanied with the high pressure of short term project deadlines.  In this environment the corporate culture of calm decorum is key for productive interactions between groups and individuals. Beyond your technical skills, most of the things that affect your job chances do relate in some way to etiquette, in the broadest sense of being sensitive to others.

Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Don’t talk too much
  • Don’t be negative
  • Focus on the needs of others
  • Be punctual
  • Be polite

Companies turn to image consultants because they want to put their best corporate face forward with customers and ultimately improve the bottom line. All employees must appear polished and professional when dealing with clients.

In general, manners seem to have deteriorated in recent years. Partly because of a greater informality in society, but also because start- up companies may not devote enough time to image. It’s really up to a company to set the tone of what its expectations are. An interview is a formal situation, even if it’s an internal referral. Don’t take it for granted and be too familiar.

Manners play an important role in the building of good work teams and in advancement decisions. Think before you speak; consider the consequences. Being in tune with the needs and sensitivities of others, and acting accordingly is the basis of business etiquette.

What kind of image do people conjure up when they speak to you on the phone? Do they picture you as confident and organized, friendly or aloof. Your tone of voice is important on the phone. Be sure to articulate clearly and speak slower- especially when speaking important information such as a call back number.

Anyone who regularly interacts with clients and want to build strong, productive professional relationship will benefit from the insight that Lynne Mackay and her partner Paul Byrne have to offer. You will learn how to project confidence and credibility in dealing with clients and peers, and how to conduct yourself with ease in any business/social situation.

  • Office Diplomacy/Business manners, discretion, sensitivity to others
  • Appropriate conduct/behaviors in the office and when meeting customers
  • Reception Etiquette; the first introduction to the firms image; receiving guests
  • Telephone manners; establish rapport with your telephone audience
  • Speak with a confident tone
  • Vocal quality
  • Articulation and pronunciation
  • Active listening strategies
  • Professional Networking Skills; Working a room
  • Approaching and Leaving Groups
  • Successfully perform various types of introductions
  • Use communication strategies to start and continue conversations
  • Small talk topics to discuss and avoid
  • Business card etiquette
  • Effectively use kinesics and Proxemics to make clients/colleagues comfortable

Take Charge of Your Reputation

We all need to be aware of how our behaviour is being viewed by others, especially clients. It’s no secret that clients and colleagues are using the behaviour they see to form their lasting impressions of you. Feel comfortable in conveying your best self by learning the why, when, where, and how of professional protocols. These “rules” of office behaviour are not restrictive; in fact quite the opposite is true. Knowing what the expectations are, and knowing how to meet them provides a foundation of confidence and composure that enables personal expression without the worry of: “am I doing this right.”

Are you submissive, aggressive or assertive? Find out where you fit and why assertiveness is the best way to achieve your goals. Learn the words to use, the secrets of body language, and how to interpret other’s behaviour to make positive assertiveness a productive force in your life.

What to wear? What’s the right look? Does this even fit? Is this right for the weather? What you wear, how you look, and how you carry yourself makes a bigger difference than most people realize. Over half of the impression you convey to others is based on appearance. Be sure to convey the appropriate message by presenting your best professional self. The four major image appearance components; hair care, skin care, colour analysis, and wardrobe development are reviewed in depth. Both men and women will learn the “must knows” and the “never do’s” in this informative, entertaining, and interactive seminar.

Professional reputation

To be self-confident in professional and social situations is a feeling of freedom- freedom to be you. To be encumbered by concerns of how you look, how you act, what to say, how to say it, etc. constrains your willingness to get involved, to be creative, to be assertive, ultimately to be yourself. This workshop takes the pressure off by giving you the easy to implement strategies of looking your best, conversing with confidence, and dining with grace. Learn how to network for results, listen to create goodwill, and make introductions with flair. Knowing you’re making the right impression with ease and comfort provides you with the psychological and emotional space to be yourself. This workshop is designed by choosing elements from our other full day workshops to create a customized experience for participants.

Being at your best with difficult people and situations

Let’s talk communication. Communication is easy when it’s easy. When we’re getting along with others, having fun, feeling comfortable it’s a pleasure to be communicating. Our communication competence is required of us when the going gets tough. Being at our best is required when we’re challenged by others, when we find ourselves in disagreement, when we encounter a difficult person or situation.

Being at our best when it’s most difficult is the real test of our maturity and character. There are a variety of helpful tactics and messages that can be employed given certain difficult circumstances that increase the likelihood of favourable outcomes. But for us, for now, let’s start at the most fundamental and most vital: thinking.

The way we think about ourselves, others, and the situation is the foundation from which we begin any difficult engagement. Being at your best when confronted with difficulty requires you to be able to think clearly and rationally; to not be sucked into a losing battle; and, to remain calm and be fair (with yourself and others). Easier said than done when your blood pressure is rising, your heart is pounding because of this insensitive, overbearing #@#@!- whoa- easy big fella. Yes, it can be hard, but it’s not impossible. Let’s take a look at something that can make a real difference and help us deal better with the inevitable difficult circumstances of life.

Take a page from Buddha. Mentally thank the difficult person or situation for allowing you the opportunity to be your best. I, as an experienced squash player,  take little pride in beating a far worse player. I’m thankful for a match that pushes me to the limit. We’re thankful of the experiences in our life that push us to be at our best in maturity and character. In Buddhism we would think of difficult people and situations as our teachers. They are allowing us to practice being better, without them we can never improve and grow in maturity and character.

If at this point, you, the reader, are going along with this so far…great! That means you’re open to some ideas that challenge our normal sense of conflict resolution and you probable have the mental capacity to actually think this way when you’re next confronted by something difficult.

The reason we want to be so gratuitous is because this mind-set frames the circumstance differently in our head. We are what we think. Our thoughts create our emotions; our emotions impact our behavior; our behavior is all everyone else sees and hears. It all starts with the way we think.

Instead of getting upset, frustrated, anxious when confronted by a difficult person or situation start with the most fundamental. Control what you can: think calm, think rational, and think.