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 start-up, 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.