The niceties of BUSINESS


Professional social situations can be tricky. As first impressions are made in a matter of second, following the quintessential etiquettes of doing business has become an inevitable requisite

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Dressing the part, rehearsing the lines and stocking your files are the preliminary part of the preparation for sneaking your way into the corporate arena, but what finally secures the seat is your knack to make that perfect first impression. While B-school education preps a fresher to make it big and score a fly job, it seldom concentrates on the nitty-gritty of business niceties. In today’s era of open-plan work spaces and digital technology the concept of corporate etiquettes is more relevant and crucial than ever. These mannerisms are an essential necessity for a fresher. They are handy not only during the interview phase but also throughout their corporate trajectory – starting from the bottom of the hierarchy and right to the top.

With changing times and newer inclusions of work techniques and technologies, the rules for social appropriateness and mannerisms have blurred. The competition is stiff. With herds of talented freshers and entrepreneurs in the market tussling for the same spot, it is only through charm and charisma that these corporate entities can rise above the rest and get noticed. Such etiquettes and set of social rules lay the groundwork for all kinds of business relationship, whether it is between peers or clients or even between two business units in general. Abiding by these rules project professionalism and hence imbibes a sense of confidence and positivity. Within an organization adhering to social manners and code of conduct leads to a healthier working atmosphere. It allows teamwork to be more amicable and also makes it easier for co-workers with different opinions to work together.


Cultural eccentricities can be tackled more efficiently if every employee follows similar work ethics as it would in turn help these individuals to focus their energy at the task at hand rather than their differences. Being an international concept, business etiquette aids in successful cross-cultural business dealings and is counterproductive in terms of handling vast geographical diversions.

With changing times and the 21st century’s corporate revolution, it is essential for every newbie to imbibe and understand these social niceties. It not only aids in scoring brownie points at an official level but also contributes in molding their overall personality. With the ubiquity of gadgets and technologies like mobiles, tablets and Internet, there are few new additions to the rule book. But, nonetheless there are also these age-old etiquette staples that hold good in today’s scenario.

Time-tested professional protocols

The crux of corporate etiquette is the ability to create socially comfortable work spaces. These norms for professional behavior are standard throughout any kind, form, culture, country or size of business. Table manners, professional greetings, business handshakes, elevator manners, gender treatments, time management, verbal and non-verbal communication, formal dress code, extending courtesies are few pointers from these rule book that has remained consistent. The following are the five essential mannerisms that every professional should swear-by-

Names: upon introduction, always use your full name and also pay careful attention to your counterpart’s full name and how they pronounce it. Also, pay attention to how they want to be addressed and follow it.


Pronunciation of names can get complicated;if yours is a difficult name with an even trickier pronunciation, then either spell it out or right down the break-up on your visiting card before handing it over. Always remember your peers, business associate’s and client’s names – it helps in building inter personal relationship

Language: stick to a strictly professional diction and watch your language. Slangs, derogatory comments and rude remarks are totally unacceptable.Use of colloquial language is unprofessional, hence be careful while picking your words. Stick to polite greetings and don’t go overboard with your ‘thank you’, ‘please’ and ‘sorry’.


Body language: non-verbal communication can be just as impactful as verbal communication. So in order to come across as a serious professional always follow the basic body language rule. A solid handshake is still the norm to kick start a professional relationship. Always standup while introducing yourself or while being introduced to – it helps in establishing your presence. Do not cross your legs while being seated, this rule applies to both men and women. While conversing, in order to direct or emphasis, use your open palm but do not point your finger. Maintain constant eye contact with your counterpart, but do not stare.

Time: always be on time. There is nothing more unprofessional than being lousy with time. Being punctual shows that you value the business and people’s time. Being late just says that you are inconsiderate.

Farewell: after a professional rendezvous always send out a thank you note or a card. Sending either a handwritten note or a digital mail adds value and acts as a follow-up. It will reflect well on your firm and you and also project your sincerity towards the collaboration.

New-age professional protocols

Given the universal presence of social media it is essential to make the right move online. With a professional blunder just a click away; here is the new-age code of conduct that every professional should abide by:

Time: though the digital space is devoid of time restriction, be careful in following it. Any work email, text, voice mails should be sent within the office hours. On weekend steer clear of any official means of communication.


Dress code: with organizations becoming flexible and more relaxed in terms of acceptable office wear, many newbies and professionals are going super casual. Though certain level of leverage is acceptable, showing up to work in ripped jeans and beach shirt is totally not. When in doubt, take cues from your seniors and do not experiment.

Elevator and corridor rules: exchange pleasantries and do not discuss serious office work while riding the elevator or crossing paths. Wearing ear plugs or constantly checking your blackberry while in presence of your peers is plain rude. Common spaces like elevators and corridors are great for social interaction, so use them to interact and catch up with your colleagues.

The workspace maze: everyone works out of a cubicle these days. It is considered as their personal space – so don’t invade it without permission. Either knock or verbally announce before entering.

Online avenues: professional networking sites such as Linkedin are good medium to build and sustain professional contacts. When it comes to be social medium such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, be careful as to whom you befriend and the nature of information you make available to them. Online mistakes are difficult to undo and can leave a lasting impression. So, think twice before you accept or send out that friend request


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Author:  buddingmanagers
Posted On:  Tuesday, 29 July, 2014 - 11:35

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