Business Etiquette Matters – A Lot

August 11, 2021


Let’s face it, we live in a competitive world. There are many choices where to conduct business and who to hire to join your team. Sure, having the latest technology or cutting-edge product or service are important to be competitive in the marketplace as well as convenient access, but they aren’t the only factors that determine one’s success. Etiquette, that’s right, etiquette is an essential skill that can catapult an organization and its people to a higher level of success. In other words, manners matter – a lot.

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others.
If you have that awareness, you have good manners,
no matter what fork you use.”

~  Emily Post

Think about a time when you experienced an incident inside or outside of work where you were treated with disrespect and outright rudeness. Chances are the situation was not pleasant and left you with an unfavorable impression of the service you received. You may think twice about patronizing them again. On the flip side, take a moment to reflect on a time when you were showered with the red carpet treatment and the utmost of respect. It was, undoubtedly, an experience filled with delight and over-the-top satisfaction. You will likely enjoy doing business with them again and again.

No matter the nature of your organization, working in an environment that makes business etiquette a priority will have a positive impact on not only its bottom line but retaining and attracting top talent. It’s quite simple. People do business with the people they like, and people work for businesses where they feel valued and appreciated.

Uphold or reinforce these gold standard etiquette tips to enhance your professionalism and your organization’s brand.

Service with a Smile
Nothing can start a conversation off better than a smile – plus it’s contagious. The recipient(s) will likely react favorably, too. Often, we find ourselves in the hustle and bustle of work, and our nonverbal language may be communicating a different message. Taking time to smile can diffuse any miscommunication.

Address Them by Their Name
When saying hello or having a conversation, extend politeness by addressing them by their name, even if it’s a quick hello while passing each other in the hallway. “Hello, Susan” rather than “Hey, Susan” is the preferred courtesy. You’ll want to keep honorifics in mind, especially when meeting with clients or business guests such as, “Hello Dr. Smith, it’s great to see you this afternoon.” When we appropriately address people, we are not only exuding respect, we also are showcasing our best selves.

Be Punctual
Everyone’s time is valuable. Arriving on time (or a bit early) for a meeting shows respect and the same holds true for ending the meeting at the scheduled time. Of course, there will be days when your schedule or another’s may be upended, and displaying courtesies at all times is the winning approach.

Wear Your Empathy Hat
One of the best ways to exhibit politeness is to show empathy. There will be occasions when a coworker may struggle with a personal issue or your organization faces a setback. Rather than judging or making assumptions, take time to understand the situation from their perspective. Being there for one another builds loyalty, respect, and trust – all matters of etiquette.

Let Your Self-Awareness Shine
Self-awareness is a top leadership skill, and it does wonders for career success and a company’s brand. Recognizing your strengths and weaknesses and understanding the emotions of others and how your feelings can impact others is the power of self-awareness. With high self-awareness, you can properly navigate through good and bad situations with efficiency, aplomb, and etiquette.

Dress Appropriately
Your image can speak to your professionalism and your organization’s credibility. With many organizations taking a more casual approach to dress, you should always opt to maintain a professional image by dressing up your business casual and practicing good hygiene. By doing so, you will convey respect to yourself, others, and your organization.
Wear Your Company Clothing with Pride
When you wear your company logo, you are representing the organization as their ambassador. Be prepared to showcase the best of etiquette and company protocol. Ensure the logoed clothing items are clean, pressed, and in good condition. If you’re attending an event where alcohol is served, be mindful of your intake. There’s nothing worse than being the talk of the day at the office watercooler if you indulged in one too many. What’s more, your behavior will be a poor reflection on the company, and you may be faced with unpleasant consequences.

Adhere to the Golden Rule

Treat others as you would like others to treat you. Good manners set the standard for business practice and professionalism. Saying courtesies like please, thank you, you’re welcome, pardon me, etc. should be part of your and your company’s communication repertoire. Listening and maintaining good eye contact should also be etiquette staples along with kindness, respect, and honesty.  


About the Author:

Nancy Schnoebelen Imbs is an empowering professional development consultant, dynamic motivational speaker and author. Highly dedicated and results-oriented, she has the skill and passion for helping individuals become more confident and successful in business and beyond. She and her company Polished help clients focus on key adjustments that result in meaningful impact and effectiveness.

Contact Polished, today to enhance your business etiquette for career success.

Join the Conversation

Welcome to the ASAP Circle, a community platform for peer-to-peer conversation on trending topics, professional challenges, and shared experiences. We even have designated spaces for weekly Tuesday Coffee Breaks.

Start Connecting Today!

American Society of Administrative Professionals

Producer of

APC  EA Ignite