No matter what the industry or business sector, “Positive Workplaces” are built on successful people-to-people relationships. This relationship sets the tone and impacts the workplace. The workplace environment drives employees; those people, who ultimately, drive the business. Given the close proximity of people in the workplace, technology and its affect on our time, the global business culture, and the on-going social and networking interactions, we live in a hectic, fast-paced business world! We can easily forget about the importance of the developing and maintaining the people-to-people connections. Have you ever thought about the role our actions play in rebuilding our important relationships and forging them in our business and personal lives? Etiquette has always been an important part of life, be it social or business. However, it seems that business etiquette has become more important in the last decade. This is mainly due to the fact that the business world is becoming more global .Attitude of a person is reflected in his behaviour. Research has repeatedly proved that knowledge about a person’s attitude helps anticipate his future behavior. This knowledge has great significance at the workplace. Etiquette helps people to understand what is appropriate in any situation. It is also important to know the difference between business protocol and business etiquette. Business protocol determines what actions you take in a situation. Etiquette tells you how to take those actions. Our actions speak about our behavior. In the world of business, it’s not what you do but how you do it. With one small gesture you can impress, insult, appear cultured and educated, or simply become a social outcast. We all know body language plays a part in the way we are perceived by the world, but how much does it affect you at work?
This article significantly conclude the importance of etiquette that includes courtesy, image, trust and reliability; which increases opportunities for new business, fosters congenial business relationship, builds confidence and creates goodwill. India is one of the largest and most multi -cultured country and business culture here tends to be more informal and friendly. Mentioned below are list of few etiquette we should practice:
• Avoid crossing your arms or standing with your hands on your hips or in your trouser pockets. Placing your hands behind your back is a good option. Actions we should avoid are:
1. Hands in pockets- Shows disrespect, and that you have something to hide.
2. Covering your mouth- It suggests you are lying.
3. Shaking feet or legs- It shows indifference and disinterest.
• A beckoning gesture with an upraised forefinger is considered rude.
• Avoid sitting in any manner that would permit the sole of your shoe or foot to be seen, which would be taken as an insult. Placing your feet on a table is especially bad manners. Likewise, if you cross your legs, do not allow the foot of the upper leg to point directly at your host.
• Make contact: There are few physical contacts that are appropriate in business; the most important and acceptable is your handshake. Your handshake is a non-verbal clue that indicates to the other person whether or not you are a take charge person. For example, a firm and strong handshake suggests that you are decisive, in control. Now think of the impression you had after shaking hands with someone that presented a weak, slippery or lifeless handshake. What did that make you think of them? If the handshake is between a male and a female, male should not initiate the handshake.
• Smile: This seems very simple, but it’s amazing how people’s moods and words are misjudged because their expressions are often overly-serious. A smile shows that you like yourself; you like your current place in the world and you’re happy with the people you’re interacting with. No one will say you’re crabby if you’re smiling. A smile says, I’m approachable and confident.
• Make eye contact: Every time a person begins talking to you, look them in the eye and smile first, then get on with the conversation. Also, when you enter a room for a meeting smile and look around at everyone. If you want to start talking to one person – or even a group – come up to them and smile. Again, this is another way to say, I’m approachable.
• Unpleasant manner or style of interacting, including being rude, abrupt, aggressive, dominating, commandeering, intimidating, non-cooperative or unhelpful.
• Spreading rumors and gossip about other employees or about the organization can lead to the breakdown of trust; affect morale and cause conflict at the work place.
• Sabotaging work practices, undermining others, wasting time and failing to co-operate “that’s not my work” are break down of professionalism at work.
• Don’t wear suggestive or revealing clothes. You should follow a proper way of dressing.
• If you are a man, let women enter or exit the door first.
We all know that negative, toxic environments disengage and de-motivate employees, while positive, supportive environments engage and motivate our most valuable asset .Its our behavior which can make our organization a better place to work. It doesn’t matter whether we are self-employed or work for a small business, not-for-profit, educational institution or large corporation, we all need to remember the basics of business etiquette. Keep it simple to survive and thrive in the work place.