In order to avoid strict professional definitions concerning the concept of business etiquette, let us just say that business etiquette is the way we behave ourselves at the office among our co-workers. Business etiquette is the way we dress, we walk, we speak, we eat, we smile and we use our body language.
Business etiquette is a rare topic of conversation in Armenia. We often treat our colleagues like we treat our relatives, sometimes by being rude or, what is worse, being too friendly with them :). Very often we explain our behavior as natural and criticize the western countries for their “unnatural” behavior. STOP! Let us try to follow the business etiquette rules and stay natural simultaneously.
Here are some business etiquette tips that can be very helpful:
Remember that people make their first impression judging from your appearance, especially your outfit. The ones dressed in ironed shirts will always be treated with more respect and care. Try not to appear at the office dressed as if you are going to the beach or to a party. As for women, they shouldn’t wear aggressive makeup and wear too much jewelery. The office is not a place to show off. You should first feel comfortable in your outfit and should not be in the center of everyone’s attention.
The body language can be of highest importance at the workplace. Don’t overuse your hands and facial muscles while talking to your colleagues, to your boss or while making an important presentation. Even if you’re nervous and uncomfortable don’t show it to everyone. You should be treated with more respect and trust if you make impression of a confident man. For instance if you put your hands in your pockets and frown every single moment, you will make an impression of an unconfident man in front of the listeners.
If you’re early, you’re on time, if you’re on time, you’re late. This really is true about the working etiquette. If you’ve got a meeting, be in place 3 minutes earlier. However, don’t be 15 minutes earlier. That’s not to the point either. When you’re working in a team and there’s mutual dependency among the team members, always be on time. Remember, you are a team player, don’t ruin others’ schedule.
4. Speech etiquette
While you’re making a discussion over an issue, try never to speak too much. Your colleagues may also have some opinions on the point. Always listen to all of them before making a final decision. Even if you think that the other’s suggestion is useless, never be rude and bring valuable arguments to prove him the opposite.
5. E-mail etiquette
While writing official e-mails stay official and to the point. Follow the e-mail writing rules. The receiver should not spend all his working time on trying to understand the issues you touched in the e-mail. Be simple, be short, be polite!
Keep your private affairs private. Don’t make them public. Don’t make all the conversations a topic of discussion for all the office members. Don’t discuss all the promises and hopes with everyone around. We are friendly and open nation, but we also should learn the business etiquette norms that are accepted in all the developed countries.
LISTEN!!! No matter you are talking to your boss or to your employee always listen to the end before claiming your points. Remember, you are not the one that have great ideas.
8. Never OVERCommunicate
While at the office, remember that you’re here for working and not having pleasant conversations with everyone around. Communicating to the colleagues is great, but never cross the line. Frankly, no one is interested in your personal affairs. Don’t bore your colleagues. Friendly talks are always needed and pleasant but know where to stop. You spend most of your day with your colleagues, it’s so easy to annoy them 🙂
9. Eating manners
We spend a great deal of time at the office and sometimes the lunch we have in the day is not enough for us. So we sometimes eat sitting right at our desks. That’s a normal and accepted thing in the offices. However, never forget that you are surrounded with many people who are working. Never eat smelly and noisy things in the room. Don’t annoy your colleagues. Besides, be extremely neat while eating at the desk. Your desk is your working area and not your kitchen table. If you can keep the office eating etiquette then BON APPETIT 😉
10. Respect other’s cultures
In this century of globalizations we deal with so many people representing various cultures. Be attentive. Don’t hurt them. If you’re working at the office where there are people of different nationalities, get to know to their cultures not to make wrong steps. Sometimes you might do your best to please your colleague from other country and have the very opposite affect as a result. For instance, you might talk to your Armenian colleague keeping the distance of a meter, but while dealing with your German colleague don’t go too close, don’t enter his personal area. So, respect your colleague’s culture. Don’t make him Armenian, make him comfortable, instead:)
Following all the above mentioned points is of crucial importance. If you are a good specialist in your sphere but you don’t have a business etiquette elaborated for yourself, you decrease your chances of success to 50 percent.
The office is the place we spend most of our time! Let us make these hours pleasant and productive!