Business etiquette 101

Emily Post is charging $200 - $300 for business etiquette lessons.  Here is the CO version free of charge.
  1. Listen - Nothing is more polite or productive than listening to what customers and coworkers say.
  2. Think - Thinking will allow you politely solve many problems.
  3. Act - Emerson said "every natural action is graceful".
  4. Be polite - To the receptionist, to person on the phone, to the person in line.  Always be polite and spread the good example.
  5. Be prepared - Review, research, read, prepare.  Is there anything more impolite than showing up unprepared?
  6. Be early - Five or ten minutes early says "this meeting is important and so are you."
  7. They tell you to relax?  Relax a little.
  8. Look good.
  9. Dress nicely - no matter where you are or what you do, look nice.
  10. Casual day?  Be the nicest casual.
  11. Normal day?  Be the nicest normal.
  12. Client visit?  Tell them how important they are by looking nice.
  13. Crease - Hot iron and ten minutes makes all the difference. 
  14. Razor sharp creases say "you are important".
  15. Shine - Ten more minutes takes the dull away and says "I am ready"
  16. Edge - The right edging says "I spent a little more time."
  17. Groom - Be different.  The right kind of different.
  18. Take notes - Notes say that you want to remember rather than asking someone else to.
  19. Names - Learn them and use them.
  20. Words - Use words rather than acronyms.
  21. Sentences - Words come together to form sentences.  Sentences are polite.
  22. Thoughts - Sentences string together to form thoughts.  Thoughts represent thinking, thinking helps.
  23. Stories - Stories express thoughts and keep the attention of the listener(s).  This is good business.
  24. Communication - Peter Ustinov said: "Communication is the art of being understood".
  25. If they don't understand you then YOU should make an adjustment.  This is good manners.
  26. Answer.
  27. When someone calls
  28. When someone emails.
  29. When someone asks.
  30. Answering is polite.
  31. Silence is rude when you are asked.
  32. Write - Writing is very polite.
  33. Write notes - thank you notes, ideas, words, sentences, thoughts. . .in writing.
  34. "The knowledge of men and manners is the first principle and fountainhead of good writing." - Horace.
  35. Read - Read to prepare.
  36. Read - Read to improve.
  37. Read - Read to speak better.
  38. Read - Read to write better.
  39. Read - Read to tell better stories.
  40. Read for depth.
  41. Read for breadth.
  42. Read for perspective.
  43. "Manners make the man"
  44. "Manners must adorn knowledge and smooth its way through the world." - Lord Chesterfield
  45. "Manners are more important than laws." - Burke
  46. Don't gossip - Gossiping is rude and destructive.
  47. Speak candidly.
  48. Not rudely.
  49. But aim to be the person who, when speaking, deserves to be heard.
  50. Be helpful - Never stand by when you can pitch in.
  51. Be helpful - Never stand by and allow misinformation to be spread.
  52. “…I want employees to ask themselves whether they are willing to have any contemplated act appear the next day on the front page of their local paper – to be read by their spouses, children and friends – with the reporting done by an informed and critical reporter.” - Warren Buffett
  53. Be brief.
  54. One page.
  55. Ten minutes.
  56. Short waits.
  57. Straightforward answers.
  58. "Let your countenance be pleasant, but in serious matters somewhat grave." - George Washington.
  59. Improve - Get better all the time.
  60. Pay attention - Stay with us.  Hang in there.
  61. Walk with purpose in your step.
  62. Open doors.
  63. Offer a hand.
  64. Smile.
  65. Appreciate - Always understand what you have as you work for more.
  66. Be kind.
  67. Be predictable in behavior and creative strategy.
  68. Remain calm.
  69. Remember your position and the gifts of business leadership:
  70. The gift of a megaphone which has been strapped to your lips so that everything you say can now be heard by twenty times more people than before.
  71. The gift of binoculars which will be trained on you so that everything you do will be watched by more people than ever before.
  72. The gift of fire which is used to light other fires under people (Thanks to Danny Meyer).
  73. Make eye contact - Look at people.  It is polite and will tell you volumes about them.
  74. Ask questions - Questions tell people that you heard what they said and take it as important.
  75. Probe - Probing means that you understand the issue is important and you want to
  76. Understand - The Greek term for understand translates to the concept of "makeapath".  Seek to understand so you could walk with the speaker.  The ultimate compliment is to understand.
  77. Remember Buffett's other rules of business etiquette:
  78. No. 1 - Make money
  79. No. 2 - Never forget rule number 1.
  80. Nothing is more rude than to cause co-workers to lose their jobs.
  81. Know every day why you are here.
  82. Be here.
  83. Not there.
  84. Find good.
  85. Make good become great.
  86. Make friends.
  87. Build Savings.
  88. Build Favors.
  89. Build Good Will.
  90. These things are done by performing good deeds for others.
  91. They don't materialize out of nowhere.
  92. They aren't owed to you.
  93. They are earned.
  94. Be valuable - It is polite to be of value.
  95. Never be a commodity - Commodities are of little value.
  96. Learn discernment - Spotting a fool or trickery is the mark of a well-trained, valuable person.
  97. Never wallow in busyness.
  98. Create habits of etiquette.
  99. Remember that the greatest were also good.
  100. "The superior man is polite but not cringing; the common man is cringing but not polite." Confucius
  101. "A man's hat in his hand never did him any harm."  Italian Proverb.
Thanks to Nicholas Bate.

What did you think of this article?

  • No trackbacks exist for this post.
  • No comments exist for this post.
Leave a comment

Submitted comments are subject to moderation before being displayed.


 Email (will not be published)


Your comment is 0 characters limited to 3000 characters.