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How Are Your Listening Skills?

National Business Etiquette Week

Good listening skills are a very important social and professional skill.  As we discussed earlier, career success many times hinges on professional etiquette and poise.  One skill that can NEVER be over-rated is the art of listening.

Listening is truly an art.  And a “science”.  And just good plain business-sense!

Some tips for better and more effective listening skills…

Casual Dress versus Business Dress

National Business Etiquette Week

What is considered casual attire to one person may be business attire to another.  What constitutes casual attire to one person may be classified as “sloppy” to another.  Opinions on dress code are as diverse as people themselves.

Casual:   Is it business casual or just “casual”?

  • If you are the person hosting an event, make sure you are clear about the dress code and how you define it.
  • If you are the attendee, make sure you understand the dress code.  If you have questions, always err to the side of dressing more professional or conservative.

Business Etiquette – Formal and Informal Greetings

Continuing with our focus on National Business Etiquette Week, let’s look more specifically at professional etiquette that enhances professional image.

When you meet someone for the first time, it is important to establish rapport by making an introduction.  Others may be shy or simply not friendly so you may be the person expected to make the first move.

National Business Etiquette Week is June 7th through 13th

Career success many times hinges on professional etiquette and poise.  A variety of behavior and habits encompass business etiquette.   This can range from handshakes to conversation style; phone etiquette to casual dress; body language to alcohol at company gatherings; office décor to water cooler gossip.

This week we will look at a number of office “do’s and don’ts” in detail.  To set the stage we can begin with general business etiquette guidelines.

  • Remember to make eye contact when being introduced or speaking to someone
  • Always offer a handshake
  • Be respectful of people’s personal space
  • Pay attention and use modeling  (when in Rome…)
  • Make a note to remember someone’s name.  A sure-fire method to engage your memory is to repeat the person’s name back to them in conversation.
  • Be genuinely interested in others
  • Exercise caution with alcohol
  • Exercise good judgment with your attire

Remember… careers can be built or destroyed on business etiquette, manners, poise, and good (or bad) judgment.

National Business Etiquette Week is Here

Yes, that is correct. National Business Etiquette Week is the second week of June and starts today.

So the official designation is the time to recognize your own organization’s need for proper business etiquette and intelligence in order to compete in a growing global marketplace.

While this may sound to some like teaching us about how dinnerware is arranged upon the table, it is a serious subject and needs to taken seriously or it will cost you many opportunities for growth and profits. That gets my attention every time as a business owner.

If you deal with international customers, I highly recommend a book for you. Kiss, Bow and Shake HandsHow to Do Business in more than 60 Countries Around the World by Terri Morrison and Wayne Conaway. This book has assisted me in all my travels around the world providing insider views on the do’s and don’t’s around the world. It has kept me from losing face with people from other nations than the USA. Recommended reading or at a minimum as a reference source.

I asked Judy Bell to write a series of posts this week for insight into the subject of Business Etiquette and how important it can be. Enjoy. And, write a comment to let us know if we are helping you. Make a suggestion on future topics of interest to you. We listen to the most important people – YOU. Tell us how you feel about our topics. Thanks.