Business Etiquette Tips

Basic Etiquette Tips. The Co-workers and your Boss. The Attire and Language. Time as a Factor. Cell Phone Usage. Meetings and Behavior. French Business Etiquette. Business Communication. Business Meetings and Discussions. Business etiquette in Russia.

Рубрика Этика и эстетика
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Язык английский
Дата добавления 02.06.2014
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Business Etiquette Tips

We will give you some important business etiquette tips by which you can learn to inculcate the same. Business has ceased to be a simple affair. It is not merely limited to the making and breaking of a trade or a deal anymore like it used to be in the earlier times. It has gone way beyond that. Along with the basics of trade, it now includes the whole nine yards - How you talk, walk, present yourself, what you wear, what to speak, how to speak, even to the point of how you eat. All these factors will have an impact on your business. In fact they could very well be the deciding factors of whether you get a deal or lose it. The basics of business etiquette have come to play and stay on. And if surviving in this competitive world is important to you, you need to know the basics of this practice and what it involves.

Business etiquette teaches you a set of ways on how to behave and how to present yourself. This not only helps with your business, but also helps in preparing you to cope with trying situations and preventing your crumbling under pressure. In this following article we will give you certain important business etiquette tips that will help you create a strong foothold in the business world and charm your way through deals, backed with your skills.

Basic Etiquette Tips

Many times, business deals fall through because of an action that might have been unintentional, but which was perceived as a breach of the expected or proper behavior. Which is what we look to prevent by understanding the basics of these rules. In this following section we will concentrate on the important rules of proper business etiquette that need to be followed and will give you the basics of how to make these work in different scenarios.

The Co-workers and your Boss

With so many people working around you, you have to understand one thing - these are the elements you need to care for. Never underestimate, bad mouth or insult anyone. Be respectful and courteous and ready to apologize for any mistake that you make. Be diplomatic where required and try not to let personal biases influence your decisions. Be respectful of your boss and make sure that you always inform him/her of any changes in your project. Never surprise your boss.

Be Social and Polite

This one goes without saying, but it is an important factor that needs to be reiterated at all times. You don't have to make friends with people and invite them over for drinks, but building a cordial relation goes a long way in the business world. Make it a point to interact and ask about them and their families. Greet people and talk with people who you share your working space with. Also, develop a firm handshake. A firm handshake goes a long way.

The Attire and Language

Make sure that you adhere to the rules of dressing according to the norms set at your workplace. One must dress keeping in mind the position, the work manner and the work culture that is present. The way in which you dress will work towards building an image of you and thereby your workplace, which matters in the business world. As far as the language is concerned, never ever swear or use such language that is considered crass. For the world to view you as professionals, you need to ensure that you use formal language that does not insult or cross the territory into being too personal.

Time as a Factor

Always be on time, never late. In case it's a meeting or a conference, be sure to be there 5 minutes early. Being tardy and late, makes for a very bad impression and can affect the image that colleagues and bosses might have of you.

Cell Phone Usage

In a professional setup, the usage of cell phones should be strictly monitored. The phone should be on the silent mode so that the noise does not disturb others. Do not take calls at your desk, make use of the area that has been provided for the same. Never receive calls when you're in the company of others. This is considered extremely rude behavior and an insult to the person in front of you because you aren't giving them the full attention they deserve.

Of Emails and Calls

There are certain rules that need to be followed as far as emails and calls are concerned. Make sure that you answer all the mails and call back with the answers. Return the calls with answers or information about who might have them. When calling someone else for information, identify yourself and be clear and concise. Leave the important details with them so that they can call you back. Always be courteous and polite when you answer the phone.

As far as mails are concerned, keep the mails as clear and short as possible. Answer the question in clarity and do not use references that will confuse the reader.

Meetings and Behavior

Meetings are an important part of any professional organization. Make sure that you arrive on time, have everything in order and are fully prepared for what is to follow. The objective of the meeting and the plan of action has to be duly discussed and provided for.

These are some of the basic business etiquette tips that need to be inculcated in your professional life. Following these with sincerity will help in making you a true professional, capable of handling any situation perfectly.

French Business Etiquette

In any setting, following a proper business etiquette is imperative as it can make or break a viable business relationship. Conducting business with the French is a different ball game altogether, and you should learn about their business etiquette before you head of to conduct business with them.

Conducting business deals with the French requires you to follow some very important protocol. Business communication and relationships are not as casual in nature as they may be in the United States. Specific methods of communication along with behavior are expected from any visitor. It is important that you learn a little about French business etiquette before you go there to do your business with them, no matter how big or small it may be. Here is a small guide that is likely to help you in your effort to learn more about the way the French conduct their business, and how you can fit into this culture.

French Business Culture

All business relationships in the French culture are highly formal. Business people are conservative and do not wish to discuss personal issues, history, or politics openly. As a visitor, it is your job to respect these opinions and refrain from raising such issues throughout your interaction with them. Be diplomatic. Do not point fingers at political or historical figures. Another important thing to note is that a very strict hierarchy is followed in the business setup. As such, greet and interact with every individual you meet appropriately, and with due respect.

Business Communication

The French are individuals who pay strict attention to formality. It is important that you adhere to this level of formality in order to make an impact.Always greet professionals with a handshake and maintain eye contact while shaking hands.

It is a good idea to learn some basic French before you meet French professionals.

Always use 'vous' to communicate with professionals. Also, you will call someone only by Monsieur and Madame/Madamoiselle followed by their last name. Do not call anyone by their first name unless asked to.

You may choose to have your business card printed in French on one side and in English on the other. Include your name, title, academic qualifications, and the name of the university you attended on the card.

Though most French professionals speak English, knowing their language shows that you are interested in developing a healthy and long-term relationship with them. The manner of your communication will dictate how far your alliance with them goes.

Do not make unnecessary phone calls to such professionals. Also, never call them at home unless extremely urgent.

Do not make hand gestures unnecessarily. For instance, the ready or 'perfect' sign in the U.S. is considered rude in France. Avoid hand gestures altogether.

These are individuals who develop business relationships on the foundation of trust and respect. For them to place this in you, you have to ensure that your behavior is as good as it can get.

Business Meetings and Discussions

Business meetings in the French business culture follow a slightly different course as against the American culture. Enlisted here are some dos and don'ts you should follow when conducting business meetings with the French.It is important that meetings be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.

The French are not particular about punctuality (you may be up to ten to fifteen minutes late), but if you are going to be late, it is necessary that you call and inform them.

Debates are likely to ensue in meetings, which you should participate in, as the French are known to appreciate logical and intellectual inputs in the business world. These debates are, however, controlled and should not turn into arguments.

They may pose questions and probe you further to get answers related to the business. Go well-prepared for the meetings.

While talking, do not exaggerate your claims. They are likely to go unappreciated. Be direct, honest, and clear.

Make thorough presentations and do not try to openly sell your idea or pressurize them to buy it. Be subtle.

Keep a soft tone while talking and maintain moderate eye contact throughout.

Most meetings usually end in discussions and not finalized decisions. They may take time to take decisions, and you will have to be patient throughout the process.

You are free to voice your opinion and defend your position, but keep in mind that the final decision will be taken by the top brass of the company.

Lunch meetings may be conducted, though dinner meetings are not uncommon in some cases.

Dressing for Business Meetings

A meeting with French business professionals is not the best time to show off your fashion-consciousness or your ability to be creative with clothing. As mentioned earlier, these are conservative individuals and a particular dress code should be followed when meeting with them.Men should wear dark, traditional suits with ties. Even if you are invited to an informal occasion, make sure you are wearing a jacket. Their concept of informal is a little different.

Women too should preferably dress conservatively in business suits, though dresses in pastel shades can be worn.

It is a good idea to accessorize appropriately with your outfit. Just remember not to go overboard.

One final point to remember is that you may carry gifts for French professionals you are going to meet, but it is not mandatory. If you don't know what to get, refrain from bringing anything. Just like business, there are specific types of gifts that are exchanged professionally. Books and music may make good gifts, but again, this depends on the kind of professionals you are going to be interacting with.

Respect the French business etiquette and you will be able to develop healthy and long-lasting business relationships with them. You will be greatly appreciated and respected for taking so much care in functioning according to their standards and protocol.

Chinese Business Etiquette

China is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and attracts huge foreign investment and global trade. Doing business successfully in China requires you to work closely with your Chinese counterparts and knowledge about their business etiquette can help in ensuring that you maximize the potential of your business venture.

China is touted to become one of the biggest economic superpowers in the near future. Improvement in international relations and several government reforms have made China a great place to do business. Chinese have a rich culture and are extremely proud of their historical background. These factors have a huge influence on the way Chinese conduct their business. You may be surprised to know that the Chinese view business as warfare and often refer to their ancient texts when unable to find solutions to a business problem. So, if you are someone who wants to successfully conduct business in China, a bit of knowledge about Chinese business etiquette can prove to be useful.

Business Etiquette in China

The first thing that you have to remember while doing business in China is that Chinese are more comfortable in conducting business with someone they trust and know a good deal about, so don't be surprised if your Chinese counterpart asks you some questions about your family, children, marriage; things that are considered personal in western countries. Chinese have a strong family system and these questions are a part of their social etiquette.

Although the general way of greeting in China is a nod and a slight bow, Chinese businessmen are comfortable with a handshake. Knowledge about business salutation etiquette is important to ensure that you make a positive first impression with the Chinese. If your Chinese counterpart doesn't shake your hand firmly or doesn't make an eye contact, don't mistake him for being timid. Instead, this is the way Chinese show that they respect you. Humbleness is valued highly in China, even to the extent that if a Chinese compliments you, denying it is considered appropriate. While addressing a Chinese businessman, you should remember that in China, the family name comes before the given name. Calling someone by his name is considered disrespectful unless you are really close to the person. So, if someone is named Teng Zhang, it would be appropriate for you to address him as Mr Teng. The art of addressing correctly is more important in a business scenario as you have to use the designation of the person along with his name. So, if Teng Zhang is the chairman of the organization, you have to address him as Chairman Teng.

The Chinese are very sensitive to the issue of seniority. If your Chinese counterpart has hosted a lunch for you and your personal assistant enters the room before you, chances are that you would be mistaken for being the personal assistant! You have to keep this in mind even while buying gifts for the Chinese. It is important that the senior most person gets the most precious gift. Chinese love to be gifted and consider this as a mark of respect and consideration. You should never wrap your gift in black or white color as these are the colors of mourning in China. Red is the most preferred color as it is the color of wealth and prosperity.

Before starting out for China ensure that you are carrying enough business cards with you as these are exchanged at every given opportunity. Engraving your business card in gold and printing it in Chinese on one side may help you win some brownie points. While exchanging business cards, remember to start from the senior most person. When it comes to receiving business cards, ensure that you receive it with both your hands and read it before putting it in your pocket.

When you get down to discuss business matters, don't expect immediate results. The first meeting is usually arranged so that both the parties can know each other in a better way. Two rules you should remember; don't take a yes for a 'yes'. Chinese have a habit of nodding or saying 'Yes' to demonstrate that they are paying attention to what you are saying. If you don't like an idea, yelling out 'No' may put them off, in fact saying 'No' is considered rude in China as they think that it causes one to lose face. You can take the longer route by saying, "I will have to think about that", or "I am not sure that this will work this way".

Some other things that you should remember are that Chinese value punctuality immensely and turning up late for a meeting is considered disrespectful. You should also avoid scheduling meetings during Chinese festivals. Although most Chinese businessmen are able to communicate in English, taking the help of an interpreter can make your task a bit easier. In the end, we would advise you to be yourself as the Chinese wouldn't expect you to be perfect with Chinese business etiquette. We hope that the information provided in this article is useful to you.

Business etiquette in Russia

However, successful business etiquette in Russia looks very different, and these strategies are unlikely to serve an American businessperson well. Instead, patience will yield success in Russian business negotiations. Following are some suggestions for improving your business etiquette when working with Russians. 

First Impressions

business etiquette tips

Schedule meetings well in advance and confirm them both upon arrival in Russia and a few days before the meeting. Don't be surprised if your meeting is canceled or rescheduled. Arrive on time or slightly early-but don't expect Russian partners to do likewise; arriving late without apology is a test of a foreign business partner's patience. Give a strong handshake while making eye contact. The exchange of business cards is important; cards should have a Russian translation in Cyrillic on the reverse side, and should include any advanced academic degrees. Offer business cards with the Cyrillic side showing. Business documents should also have Russian translations; most Russian executives do speak English, but providing documents in Russian demonstrates respect. Similarly, learning Russian-even a few phrases-shows respect. Dark colors and conservative suits are the best clothing choices. 

At the Negotiating Table

Respect and formality should guide interactions with Russian businessmen, and patience is vital. Russians respond poorly to sales language or high-pressure pitches; they expect time to consider and debate. Instead, bring technical experts on a negotiating team to provide detailed factual information, including history and precedents. Expect frequent interruptions and side conversations at business meetings; drinks and snacks are also common. It is impolite to turn down offers of refreshments. 

The Russian approach to business negotiation is zero-sum; they expect a winner and a loser, and will apply pressure until they secure concessions. Russian executives may use angry outbursts and threats to end the meeting and terminate negotiations as a means to pressure an American business partner into concessions. Don't inform Russian business negotiators about deadlines or time constraints, because they may use delays and stalling to pressure further concessions. "Final offers" rarely are, and holding out may result in a better deal.

Russian Customs and Business Dos and Don'ts

* The soles of one's shoes are considered dirty, so one should avoid showing them. 

* The gesture understood as "okay" in America is a rude gesture, as is placing one's thumb between the index and middle fingers.

* Small gifts are customary for business and social occasions. The gift should be proportionate to the recipient's status, and items not easily obtained in Russia are ideal.

* When invited to a business associate's home, bring flowers (never yellow), wine, or chocolate, and gifts for children.

* Russians have a great deal of pride in their country and culture; familiarity with Russian music, literature, dance, and art will be well received. Avoid discussions of politics or offering opinions about President Putin. 

* Smoking in public is much more common in Russia than in America; don't expect to find non-smoking areas. 

* Russian attitudes toward women may seem sexist to Americans; women need to do more to prove themselves as equals in business. Have a mutually respected male colleague introduce female professionals, and make sure that business cards clearly state business titles and academic credentials. Dark suits with skirts covering the knee are preferable to pantsuits. However, American businesswomen may be able to get away with making requests (for meetings, favors, etc.) that their male colleagues couldn't, as Russian businessmen will not wish to seem ungentlemanly. 

Follow these business-etiquette tips, and you should have no problem conducting successful business negotiations and working with Russian executives.

Following the correct business etiquette is essential in today's professional world. Not only does it put you in good light, but helps your business as well.

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