The Civilized Minute

a minute of manners and musings

5 ways business etiquette makes you more productive

Professionals use business etiquette as a means to an end.  It’s the way to get from here to there.  It’s a guide.  Without that guide, anxiety and unease begin to limit our productivity levels. That is uncomfortable and no fun at all.

Take a look at these 5 ways mastering the skills of business etiquette can boost your output.

1)  Being comfortable gives you freedom to take advantage of unusual opportunities.  Someone who is comfortable in lots of different situations will not shy away from an out-of-the-box setting.  Let’s say your boss asks you to entertain clients for dinner who are in town from Sweden.  Oh, and by the way, they don’t speak English.  Some might say No Way!  But, the savvy and confident team player will figure it out.  Get a translator, get a book on Continental Dining skills, read up on the current events in Sweden…do whatever needs to be done to get the job done.  In the end, you will have impressed not only the clients, but your boss, for working to make them feel welcome.

2)  You are able to connect with anybody.  Let’s face it, half the battle in the workplace is fitting in with the culture of the company and the people who work there.  Without a pleasant working relationship with the people you spend so many hours with, you will never be viewed as a team player.  In order to develop that relationship, you have to be nice and engaging.  You must be able to initiate small talk, mingle with other departments during the company picnic and even offer condolences to a coworker who has experienced a tragedy.

3)  Presenting yourself with authority is a key ingredient for any leader.  If the people that work for you do not take you seriously or follow-through with their commitments, it could be because they do not view you as an authority figure.  Are you sending them that message by your body language, your posture or your lack of eye contact?  These are things that, if done correctly, can let everyone in the room know you are in charge without saying a word. 

4) Organization is a form of business etiquette.  It falls into the ‘impression management’ category.  Unfortunately, the signs of un-organization can’t be hidden very easily.  Papers trailing behind when you walk into a room, the clutter and disarray on your desk, the scramble to find a document or file all screams lack of competence.  Others will react to that impression you give off and not seek you out for projects and opportunities.  It’s had to be productive when you are shunned from the action.

5) Knowing what to do eliminates the time waster called worry.  Not many people operate effectively when they are burdened.  By knowing how and when to use the rules of business etiquette, you can glide through your day worry-free and focused on the task at hand.  No more worries about who you will talk or sit with at the department meeting or how you will manage if your 11:30 appointment wants to get lunch.  Business etiquette rules guide you through these situations with ease.

Do you have your own rules of behavior that boost your productivity?



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