The influence of etiquette in accelerating success in business
There are three most frequently asked questions whenever I go to conferences, seminars and various other social and business events. As such, I will take advantage of this opportunity to provide you with the answers to these exact questions in the next few paragraphs.
“What is Etiquette really?”
“Why should I care?”
“How does this field help my business exactly?”
Firstly let’s talk about what etiquette really is. As defined in the dictionary, it is considered a set of rules and behaviours considered polite in a certain organisation or culture. However, my team and I don’t really agree with this definition. We view etiquette as the art of being a pleasant individual anywhere and everywhere. Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room: why you should care about etiquette, what makes it a must have and not just a nice to have. Keith Ferrazzi, author of the bestselling book Never Eat Alone, states that business is a human enterprise. I strongly resonate with this idea especially since it’s actually backed by cold, hard science. Mark Granovetter published a study in 1974 which showed that 56% of the participants found their new jobs via a personal connection. Only 19% used what we consider traditional job searching routes, like job listings and executive recruiters and about 10 % applied directly to an employer and obtained the job. What’s even more interesting is that of those who benefited from having personal connections, only 17% saw their contact often – as much as they would if they were good friends. 55% saw their contact occasionally and 28% barely saw their contact at all.
We chose to propose this definition because it creates a significant switch in one’s state of mind. While the former definition basically suggests pleasing people without regard for authenticity, the latter implies a certain harmony between what we feel, what we think and how we act. This harmony is essential because, let’s face it, if we are trying to hide something, at some point people will eventually spot our incongruences and, just like that, we lose the trust and appreciation of those around us.
In other words, acquaintances are gold mines. And that’s where etiquette comes in. Whether you’re the leader representing your business on various occasions, the salesman prospecting clients, or simply a colleague interacting with your peers and subordinates at work, etiquette provides you with the tools you need to leave a lasting positive impression on the people you interact with, thus forging high quality relationships that maximise your chances of success in everything you intend to achieve, whether it’s a new job, a business opportunity or simply an amazing vacation at a very attractive rate.
Great relationships pay the greatest dividends and
etiquette accelerates success in business in
3 concrete ways:
Instils confidence within the leadership team
Strong knowledge of etiquette enables the leaders to comfortably and confidently represent their organisation in any setting, from the least formal to the most sophisticated, as they are now armed with the mindset and techniques necessary to properly navigate any and all social and business settings they may find themselves in. Especially in today’s multicultural environment, etiquette can make the difference between a leader that can truly act as a powerful brand ambassador and one that struggles to achieve this effect.
Forges great customer relations
While etiquette programs do not offer sales training, they do offer experience training. By this I mean that etiquette helps those representing the brand in facilitating great communication and an overall pleasant experience for their customers. These small details make the difference between a business that is ‘ok’ at best and one that is truly appreciated by their target audience. Etiquette is the art that allows a sales agent to showcase a magnetic personality that makes people want to share their needs and wants with them, while putting aside their fears. Thus, it makes it easier for those representing the brand to close business deals because, in essence, they are perceived as more competent and trustworthy than the competition.
Fosters a great organisational culture
How does your team manage their internal professional relationships? Do they pay attention to cultural differences? What about basic issues such as topics that should definitely be avoided in a conversation at the office? Gender relationships at work, or other aspects such as giving and receiving feedback with grace? These issues and many others are covered here. The main objective of business etiquette at the office is to ensure the establishment of an organisational culture that fosters trust, cooperation and, if you will, happiness at work. At the end of the day, happy employees will mean happy clients and happy clients mean a great ROIs.
All in all, apt use of etiquette is essential for businesses that want to be taken seriously. A high quality brand experience is fundamental in establishing a good relationship with the customers and a great reputation within one’s industry. But I would like to know what you think. How much do your company’s work environment and reputation matter to you? Do you believe etiquette is an important aspect to master in order for your team to support the growth of your company? What specific actions did you take in the week prior to reading this article, in order to ensure that your leadership properly represents your organisation, that your teams benefit from a healthy and inclusive organisational culture and your clients have the pleasure of dealing with exceptional sales and marketing representatives?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
P.S. if you need my help in improving the overall quality of any or all of these pillars, do let me know via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to serving you!
You can also find me here: