In the age of multimillion dollar business deals being made in turtlenecks, sneakers, and jeans, one might think "etiquette" is no longer applicable. The very mention of the word "etiquette" evokes a Victorian-era clothes, stiff posture, and proper pronunciation of each syll-a-ble.
In reality, etiquette still has a place in the boardroom, the cubicle, and the workplace. The following etiquette "reminders" (I hesitate to call them rules) apply to all work environment settings.
Yes ma'am, I use manners! Please and thank you are timeless words that show proper respect and consideration. During business dealings, we would do well to extend these words in friendly banter or the pressure of business dealings. A friend of mine commented that three boys walked through a door without consideration of a young girl on crutches. Another young lady held the door open for her to pass through. It's no just chivalry, it's being aware of our surroundings. Besides, the young lady on crutches might be in my next meeting! Or an observant customer might be watching.
2. Names, Organizations, Background
One thing that will impress others is knowing their name. Even before we meet, I research the background, position, experiences of the folks I'm dealing with. In a business setting, it helps to "orient" oneself and others and understand the stakeholders and their positions. Folks like to know we are familiar with their organization, duties, or background. Proper etiquette holds that we do not go to far down some of these paths, it may be unacceptable/inapplicable to discuss background experiences (prior engagements, prior employers, past organizations, etc) during a workplace meeting.
Our smile might be the only one some people see all day. I make it a point to make eye contact and smile. Sometimes it goes unnoticed, other times I get a positive response. If other people are grumpy or negative, they have to own that. Their foul mood will not be a result of your sour face. It might even change their mood. It's worth the effort to smile....it doesn't cost much, and it might make a difference in somebody's day!
Surely there are other examples of business etiquette and volumes could be written on the "thou shalls" and "shall nots." These are three simple things I do. Please share your etiquette tips on twitter @jeffdaniels
Good advice from CommPro blog on tuning up your career management skills for 2012. Many of us have heard these things before. It's a good reminder to review. The difference is putting these items in action and pushing for results in these domains.
I made my own list building off theirs
1. Take responsibility. - Don't blame the previous assignee, other teams, or factors. Just get it done.
2. Have a career strategy. - technical vs management, long-term vs short-term
3. Your goals vs. company’s goals. - are they complimentary? the harmonious place will be where both benefit from the results of shared or compatible goals
4. Know your customer. - In-house, horizontal, cross-business functional, etc. Understand their demands, industry constraints, competition. For example, if your customer is the FedGov, it's focused on Affordability
5. Publish. - Gold-star journal is the goal, but there are other mediums that can help with career progression. An endorsement, a write-up for a volunteer activity, department newsletter, speak on a topic.
6. Be a team-player. - Yes, it's still relevant; probably now more than ever given a smaller workforce and the inability for a maverick approach to "go it alone."
7. Be multi-functional. - The "analyst" role seems to be expanding as organizations "do more with less staff." For techies, learn the business-side of the house in a Technical Program Manager role; for business leaders, consider building up new skills such as cloud computing, columnar/in-memory databases.
8. Volunteer to develop your skills. - Participate in student development competitions, exchange study program materials with co-workers, seek out grants, and scholarship funding. Teach.
9. Mentor. - Another buzzword. Consider mentoring with colleagues at the peer level. Set up monthly exchanges with a trusted group of peers and help each other.
10. Network, network, network. - Dale Carnegie. 'nuff said
Dr. Daniels is focused on Aerospace & Defense, technology management and systems engineering.