Many employees and entrepreneurs overlook the importance of business etiquette skills in today’s business world.
These people often imagine business etiquette skills are out-of-date, stuffy, too traditional, and not applicable to modern life.
Yet, how often do you hear people complain they don’t know how to start or continue a conversation?
How often do you hear people complain they always forget names? How often do you search for information on how to appear more confident?
I have been teaching in this field for 20 years and complementing it with research from psychology, behavioural science, and leadership, I’ve realised that beyond education and beyond experience, it’s a solid grasp of business etiquette skills that increases the level of success you reach in life.
For two people with a comparable level of education and skill, what separates them when it comes to success is their ability to connect with others, engage in conversation and communicate their true potential to decision makers. In other words, what separates these two people and determines their success is their level of social skill in business. I want to share with you five compelling reasons why business etiquette skills are the key to success.
We still have to deal with people
In business, we still have to deal with people. Whether we spend our workday communicating via e-mail, social media or face-to-face, in every circumstance, we’re still dealing with people. Yes, there’s a real person opening your e-mails and reacting to your messages. Regardless of whether you’re meeting people face-to-face in a conference room or exchanging e-mails while working at your local cafe, it’s critical you nurture and look after your professional reputation, especially if you want to project the right impression and succeed in business. Business etiquette has changed with the times and skills in this area can help you manage your professional relationships both online and offline.
For two people with a comparable level of education and skill, what separates them when it comes to success is their ability to connect with others, engage in conversation and communicate their true potential to decision makers. In other words, what separates these two people and determines their success is their level of social skill in business.
It helps you interact with others with predictability
When people work together in a team, they need to be able to trust one another and know what to expect from one another in order for them to work together efficiently and effectively. When all members of a team share the same expectations of each other and operate by the same code, it creates an environment of predictability.
Business etiquette builds this common understanding, and hence, predictability. It provides a guideline for business interactions that every person in a team recognises and operates by. At the personal level, this allows people to understand each other and be understood. At the company level, this allows the team to work better together and ultimately produce better results for the organisation.
It helps you build the know, like, and trust factor
The know, like, and trust factor is paramount to everything you do in business. People would rather work with somebody they know, like and trust rather than somebody they don’t. However, building the know, like and trust factor doesn’t come naturally. It requires a solid understanding of how people work. This is where skills in business etiquette become important.
They will help you understand how people work so you can build better connections with your coworkers and boss, stronger relationships with your clients, and ultimately faster and greater business success.
It breeds confidence in business and social situations
Business etiquette and social skills guide you to know what to do and how to interact with others in business and social situations. You might be unsure of simple things such as where to put somebody’s business card when you receive it. Or it might be something more advanced, such as how to make somebody walk away from a conversation feeling like the most important person in the room.
Whatever level of interpersonal skill you’re aiming for, business etiquette training can ease the uncertainty and replace it with decisiveness and direction.
It enhances employability, productivity, and career success.
According to research conducted by Johnson & Johnson (1999), “social skills enhance employability, productivity, and career success”. How?
Because these skills help you to lead people, approach complex situations in an intelligent manner, and solve work-related problems or misunderstandings. What employer wouldn’t want an employee who can do all of this?
Business etiquette is an area of expertise that I’m passionate about because it has helped me both in my career and in my business. If you’ve ever wondered why you’re not achieving the success you desire or think you deserve, perhaps it’s a lack
of business etiquette or social skills that are hindering your success. I hope this article has convinced you that these skills are not out-of-date and they are in fact the key to your business success.
Susie Wilson is the founder of SW Finishing and Etiquette School and an international etiquette expert.