As a professional, no matter your niche, the basics of business etiquette are absolutely essential. If you want to be successful in the modern business world, etiquette skills are the key!

Clearly, the workplace has changed rapidly over the last few years. But whether your office is working in-person at the office or connecting virtually while working from home, basic business etiquette skills are going to help you succeed. Honestly, some things never change—the basics of business etiquette will always be important! 

Why Is Learning The Basics Of Business Etiquette So Important? 

At its core, business is really about people and relationships. Building relationships, both with our clients and our coworkers, will always be paramount to finding success. That’s a huge part of why learning the basics of business etiquette is so essential. 

Here are a few key reasons you should consider learning the basics of business etiquette. 

You’ll Experience Better Relationships In The Workplace

Business etiquette really lays the foundation for collaborative, positive communication in the workplace. After all, working together successfully starts with respect, and with business etiquette, you display common courtesies that make a huge difference. 

When you know exactly what to do in different professional situations, you’ll be able to preserve your relationships and collaborate effectively. 

You’ll Make A Great impression

We all know how important it is to make a wonderful first impression (and to continue presenting that professional, positive image long-term). With the basics of business etiquette on your side, you’re able to truly present yourself as a professional. 

You’ll appear confident and relaxed even in stressful situations. Whether you’re presenting to a large group or meeting with someone one-on-one, you’ll make a great impression with good etiquette. 

The 5 Basics Of Business Etiquette Every Professional Should Know

Now more than ever before, business etiquette skills matter. These skills, especially the basics of business etiquette, will set you apart in a professional space. And for business owners and professionals, you’ll be able to stand out from the crowd and appear more professional and prepared. 

So, where should you start? These are the five basics of business etiquette that every working professional should know about and implement on a daily basis. 

Practice Good Email Etiquette

Emails might not stand out as some of the most challenging work you do. I know, I know—emails can often feel tedious, repetitive, and pretty simple. 

But your email communication skills HUGELY impact how others view you. Written communications of all kinds matter—they’re a big part of how you build your reputation and personal image. 

In texts, direct messages, and of course, emails, you want to stay as professional as possible. Your emails should mirror business memos—be brief, use complete sentences, and speak to others the way you’d speak to them in person. 

Strive to use emails strategically (not just to avoid more face-to-face interactions). Evaluate whether the message you’re sending would be better to deliver in person (or over the phone or video chat). Remember: human connections should always be the priority, so work to preserve them in the way you communicate. 

Use Cell Phones Properly (Especially During Meetings)

This is one of the most important basics of business etiquette. It’s one that might sound shocking—but it’s so important. 

Put your phone away for the duration of a meeting. Don’t read texts, answer emails, or get distracted when you’re meeting with someone or listening to a presentation. 

This is incredibly rude. Instead, you’ll want to stay fully present! 

And of course, there are times where you absolutely have to look at your phone. Whether you need to send a text or respond to an urgent email, there’s a right way to handle this situation if it comes up. Excuse yourself, leave the room (or go on mute and turn your camera off), and send your message. 

At all levels within a company, this is one of the biggest complaints I receive as a speaker and trainer. Working to stay present looks professional and shows true respect. 

Strive To Be A Global Communicator

Whether your company has international clients or not, being a global communicator is one of the 2021 basics of business etiquette that we all should have. 

This starts with knowing that we all have more in common than we think. No matter where someone is from, they likely prioritize safety, health, the common good, and the welfare of their children (to name a few things). 

Why not take a more practical and holistic approach to how you communicate? 

Many of us have encountered multiple cultural encounters causing moments of pause.  Cultivating skills with flexibility is what unlocks cultural competence. Look for commonalities instead of differences.

Be Professional During Virtual Calls and Meetings

During virtual calls and meetings, you’ll want to display professional behavior whenever possible. This includes how you behave, how you present yourself, and your settings.

Many of us have heard horror stories about others’ behavior in virtual meetings. That’s why it never hurts to evaluate your own behavior. 

Even in virtual meetings, the basics of business etiquette should apply. Show up professionally dressed and strive to look put-together (avoid wearing pajamas or sweats). Set up your background to be professional if possible—think of what your background is subconsciously conveying about you. 

Additionally, think about how you can make an effort to make a special connection with someone on the call. Practice your “active listening” skills.

Practice Great Conversation Skills

This is possibly the most important skill you should learn when focusing on the basics of business etiquette: conversation skills! 

Conversation skills are one of the most requested topics I am often asked to cover when speaking on business etiquette training for the modern workplace. 

So, how do you practice better conversational etiquette? 

Strive to connect with those around you. If you’re in the office, make conversation with your co-workers…and if you’re working from home, try to interact with someone virtually every day. 

See how your peers are doing. Ask someone to go out with you for coffee or lunch. Check-in on that special project they’ve been working so hard on as they try to meet a deadline. 

When you ask questions, be an active listener and ask lots of follow-up questions. This type of meaningful conversation takes some practice, but the results you’ll experience are totally invaluable. 

Learning the basics of business etiquette is the best way to set yourself apart and set yourself up for professional success. These five tips are a great place to start!

I am available for workshops and speaking engagements that will help teach employees how to succeed in the workplace. Get your proposal for business etiquette training today.

5 Basics of Business Etiquette Everyone Needs To Know About | American Etiquette