Proper etiquette is not simply about "which fork do I use?" or "what if I don't like the food that was ordered?" Etiquette is about being respectful of others in every situation and especially in the business world. The minute you meet a new business acquaintance you can assume that you are being "evaluated" in terms of your behavior, your interactions with people, and your communication. We are talking all day long to our peers and supervisors and customers or clients, so it is important that we be cautious about how we commmunicate in the workplace.
The article below is a quick overview of the importance of monitoring your communication style.
(By David Ingram: Chron.com)
Communication, simply put, is the process of encoding a message and sending it to another individual or group using a specific medium. Communication in business involves a complex set of unwritten rules governing speech, written correspondence and body language that varies in different parts of the world. All businesspeople, from the entry-level manager to the seasoned venture capitalist, can benefit from paying attention to communication etiquette in business.
Communication is vital in any business setting, and the effectiveness of your communication skills can make or break your career or your business. Fundamental issues, such as personal respect, courtesy and adherence to cultural standards, can go a long way toward making lasting, positive impressions and working productively with individuals from different backgrounds.
Communication in business settings can take three distinct forms. Verbal communication consists of any spoken messages conveyed to others in person or through a technological medium. Written communication consists of any correspondence sent between individuals or groups, including letters and email. In addition to these fundamental forms of communication, body language plays a large role in communicating subtle nuances in the meanings behind your words. Businesspeople must understand the unwritten cultural rules governing all three types of communication to maximize the effectiveness of their interpersonal skills.
Effective communication between individuals in a business setting can strengthen feelings of camaraderie and group cohesiveness. This can directly enhance the productivity, creativity and adaptability of work teams and departments, as well as encouraging individuals to give their best efforts in their personal job roles. Miscommunication, on the other hand, can have the exact opposite effect. A failure to communicate effectively can lead to missed opportunities for networking, strategic partnerships and new client acquisition.
Although communication among business leaders and among employees within a company is crucial to a business's success, all employees must also pay attention to their communication with customers. A different set of rules applies to communication with customers; the employee must be courteous and respectful even when customers are not, to curb negative word-of-mouth advertising. Communication in advertising, public relations and customer service activities must be scrutinized to ensure that the intended messages are being sent clearly and received by the desired market segment.
Communication etiquette takes on additional significance in the international business arena. Cultural norms and communication standards vary between countries and geographic regions; what is expected in one country may be forbidden in another. International businesspeople must take the time to become acquainted with the unique cultures in which they do business, and must often keep several distinct communication standards in their repertoire to strengthen relationships around the world.