Proper business etiquette is a must if you hope to advance in your chosen career field. If you unintentionally offend the wrong person with rough manners, you may end up languishing in the same low-level position for the rest of your career. But don’t despair. There are a number of simple ways to learn proper business etiquette so your superiors will judge you based on your individual merit rather than your lack of etiquette skills in the business setting.
Study a variety of business etiquette articles and books. Choose recent titles written by credible sources, especially business etiquette books and articles written by both industry specialists and scientists who have studied business and management. Look into the credentials of the author to ensure she is qualified to discuss the topic at hand. Look for a bibliography or a list of works cited which show that the individual has studied the subject and knows it well. When studying articles online, look for peer-reviewed journal articles published on websites ending in ".edu," ".gov" and ".org;" they generally make for the most credible sources available on the Internet.
Watch successful business people within your own industry. Chances are, those who have already reached the top have developed the required business etiquette to get them to the top and keep them there. Study your managers, department heads and even CEOs if possible. Go online and look for videos of business events which allow you to study top-level business executives meeting, greeting and mingling to see how the experts do it. Watch how they greet each other, how they stand when talking, even how they sit and what they do with their hands while they are talking.
Practice proper business etiquette on a daily basis. The only way to ensure you will exude proper business etiquette when meeting with executives is to practice. Do not reserve you best behavior for important clients. Instead, use it every day on all of your coworkers until it becomes second nature. If you get out of the habit of interrupting coworkers when they are talking and into the habit of smiling and greeting the cleaning crew like old friends on a daily basis, you will probably behave appropriately when approached by the CEO.
Amanda L. Webster has a Master of Science in business management and a Master of Arts in English with a concentration in professional writing. She teaches a variety of business and communication courses within the Wisconsin Technical College System and works as a writer specializing in online business communications and social media marketing.