The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Get It Right the First Time

Business etiquette is nothing more nor less than interjecting sense, courtesy, and respect into your business interactions.  Since success and failure are the only two possible outcomes of those interactions, this deserves some serious consideration.

Whether you are a business owner, manager, or employee, this pertains to you.  Even if you have little or no exposure to the public, your interactions with management or peers are crucial.  For instance, are you a prairie dog?  Prairie-dogging is a social gaffe committed by persons tall enough to pop their heads over the top of a cubicle to disrupt its occupant.  The omnipresence of the cubicle has occasioned the development of a cube etiquette, which attempts to balance privacy and accessibility.  (It is notable that almost every exploration of this topic mentions cube odor.)

Meetings present countless possibilities for positive or negative interactions.  The fidgeter, the pen tapper, and the paper rustler do not contribute to either harmony or productivity!  And what is more maddening than the forty-minute meeting that becomes a ninety-minute meeting through the addition of self-serving, immaterial, or unscheduled agenda items?  ("Any other business?" so often becomes "Any old bull?")

First impressions are so important in a business context.  With a sales call, it's very much like a first date.  Slouching, gum chewing, cell phone interruptions, irrelevancies, or other examples of thoughtless behavior do not make the sale, either at a trade show or on a one-on-one sales call.

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