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Business Etiquettes Rules: Etiquettes to drive success

Business Etiquettes Rules: Etiquettes to drive success

"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together."

-- Vincent Van Gogh


On the surface, being kind and polite is simple, but when done consistently and genuinely, it may have a significant beneficial influence on your work and life success.

This article will define and explain what business etiquette is, as well as some basic standards to be aware of.

Business etiquette

Business etiquette is a set of general guidelines that govern manners and behaviors in a workplace or professional setting, allowing individuals to interact smoothly and ethically in business while also upholding the company's image and respecting one another.

It's all about portraying the right image, acting appropriately, and showing respect.

Knowing how to be mature in business circumstances, from speaking calmly and confidently to dressing correctly and even appearing on time for meetings, is a highly effective technique that will help you succeed in the workplace.

The ABC components of business etiquette-

A - Appearance,

B - Behavior, and

C - Communication

10 standard business etiquette rules

1. Always be on time.


Always show up on time. Never be late. Being punctual in the workplace demonstrates that you value everyone's time.

2. Dress Appropriately.


Dress smart and neat. The first thing that people notice about you is your appearance. Dress appropriately. When in doubt, ask questions.

3. Greet Everyone


Greet your co-workers, and everyone you encounter, whether it's at a business dinner, a meeting, the corridor, or a virtual meeting. It is not only courteous to greet everyone you come into touch with, but it also develops connection. Everyone should be greeted with the same amount of respect. Always remember to say “please” and “thank you”.

4. Respect Shared Spaces and Items


How you handle shared spaces and items reflects on you as a professional. Always respect others who use these spaces or items as well. Keep things neat, orderly, and well-organized. Respect boundaries and use common sense.

Common examples of shared spaces are- the kitchen, restroom, printer and copy room, and lounge area.

Common examples of Virtual shared spaces are- Google Drive folders and project management software.

Common examples of shared items- printer, stapler or other office supplies.

5. Be polite and professional in all forms of communication.

Communicate effectively and politely. In written communication, there are several elements which when used properly, convey a level of professionalism, formality and importance. Whether you are communicating verbally and nonverbally, every interaction should be professional. According to the words of Mary Wortley Montagu - "Civility costs nothing and buys everything."

6. Recognition

Knowing how to greet people appropriately is one of the most essential aspects of business etiquette. One of the first bits of information we acquire about someone is their name. It's how people address you and recognize you.

Here are a few tried-and-true methods for remembering names:

- When you first meet someone, pay attention to their name. Be honest and inquire if you don't know how to pronounce anything.

- Make a mental image that will help you remember people's names.

- Mention the person's name a few times during a chat or conversation, but not so much that it becomes evident.

7. Emotional Intelligence

Behaving with emotional intelligence is one of the most important business etiquette abilities. The capability to see, identify, manage, and understand emotions in oneself and others is referred to as emotional intelligence.

With emotional intelligence, you can:

  • consider feelings.

  • take a pause.

  • strive to keep your thoughts and emotions under control.

  • take full advantage of feedback (negative feedback).

  • focus on the good in people.

8. Learn proper table etiquette

Observe proper dining etiquette.

Common table etiquette includes:

- Not talking with a filled mouth or chewing with your mouth open.

- Not placing elbows on the table.

- Not using the napkin to blow your nose.

- At the table, no texting or playing with your phone is permitted.

- Wait until everyone has gotten their food before beginning to eat.

- When you sit down, place your napkin in your lap.

Other corporate dining etiquette requirements include dressing adequately for the meal location and being on time. Then, when it's time to order, wait for your host to place his or her order and then follow their lead. Order dishes that are in the same price range as your dining companions. Rise whenever ladies excuse themselves from the table if you are a man, and use “please” and “thank you” with the wait staff.

9. Practice Telephone, Emails, and Business Letter Etiquette



Phone calls are a common mode of business communication. Consider the following tips for maintaining business etiquette while speaking with clients or business partners over the phone.

  • Answer Phone Calls Promptly: When feasible, phone calls should be answered on the second ring, and no caller should be made to wait endlessly for someone to pick up the phone.

  • Begin by introducing yourself. Always begin with a brief statement that includes your name and the name of your company. Then, inquire about the caller's name.

  • Speak clearly. Don't be overly loud or too quiet when speaking.

  • When you're with someone else, don't engage with your phone.

  • If you're not speaking on a conference call, mute yourself so the others aren't distracted by background noise.

Business Email Etiquette


The code of ethics for email communication is known as email etiquette. It sets the standards of behavior that should be followed when writing or responding to email messages.

Good email etiquette reflects positively on us, enhances our public impression and reputation, and increases the likelihood of receiving a timely and thorough response.

  • Make a habit to respond to all emails - even if you weren't the intended recipient of the email.

  • Use a professional email address.

  • Use vocabulary that is gender-neutral.

  • Always proofread your emails. Considering spell check does not identify every error, double-check your work!

  • Review your company's email usage policies.

  • Always include a clear, and direct subject line in your email.

  • Keep your emails brief and to the point.

  • Use professional salutations.

  • Verify the use of “reply” and “reply all” before sending out an email. Not everyone on the list needs to get the email, hence don't hit "reply all."

  • Before you click "send," consider the following:

- Is the recipient's name spelled correctly?

- Do you have a suitable greeting and conclusion?

- Is the Intended Attachment included?

Business Letter


The business letter is one of the oldest forms and more professional medium of written communication still in use today in business. It has some of the most well-defined and organized etiquette standards. The same etiquette requirements apply to business letters as they do to email.

There are various elements in a business letter that, when employed appropriately, portray a degree of: 1. formality, 2. professionalism, and 3. significance.

Consider some of the following business letter etiquettes:

  • Proofreading, Use of proper grammar and spelling. In a business letter, proper grammar, spelling, and proofreading are vital. Misspellings or grammar errors stand out much more in this method of communication, indicating a lack of attention to detail and detracting from the message's relevance.

  • Print your letter with a professional company letterhead.

  • Make use of a conventional business letter template and structure.

  • Use a professional tone. The tone of your business letter should be welcoming but formal.

  • Every letter should have a purpose, which should be stated explicitly in the message.

  • Double-check the name and address on the envelope to verify that the letter and message are delivered to the correct person.

  • Make sure the greeting is at the top of the letter. 'Dear.....' (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., Professor, etc.). Maintain a professional approach in your salutation and greeting.

10. Control your body Language


Regardless of the fact that body language is nonverbal, it tells a lot about you. When you're in a conversation, be conscious of the unspoken messages you're sending. In order to communicate effectively, it is critical to understand body language. Stand straight and upright, smile, control your hand gestures, and head gestures.

Here are a few instances:

  • Keeping your back straight, shoulders back, and head up as you stand - suggests that you are comfortable with yourself and the environment.

  • Slouching, placing your hands in your pockets, and defensively folding your arms - imply uneasiness or discomfort.

  • Resting your head on a table or desk, as well as resting your head in your hands and gazing away, can make you appear bored.

  • Smiles indicate kindness, cheerfulness, and non-aggression.

  • Frowns convey dissatisfaction, and even anger.

  • When conversing with people, maintain eye contact.

Advantages of Business Etiquette:


The advantages of business etiquettes for an organization is immeasurable. Here are a few advantages of providing business etiquette training to your employees:

  • It helps foster a sense of belonging and unity.

  • It promotes effective workplace communication.

  • It fosters mutual respect for team members and clients.

  • It helps staff communicate more effectively.

  • It establishes the basis for communication with people from diverse cultures.

  • Improves nonverbal communication and digital interactions.


[1] Valerie Cappa Arsenault. Phone Etiquette in the Workplace. (2017).

[2] Krista Krumina. 30 business etiquette tips for every professional. (2019). Retrieved from

[3] Julia Esteve, The etiquette consultant. Basic Body Language for Business. (2017).,you're%20talking%20with%20people.

[4] Peter Economy. 15 Quotes to Encourage Better Business Etiquette (A Little Politeness Never Hurt Anyone). (2018).

[5] Sue Fox. Body Language and Business Etiquette from Business Etiquette For Dummies, 2nd Edition. (2016).

[6] Team Asana. 16 business etiquette tips for every business professional. (2021).

[7] Toggl Track. 21 Business Etiquette Rules You Should Never Break. Retrieved 9th March, 2021 from:

[8] Claudia Rothenhorst. Basic Business Etiquette to Be Aware Of.


[9] Dr. Bassem Assi PhD PHC, MBA,MD FM, MD PHC, IFCE. Email Etiquette Rules. (2016).

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