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Volume 2, 13 July 15, 2001

A Fact Sheet

Highlights Business Etiquette for Today’s Workers
Six underlying prin-
ciples of business eti- Business etiquette is another term for manners. No one was ever hired
quette are: or promoted simply because he or she had good manners; however, being
polite and considerate in business and work dealings may favorably tip the
1. Be on time scales between two who are equally qualified. Having good business man-
ners typically enhance chances of being promoted once hired.
2. Be discreet

3. Be considerate, Business etiquette is based on practicality—in other words, doing what
respectful, and generally makes sense. Unlike social etiquette which has its roots in gen-
upbeat der and chivalry, “business etiquette is based on hierarchy and
power . . .” (Klinkenberg, 2000). The work envi-
4. Dress appropri- ronment is gender neutral and is no place to
ately perform or expect old-fashioned gallantry. Both
5. Be concerned with
men and women should be treated equally and
others with the respect their positions deem appropri-
ate. The issues of holding the door open, pulling
6. Use correct gram- out a chair or helping someone with his or her
mar —written coat are often awkward and confusing in the
and spoken. business world. Men want to act like gentle-
men, and women want to be perceived as com-
AUTHOR INFORMATION: petent professionals. A rule of thumb to help
Dr. Jacquelyn P. Robinson you know what is the most appropriate behav-
Community Workforce ior in similar situations is to “ . . . ask yourself Both men and women should
Development Specialist
State Headquarters if courtesy would demand that you [perform the be treated equally and with
216 Extension Hall same courtesy] for someone who is the same the respect their positions
Auburn University, AL 36849 deem appropriate.
gender” (Klinkenberg, 2000).
Telephone (334) 844-5353
FAX (334) 844-9022 Business etiquette goes beyond the scope of gender rules. Good man-
ners or etiquette apply to most areas of our work lives. For example, the
areas that need the most work include the way we communicate in writing,
orally, and electronically; how we greet and address people; the manner we
conduct business; our mode of dress; and the way we conduct ourselves.
(These and related topics will be discussed in greater detail in a later issue
of The Workplace.)

Visit the Community Resource Development home page at

Use correct grammar —written and spo- 2. Robinson Dressing too casually or too poorly can block promotions. H. Jan Yager. Acts of May 8 and June 30. Being slow to practicality . Consistent congenial behavior fax 203-968-0193. . places most in a favorable light. and other related acts. Continually being tardy is superiors who are in positions to reward an indicator that you do not value the you. Road. in cooperation with the U.” complete work costs your employer money and you your employer’s confi- dence. Your co-workers. (2000). Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work in agriculture and home economics. 4. Dress appropriately. These are: be on time. Be discreet. Those who can clearly their trust in you. Choice of dress for both men and women should be consis- tent with the level of your position and your company/business’ dress policy. keep confidences to yourself. be discreet. your position.S. . understand circumstances from the view- ples. 1914. 6. Department of Agriculture. professional image for both the _____________________ 1Contact Information: Dr. jealousy and mistrust. ph 203-968-8098. color. ken. including your employer. respectful. religion. and upbeat. dress appropriately. Connecticut. national origin. age. Be on time.1 (1994). Overdressing may Sources: Klinkenberg. be concerned with oth. Suite 110. Personal Excellence. Yeager. setting. To most business estab- “Business etiquette is based on lishments. be point of others. Taft College. CT 06905. or disability. ers. 13 Regardless of the work environment or lead to suspicion. Jan Yager. according to Dr. colleagues. and use proper Equally damaging is Community Workforce Development Specialist overdressing which can also hurt your Alabama Cooperative Extension System ability to advance. Be considerate. Be. Stamford. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University) offers educational programs. http://janyager. and other em. clients. generally“” improves the work climate for all. 1127 High Ridge company and yourself while dealing with clients. tions. veteran status. Whether it’s a company se. Be concerned with others. and subordi- guage both when writing and when speaking. J. sex.PAGE 2 T H E WOR KPLAC E V OLU ME 2. nates will enjoy your consideration and will enjoy working with you as will your 1. time consideration of others. make their points quickly improve their 3. cally appreciate your projecting a posi- tive. chances of moving ahead in a business Both superiors and subordinates typi. regardless of their posi- courteous and positive. 5. Dr. clearly and concisely is an advantage in traying others hurts them and destroys the working world. . materials. The ability to apply the rules of cret or something a co-worker has told grammar correctly and to communicate you. Taking time to business etiquette has six underlying princi. time is money. Jacquelyn P. and equal opportunity employment to all people without regard to race. ployees.

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