We still hear stories of employers complaining about employees who are unfamiliar with basic business etiquette, and who act and look unprofessional.
Some blame the casual nature of youth culture, and their lack of face-to-face social interaction.
We asked Miselle Borgonio, a certified image consultant, to enlighten us on just how we could all learn from better manners and etiquette.
Why should businesses invest in ensuring their employees project a professional image?
Businesses typically spend millions building a brand— from the logo, the look and feel of the company website to the interior design and layout of a store or office.
And yet with one mistake or bad customer service of one employee, all of it seems to go down the drain.
Business leaders and owners must realize that branding is exemplified through people, too.
And a professional image is one of the tools to achieve the connection of the person to the brand.
Why should civility and etiquette be taught to our staff?
In today’s stressful, multi tasking world, civility and etiquette are taken for granted and sometimes disregarded.
And it is perhaps true that values are taught by parents and teachers.
But civility and etiquette is not a subject, it is a lifestyle—a habit. Achieved through a process, not a subject or an event.
What are some of the typical mistakes in business etiquette that you observe to be more prevalent today?
From the handshake, the business card, handling e-mails, meeting guests, dining with guests, attending events, and so on.
And also responding to difficult colleagues, customers, and social media trolls, is often a waterloo.
How could we correct this?
Understand your triggers, and acknowledge the bad habit, be mindful, study how you can correct it, use the right manner every day and consistently.
I should add that being civilized and practicing good etiquette, can even distinguish us from our competitors—a key differentiator that could set our business apart from others.
Borgonio will be facilitating a workshop titled “Professional Image and Presence: Civility and Etiquette in the Modern Business Setting” on Nov. 29.
It is designed to help professionals identify ways that civility and etiquette can impact overall executive presence.
The workshop is ideal for professionals across all organizations and departments, from the functional level of junior executives to more senior managers.