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Treat People as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.”
It seems that today the rule is to break all the rules! Unfortunately, when it comes to how we treat one another, some people don't even know the rules. Or maybe one generation knows them and another generation doesn't. This can lead to challenges, upsets, miscommunication and lack of fluidity in interpersonal communications.
Basics of etiquettes
The only way this challenge can be overcome is to return to a few basics that aren't so much about strict etiquette rules, but more about good old-fashion kindness. This will keep the courtesy going and make working around multigenerational mixes more productive and profitable.
The First Basic: Respect: We all want respect, no matter what age we are. Not only for what we can contribute but also for the simple fact that we have survived for any length of time. The more mature worker may feel that the years they have put in have earned them respect, while the younger worker feels their skills and newly acquired education earn them respect. Both are right. The challenge is not to think that one is better than the other in terms of who deserves more respect. The key is to know that each person, no matter how long they've worked or how adept their skill set, deserves respect, because we are all experiencing the human condition.
. Call people by their formal name when meeting them for the first time unless you are introduced to them by only their first name. Otherwise address everyone formally until they ask you to use their first name. Do this with everyone you meet, it's a sign of respect and it's ageless.
2. Introduce everyone, no matter who they are. If you want to break down barriers, between different ages groups, genders and nationalities, you need to make people feel valued. The best way to do this is to introduce people to each other whenever the opportunity presents itself. Always over-introduce and you will show your etiquette savvy and important allies too.
A few Respect Ideas
. Be the first to extend your hand for a handshake, and look the person in the eye." If you have a wimpy handshake, work on improving it since this gesture will backfire if instead of showing your confidence and charm you show your lack of it.
Say "Please" and "Thank you"! This little courtesy is vital to show respect, make people understand you are aware of what they can and have done, and also to help you in all communications with others. When a person forgets something as simple as a "please" or "thank you" it shows lack of concern for others which is disrespectful and degrading
The Second Basic - Kindness
Anyone who thinks that kindness isn't a necessity in today's work environment isn't thinking. Kindness is one of the most important skills in dealing with people of all ages. Every living thing responds to kindness. Use this skill and good things will happen.
The Third Basic - Integrity
When we make a promise or give our word we need to follow through on our word. If we are unable to keep the promise or fulfill the commitment, we must be prepared to make things right. Trust is a fragile thing...very easily broken and very difficult to regain. People who have integrity are people we can trust.
Business Etiquette Essentials
Experts suggest applying these basic guidelines to managing all business relationships:
Start with consideration and respect. No matter whom you come in contact with, that person deserves respectful treatment. Even if you dislike someone or his or her own behavior, you’ll come out on top if you consider that person’s needs and maintain a respectful manner.
Never interrupt. In casual work environments, people can easily forget basic courtesy, and interruption becomes a real problem. Remember that it’s always rude to interrupt, especially when someone is making an important point or addressing a group. Walking unannounced or uninvited into someone’s office is another form of interruption, and it makes a bad impression. “You may not need to make an appointment to see your boss or a colleague,” but you should always make sure the person is not busy when you want to talk.”
What is Professionalism?
FIRST, WHAT IT ISN'T
What's the greatest misconception about professionalism? It's probably the notion that professionalism is all about money.
"There are lots of people who think 'I'm getting paid, so that makes me a professional.' But that just isn't the case," says Wendell Lamb, a certified public accountant who now runs a thriving mortgage company. "They think they're professionals because they're getting a paycheck. But they continue to act like real amateurs in the workplace."
Steve Gregg, a retired human resources director, agrees. "It takes a lot more than compensation to make someone a professional, no matter what kind of job they have. It doesn't matter if you make a million dollars a year and have a corner office. Professionalism is about a lot more than money." Gregg says there are many highly trained, highly paid workers who are considered anything but professional, for lots of different reasons.
SO WHAT MAKES A PROFESSIONAL Money, training, and status aside, many long-time workers and
managers will tell you that professionalism is a matter of attitude and behavior. It means not just knowing how to do your job, but demonstrating a willingness to learn, cooperating and getting along with others, showing respect, and living up to your commitments. It also means avoiding many kinds of behaviors that cause trouble in the workplace.
"It doesn't matter whether you're a ditch digger or the president of a university," says Gregg. "If you behave the way people expect a professional to behave, you'll be accepted and treated like one.“
Is this Professionalism ?
Of course, like other life skills, professionalism is something you learn; you don't just "become" a professional overnight. The keys, according to Gregg, are practice and self-awareness.
"Pay attention to your own behavior at work," he advises, "as well as the way others behave. Whom do you see as real professionals? How does your behavior differ from theirs?" Take notice of your colleagues who are most respected and whose work or opinions are most valued by others, then emulate those people
Answer the following questions
Do you truly have all the skills required to be successful at your job? If not, are you in the process of learning them? A key trait among professionals is knowing what to do and when to do it. Just as important, they know what not to do. Avoiding incorrect or inappropriate actions is crucial to your success.
Do you communicate well with others? This means more than just conveying your own thoughts and ideas. It means being able to listen thoughtfully and respecting the thoughts and ideas of other people.
Do your managers see you in the right light? "This is tough for anyone," says Gregg, "but you need to look at yourself through your boss' eyes." Does your boss approve of your attire, the hours you keep, the way you conduct yourself in general? Does the boss seem comfortable coming to you with special projects or to discuss problems or ideas? If not, you may need to make some changes. "If you think your manager has a problem with your level of professionalism," says Gregg, "by all means, talk it out. Ask for advice. Let your boss know you want to improve, and ask for mentoring if you think it's needed
Ask permission before using a speakerphone.
Always introduce yourself.
More on Telephone Etiquette
Call back quickly.
Avoid juggling calls.
Use the hold button politely.
Learn how to use your phone’s features before making a call.
Fine manners need the support of fine mannersin others." --- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Keep your personal workspace clean and neat at all times.