Every office has its etiquette and it shows in its everyday work. Normally an employee hardly thinks of etiquette once he joins office or six-month old in the work environment. The apt behavior of employees comes to the picture when work performances have been appraised and judgements pronounced yearly. While, some colleagues might move on, others were rewarded with greater responsibilities. Could you have predicted, with a reasonable degree of success, who among your colleagues would have been included in each category? If you had spent sufficient time with these people, your assessment would, probably, have been spot on. The following points are the perfect examples of outstanding etiquette.
1-Social etiquette begins with appearance and grooming. The guiding principle here is to choose what makes it easier to work together. Thus, personal hygiene and understatement rank above individualism. The basics of grooming start with proper hair, skin and nail care. Opt for apparel and colours that are not offensive to general sensibilities. Remember that if you attract excessive attention on account of your clothes (or lack of it), you are unlikely to be taken seriously as a professional capable of handling obligations. Similarly, strong perfumes and flashy jewellery are best confined to the weekends. Clean, ironed clothes, pleasant colours, polished footwear and an overall sober demeanour will help build an image of someone who takes his career seriously and who can be trusted with responsibilities.
2-The next step is to perfect the right attitude. Skills and experience are required to get a job. Keeping the job and excelling requires results, individual and within a team. So, simply put, the attitude one brings to work in the morning makes a difference to the quality of results you deliver. Pride in the job and a passion for getting things done competently is invariably appreciated by colleagues, clients and bosses.
3-A whining, complaining employee lasts only until an enthusiastic replacement is found. A person who sticks his neck out to ask for work may risk short-term failure but always ends up with more opportunities to excel. Thereafter, the ability to take responsibility and accurately and politely put forward facts and opinions earns the trust of the team. Team members and managers also support someone who consistently acknowledges the team’s contributions to your success. On the flip side, complaining about co-workers and bosses does not further anyone’s career. Be a person who prefers resolving conflicts by tackling problems rather than targeting the individuals involved.
4-The confident professional is identified as one who loves to share knowledge and improve his team’s and colleagues’ performance. An insecure employee often tries to protect his turf and invariably fails when alienated team members find a way around to get things done. As a manager, be quick to take decisions and slow to change them rather than the other way round. The former method gets great output (provided the decision was correct) whereas the latter stalls productive work. Good communication is also necessary to maintain working relationships in the office, which goes a long way towards success in your career. Communication is enhanced and empowered by non-verbal cues and body language. Effective non-verbal communication complements and emphasises what is being said and, thus, increases the message’s influence. Positive body language serves to foster trust and conveys attentiveness, which is important at work. Facial expressions and posture reflect emotional responses. Gestures accentuate what you are trying to get across. The tone of your voice conveys sincerity, intensity and energy (or the lack of it).
5-Finally, eye contact is a measure of attentiveness, assertiveness and affection. Touch or physical distance conveys a great deal of information including assertiveness, dominance, confidence, support or the reverse of all these. To learn to read and master non-verbal language, it is necessary to be completely present in the moment and focus on the other person and the communication itself. Listen to the words, but learn to observe with your eyes to read non-verbal cues.
Good grooming, attitude and communication make for a successful combination of outstanding etiquettes at the workplace. Note that none of these can substitute for competence, but a lack of these can definitely derail a skilled professional.