Business Etiquette

People who fit in best at business functions have style, grace and confidence. They know how to include others in their conversations. They take notice when people appear to be uncomfortable and make an effort to help them overcome their discomfort. More than anything, they take it upon themselves to act as though each event is their private party and they are responsible for everyone’s comfort.

But business etiquette covers much more than appearances at parties and events. Communications of all types, letters, email, voice mail and personal conversations require an awareness of proper etiquette.

When my mother was in school, all students had to take an etiquette class. By the time I went to school, there weren’t any available classes. I was fortunate, however, that my mother coached me in the basic concepts like when to say please, thank you and excuse me. She also taught me how to learn by observing others. I found that I become distracted from my nervousness by focusing on more important issues, like the other people who are present. I was amazed to discover how easy it is to become comfortable with a group of people by paying attention to their needs.

It’s pitiful when people have poor or often a lack of manners. Worse yet, we think we have to accept the bad manners of others to be polite. A caller asked

Dr. Laura, who is a nationally syndicated radio host, what to do about a friend who embarrassed her by making outlandish statements at parties.  Dr. Laura’s response was “What makes you think you should try to excuse her bad behavior and why do you want to be her friend?” Please keep that in mind the next time someone is less than courteous in your presence.