Business Etiquette

I recently read in a business magazine some advice on business etiquette.  I guess the idea was to give seven or eight important points of business etiquette and I have to admit, I did not agree with much of it.

One of the tips given was to praise lavishly.  It does not say anything about honestly.  I’m not big on small talk.  I love to meet new people and go to events.  I also love to listen to other people and how they do business.  It gives me great perspective on how others see the business world and how they tackle challenges.  I also noticed that the adviser said something about, specially in public.  I believe it is better to praise when appropriate and regardless of the situation.  If you are going to wait until there is a crowd to pat someone on the back, I do believe people can read between the lines on that one.  I also believe that you should not be two faced about it.

This brings me to another point:  don’t agree with everything the other person says.  The whole point of having a point of view is to offer it in conversation.  If someone legitimately makes a point that might change your mind, you can admit it.  However, there is nothing sadder than a group of five or six people talking about a topic, like their views on Twitter and no one is willing to say what they really feel because they don’t want to inconvenience the alpha person.  It is not what you think but what you say that might be a problem.  If you have an opinion that is different, express it honestly and respectfully.  You don’t have to get into a shouting match, you can just agree to disagree.

The expert also mentioned keeping your life private.  She not only talks about the problems, also the triumphs.  I don’t believe that to be 100% correct.  Some conversations become really interesting when you bring up your personal travels or a ball game that you recently went to.  I think this expert was concentrating too much on not causing any commotion.

So, my advice to you on Business Etiquette is very simple:  be yourself.  You really want to attract the best matches for you in business and in life.  You certainly need to tone down your mood swings and keep it in the positive.  You don’t want to look like you don’t have a personality because you want to be perfect.  Perfect for who?  Be yourself and bring out the positive in people.  That should take you a long way.

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