When a person gets into employment for the first time he gets confused with the corporate culture and finds it very difficult to learn the corporate etiquette which is otherwise also known as business etiquette. There will be vast cultural gaps from the background from where the individual has come and that of the organization he enters. He finds it very difficult to get along with new cultures, customs, norms and rules. There would certainly be a gap. It takes certain time to get adjusted and adapted to the corporate culture and learn the etiquette.
Every one knows the meaning of etiquette. Etiquette is nothing but manners to be followed in a given cultural environment. Every culture has its own etiquette. But overall the etiquette is universal with certain characteristics and qualifications that run across all people like a common thread. Business etiquette is also an etiquette that has to be adopted in every business keeping ethics and integrity in view. It varies from culture to culture and from country to country and from industry to industry. All the differences are only superficial in nature with the commonalities of basic business etiquette being at the core level.
Etiquettes are of different types. It is desirable to focus on a few basic etiquettes which collectively constitute the corporate etiquette. They are Hand shake, Interview etiquette, Mobile etiquette, Telephone etiquette, Office etiquette, Dress code, Giving business card, Dining etiquette, Handling people, International business etiquette, Email etiquette, etc.,
When two men meet each other they shake their hands as a symbol and sign of meeting. There is a right manner in handshake. There has to be firm handshake that represents the confidence level of the persons. If a person presses down the palm of the other person and shakes his hand it indicates that the person is dominant in nature. On the other hand, if the person allows his own palm pressed downwards and lets the other person's palm upwards it indicates the submissive style of the person. In the third scenario if both the persons keep their palms perpendicular to the ground and if both persons plays neutral neither being in the dominant level nor in the submissive level then it is the right method of handshake and it indicates win-win or assertive handshake. A person's nature can be easily judged by the way he shakes his hand with others. It becomes the core part of any corporate culture.
When going for an interview, the door is to be knocked, and after seeking the permission the person should enter the interview room. The person should greet the interview panel member like ‘Good morning Sir/Sirs' depending upon the time of interview and wait for the permission to be seated. If there is a woman Interviewing Officer(IO) it is etiquette to greet her first followed by male members as it is part of the Indian culture to respect women.
After getting the permission to sit, the person should sit with straight posture at the back with his back touching the chair and without dragging the chair or dragging the feet. No attempts should be made either to lean forward or to lean too much backward or to sit in totally at an ease position. The person should sit straight and be alert by keeping both the legs together with both feet touching on the ground.
When the question is posed, the person should fully wait till the completion of the sentence by the IO and then reply. No attempts should be made to interrupt or interfere with the conversation of IO. After listening carefully the person should analyze, process with in his mind and then should reply appropriately with clear cut thoughts. In case if there are any differences of opinion, the same should be handled with tact and diplomacy. In case if there is a need to clarify anything, the same can be asked with a request to speak the same. After the completion of the interview, thank them and exit the room smartly without any unnecessary noise.
Now days, mobiles have become both a boon and bane. Whenever there is an engagement or any hectic or important activities are going on, the mobile should be kept in a silent mode. It is not proper to talk over the phone when important discussion or meeting is in progress. After the completion of the meeting the calls can be attended as unattended calls are reflected in the handset. These days, marketing calls do come frequently and it disturbs the mood and also the precious time. These are known as unsolicited calls. The best thing is to cut short such calls by saying, ‘I will get back to you' or ‘Can I call you back?'
It is more or less like mobile etiquette only. The caller has to identify himself first, and then should confirm whether he is looking for the concerned person and then should start conversation. Even if you are interrupted, exercise patience to the caller and respond. Radiate energy and if it is not possible, at least exercise warmth so that the caller feels comfortable and convenient to communicate. Do not keep the caller on hold without asking ‘Say like, may I put you on a hold for a moment?' and then put the caller on hold till you connect the right person or to give the correct information. Personalize the conversation to make it polite and presentable. If the concerned person is not there and if the caller provides the information to pass on, then note down on a paper or a note pad, sign and make it accessible and reachable to the concerned person. Small things make major differences in telephone etiquette. Ensure that your voice mail system is working properly and is not full of messages to prevent incoming calls.
When you visit to somebody's office, do no roam around as though it is your own office. When you are a stranger to a place maintain and behave like a visitor or as a guest not like a host. Do not disturb the receptionist with too many queries. When you are asked to work in your cubicle stick to that only and do not encroach into others' cubicles.
You can call person by name at the corporate world but politely. There is no need to call ‘Sir' or ‘Madam' frequently. The body language must be positive and assertive it should neither be aggressive nor submissive. While addressing a woman if it is not clear whether she is married or unmarried, you can use Ms as that can convey politely for both married and unmarried woman.
Personal space from person to person needs to be maintained properly. It is known as proxemics. You should not behave with unknown people by being too close by maintaining intimate distance as it creates discomfort for others.
For men the shirt should be in light color with a tie. There should not be any cabbage socks. The socks need to be changed regularly. Avoid wearing white socks. The body can be applied with light perfume. It is essential to wear tie for formal meetings. A few companies have separate and specific dress code to its employees on specific days. There is a traditional formula for male attire. BBTTSS is the acronym for Boot and Belt which must be of the same color, Tie and Trouser should preferably match with each other and Shirt and Socks should match with each other. There is no hard and fast rule to accept this formula but it all depends on the situation and occasion. Ultimately the dress code should be pleasing, neat and clean and presentable.
Dress code for women is a very complicated one. It differs from region to region and from country to country based on their cultural background as well as their tastes and temperaments. They should not dress like a Christmas tree. There should not be any hanky panky costumes. Don't decorate with excessive jewellery or ornaments. The dress should match as per the corporate culture and values of the organization. The clothes must be positive and presentable and not of tight fittings, no obscene clothes or revealing clothes etc.