Corporate Etiquette: Details that Matter

I have an eight-year old son named David.  I’m sure he’ll be appearing in this blog frequently.  The things he says are smart, insightful, sincere, and hilarious.  So, oddly enough, I’m kicking off my Corporate Etiquette series with David.   

I recently told David I was going to be his Cub Scout Den Leader.  His response to me was, “Mom, that’s okay, I’d really rather a professional do it.”  That’s my David.  I can’t say I blame him in this case.  I didn’t know the difference between a Bear, Wolf, or Tiger.  (The Cub Scout ranks, not the animals – I’ve got those down.)  I didn’t have a uniform.  I didn’t know The Promise, The Law of the Pack, the handshake, the salute, or the Motto.  (Yes, it’s almost as bad as pledging a sorority.)  Nothing about me or my statement of den leadership gave David confidence in my ability to actually lead these boys.  

Can you relate to that feeling?  The feeling that the person you’re talking to isn’t up for the challenge?  Something about them doesn’t feel quite professional.  You lack confidence in their ability to deliver.  It reminds me of why corporate etiquette is invaluable.   Knowing corporate etiquette sends a message of professionalism – it lands the client, it impresses the boss, it instills confidence in colleagues.  

Corporate etiquette is about the details that matter!  Not understanding how to communicate, look, and act in the corporate world will send people looking for a “real professional.”  In my upcoming series of blogs, Corporate Etiquette: Details that Matter, I’ll be covering the rules of etiquette that allow people to view you as a competent, successful, and confident professional. 

This series will cover: 

  1. How to communicate like a professional  Email, texts, social media, smart phones … our means of communicating have changed dramatically from twenty years ago.  The good news is that there is nothing new about the etiquette of communication.  Just like the manners we were taught twenty years ago, today’s communications need to be thoughtful, effective, and clear.
  2. How to look like a professional  In a recent Newsweek article, The Beauty Advantage, a poll of corporate hiring managers found that, “When it comes to getting hired in the first place, 57 percent of managers believe an unattractive (but qualified) job candidate will have a harder time getting hired; 68 percent believe that, once hired, looks will continue to affect the way managers rate job performance.”   Depressing news? No! We can choose an image that doesn’t distract from what we have to offer professionally.
  3. How to act like a professional  Beyond the boardroom, our actions at networking events, working lunches, office parties, etc. are all important.  From dining etiquette to the art of conversation, once again, details matter!

 These are the topics I’ll cover in Corporate Etiquette: Details that Matter.  I will also be busy doing my best as a den leader.  Did you know that “Do Your Best” is the Cub Scout motto?  (Corporate Etiquette Lesson #1: Learn the lingo and culture!)  

Cub Scout David
Do you have a boss who's difficult to impress? Try impressing this guy!

8 thoughts on “Corporate Etiquette: Details that Matter

  1. Dear Amy,

    I am an enthusiastic reader of your blog. If you are inspired or have the time, could you please write a post for parents regarding teachers? I am a violin teacher (my students range from ages 3 to 7), and am appalled at what parents sometimes let their kids do. Yes, we instructors are responsible for knowing how to deal with children, but too many times have I had students picking their noses (keep in mind we have to then touch their hands if we are teaching an instrument), throwing tantrums, constantly pushing boundaries, while their parents bury their faces deeper into their magazines, or just stare back at me, saying with their eyes “what are you going to do about it? I dare you to lay a finger on my perfect child.” Being a child is okay, but at what point would you say the parents should step in?

    SOS!!!! Many thanks in advance,

    – Viola –

    1. Viola,
      That sounds like a very interesting blog post idea! Do the parents know it’s okay for them to step in? I know sometimes, as a parent, I feel like I’d be stepping on the instructor’s toes if I jumped in. You may want to let them know that you’d appreciate it if they jumped in when needed. As you said, being a child is okay, but I completely agree that in a music lesson they need to be held to a certain standard. As parents, we shouldn’t have unrealistic expectations but we definitely should have expectations.

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and the post suggestion!

  2. Dear Amy,

    Thank you for your response! It made me think about parents’ and teachers’ expectations. It all boils down to common sense: Do you want your child saying rude things, or picking their noses and then touching people? And do you really think it’s the music teachers’ jobs to tell your kid to take their fingers out of their noses, and not to say hurtful things? Are you comfortable with that? You do raise a good point – maybe some parents don’t know they can step in. I will definitely think of a polite way to let them know!

    Thank you for your helpful posts. I’d look forward to reading one about teaching!

    All the best,

    – Viola –

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