International Business Etiquette

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Do you know the definition of Business Etiquette? Business etiquette is about building relationships with other people. Etiquette is not about rules & regulations but is about providing basic social comfort and creating an environment where others feel comfortable and secure, this is possible through better communication.

Social media communication platforms (i.e. Facebook, Linkedin) are evolving rapidly day by day, as the concept of social media etiquette becomes a crucial part of business. Business etiquette consists of two things. Firstly, thoughtful consideration of the interests and feelings of others and secondly, being able to minimise misunderstandings.  These are influenced by individual behaviour & demeanour. Business etiquette instructs this behaviour.

Business etiquette differs from region to region and from country to country. This creates a complex situation for people as it is hard to balance the focus on both international business etiquette and other business activities at the same time. Therefore, a wise step is to focus on some key pillars of business etiquette.

Here are some key business etiquette tips that mean real success to business:

‘ Thank You ’ Note

If you want to differentiate yourself from others then never forget to write a‘Thank You’ note to your job interviewer or your client. This will leave a good impression and also reflect well on your company.

Know the Names

Give others respect by knowing their names which will increase goodwill and communication. it is also worth management stepping back and acknowledging people individually for their good work as this will enhance their self esteem and increase motivation.

Observe the ‘Elevator Rule’

Be mindful of saying appropriate things at a job interview or client meeting. Don’t start discussing business with a client or interviewer as soon as you step out of the lift. By doing so, you avoid the risk of damaging your reputation.

Focus on the Face,  Not the Screen

Never forget to switch off your phone and try not to use any other device just to prove you are a multitasking individual. In fact, in the world of business this is considered bad manners. Concentrate on the meeting and listen to what people are saying.

Don’t Judge

Everyone is unique in their own way and uses a different approach to deal with situations. Therefore, if you disagree with another person’s approach instead of criticising try to understand it from their point of view. By doing so, you create a friendly environment. Always remember you get respect by giving respect.

Whether in business or between individuals, one concern is brand awareness. Individuals want to be noticed both socially and professionally. People want to be remembered by others.

However, in the digital landscape you have to be very careful when trying to pursue your brand awareness. Think carefully before doing. What we mean by this is that before creating a hashtag, posting on a Facebook wall or texting – think how the other person will feel when they receive your message.

Character, Behaviour, Honesty

Your character reflects your individuality and your behaviour exhibits your personality. Business etiquette encourages revealing your positive qualities. This helps your reputation.

Always be honest and remember that it takes a long time to develop trust and a good reputation and only one small mistake to lose it. Business etiquette provides a framework for stating the boundaries of terms & conditions, contracts and promises.

Sensitivity & Diplomacy

A key pillar of business etiquette is sensitivity, meaning giving careful thought to every business aspect before making a judgement. This gives a strong foundation to your business. Also, thoughtless words and actions lead to a negative outcome. Being aware of business etiquette encourages careful thought.

Elements of business etiquette

Business etiquette instructs on you how to present yourself professionally in different cultures. The keys for making a good impression are dressing appropriately, your body language, presenting your business cards, gift giving, conducting meetings and many other important elements.

Article curtsy: businessculture.org.

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5 major concerns that give sleepless nights to single parent

Parenting is fun, provided we are trained on that, unfortunately we have to learn by experiences !

5 Major concerns of Single Parents

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1. Timing Crunch: Unable to give time is a loud response of most single and working parent. Work-Life balance is often talked but hardly practiced by these single parents. It is quite an acceptable situation to believe, however a simple rule of life says “Larger the time you invest in any relationship, stronger the relationship will be” Going by this fact, one should plan as much time as possible to be with the child no matter what age is of your child. Here are some time tested techniques:

  • Before and After office hours, make a systematic routine to shrink your world only for your child. Mobile phones and social media are a strict NO.
  • Compulsory joint activity such a swimming, exercising, or even reading books together can bring magical outcome
  • Try not to talk sensitive topics such as career, money, education, friends etc.,until you establish a deeper connection. Do not mimic yourself like your parent.

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2. Missing Emotional Cord: Less time spend with child can lead to constant erosion in emotions. Creche and Baby sitting or even sometime your own people can not provide the emotional cushion that child seeks from you. By saying those sweet words like “love you my prince..” or “take care my princess” will not serve the purpose. What is needed is real emotions and not socially faked one. Here are some recommendations:

  •  Be with child in his/her own small world and just be there.
  •  Undivided attention and caressing as much as you can will help you a lot.
  •  Celebrate smallest moment of their day.
  •  Again, like suggested in earlier point, go on a joint activity, walking, playing etc will help you establish your loving caring image in child’s mind.

 

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3. Lack of trust: As child grows older, he watches you going through your own personal grind, and continue to remain scared of loosing you, soon he will develop fear and mistrust. On the other side, he may start hiding things from you fearing a strong opposition. This cycle becomes frequent as the child grows older and turns in his/her teen age. Most recommended ways to build trust are:

  • Do not hide anything from your child, be it your own relationship with other person, or your professional challenges.
  • Share as much as you can with your child without doubting his/her maturity. This will open the highway of communication.
  • Involve your child in all important matters and discussion, it will instil the sense of responsibility and develop transparency in relationship

 

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4. Establishing Disciplines: The most difficult task for single parent is to establish the norms and standards of discipline in house. Since the amount of work and other responsibilities loom over head, parent might end up being softer to the child and more pampering parent. This behaviour is chiefly exhibited with a thought of not letting the child suffer the trauma of having single parent at home. But after sometime it becomes difficult to set the rules. Try following ways if that is the case:

  •  Set the ground rules and announce them.
  •  You adhere each rule without any exception.
  •  Discipline is better inculcated rather than being imposed.
  •  Bring Equality and Transparency in every matter and for every child.

 

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5. Managing Career Aspiration: Majority working single parent feels that career is jeopardised if focus is shifted on child. Parent constantly remain under stress of being selective, selective for career, location, type of work etc. There are cases where even single parents have been successful. It is all about deciding priorities at the beginning and than setting the different family and professional goals. Here are some workable recommendations to manage your career aspiration:

  • First thing first, set your short term, medium term and long term goals. Goals are family goals and professional goals.
  • Identify and create a better support system
  • Set clear expectations with child about the importance and need to have better career. Even you may have to set expectations with your parents.
  • Set expectations with your employer, supervisor and other stake holders, about your time devotion for the work.
  • Develop an acceptance for your strengths and your limitations, this will reduce self-stress.

 

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How to Choose Right Career?

 

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Most often we end up choosing the career which perhaps not the right one. We simply go for something because we have been told to do so, or may be under influence of the visible glory of the particular job.

Softskills at times can come to your help. If we know the decision making skill.

Career selection has always been a stressful event. If we look back in our own life, many of us would feel the career that they have opted for currently could have been different if someone would have guided properly, or at least some help should have been there.

This is even becoming more critical as the competition is increasing, more and more parents are pushing their kids to select the best career and they even end up spending huge money to secure that ‘best’ career. While many can sail through such turmoil, many others find it so difficult to adjust with unpleasant career. Even if they accept the career, they may not excel in that. The cycle of non-performance will hit them soon.

Let us understand how the whole non-performance cycle works out. There are two friends Rahul and Rohan. They both have studied together in a same school and their track of securing good marks have pushed them to choose a career which is like extremely competitive. Rahul fairs well as he was clear about the choices he made, however, Rohan faced lots of struggle and fall out was he dropped the study mid way and chosen to study something else.He than opted for a course which would get him then high paying jobs. Soon he realise that the job market has changed! By the time he completed his studies, the scenario was different, he somehow got a job and now he is a mediocre employee and always on a look for ‘better’ options.

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Selecting something based on fancy or glory or even out of force will never help you to grow in career. It will create more job related burn-outs. Rohan’s struggle is evident and many like him are facing such issues.

Career decision is the most critical decision for students and professionals, and if chosen a wrong career, one has to end up paying higher price in the later life.

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