Some people argue that etiquette no longer matters.
“If I could gain more by breaking some ‘rules’, who cares? You care simply because of you jealous!”
As we hear this type of conversation more often, we worried. So, today we are going to discuss why is etiquette so important, especially in the workplace.
What is Etiquette?
Etiquette is a code of behaviour that delineates expectations for social behaviour according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.
Rules and practices may vary from one environment to another, but the key points to a good etiquette are honesty, respect and tolerance. These are values that can maintain the harmony within a group, enabling effective communications between one another.
Why is Etiquette So Important?
Can you imagine a world without integrity, at all? If we are living in a world where everyone can simply betray one another, no one will trust each other anymore. When we can’t trust the people around us, we are all alone. No friends, no lover.
From an evolutionary perspective, behaviours that are nice and non-envious are the key for the entire species to move forward. If we practice bad behaviours like selfishness, envious, disloyalty and disrespect, we might able to win some games, but those wins are temporary.
If you’re already reading this, please spend some time to watch this video:
Now that you know, even in a scientific perspective, ‘being nice’ is very important. Etiquette and manners are not just some traditions that we need to keep, these are actually our key to success. So, if someone asked again “Is etiquette important?”, I will say it depends whether you want to succeed in life or you just want to earn some money.
What is the Etiquette in Workplace?
Please be noted, in every company, there is a different culture. For instance, some employers (like mine) allow their employees to take a power nap, but in some companies falling asleep in the office is definitely a taboo. In some organizations, people are allowed to dress casually, however in other companies, an employee might receive warning letter because he/she forgot to shave. All these rules may vary in different companies, but there are some ground rules that everyone needs to practice in any workplace.
Below are some key points:
#1 Be Authentic and Transparent
No one like fakers and imposters.
Before joining a new workplace, be honest when being questioned about your capabilities. Admit if you lack experience on certain tasks, you can promise you’ll pick up, don’t fake. Your colleagues will find out eventually, and that will give them a very bad impression on you.
Besides, being transparent during work is very important. Everyone should openly share information, resources, ideas, opinions and agenda. Let your coworkers know what you’re up to so that they can brainstorm with you, help you to generate more ideas and point out your blind spots.
If you’re a mid-level manager or above, encourage the transparency in the workplace by explaining your decisions to your co-workers. Let them involve in the discussions, listen to feedback and respond positively. Give credit to team members who tell truths, work with them to find better solutions.
A transparent work process can increase the productivity of the team and the quality of works.
#2 Respect One Another
Everyone has dignity. Don’t be rude and mean to your coworkers. Actually, we shouldn’t disrespect anyone.
This is a very short, brief but accurate informative video on showing us how to respect our colleagues:
Don’t try to differentiate yourself by downgrading others. Don’t make insensitive jokes.
#3 Avoid Inappropriate Physical Contact
Okay, regardless your religious view or cultural practice, when it comes to the touching in the workplace, you better be SUPER careful. The only conventional business touch is a HANDSHAKE.
I understand in many situations, a longtime client or colleague might become a close friend. When a professional relationship has evolved to a personal side, a friendly hug may be acceptable. However, if the feeling is not mutual, it will turn to awkward, or even worse, harassment. So, if you’re not sure, you can either ask for a hugging permission or simply keep your hands to yourself.
A genuine warm smile, verbal praise, sending small notes, or a joyful high five are some safe alternatives for you to build a stronger connection with your coworkers.
Don’t throw yourself into hot water 😉
#4 Help and Support Each Other
In a workplace or in any other places on the earth, teamwork is always the key to success.
Don’t be selfish to your colleagues. Share your ideas and resources, contribute your efforts to help your colleagues. At the same time, be generous to accept others’ help. When your colleagues give feedback to you, even negative’s one, ask for more. When they lend you a hand, thank them.
Together, everyone can do better. Be a team player and grow together.
#5 Acknowledge One Another
Always give credit to the people who have contributed.
When your colleague provides you with an opinion, tell him/her “Thanks for showing me another perspective, now I see how to innovate the process.” Or “Thanks for sharing your insights, I will take these into my consideration.”
If your colleague’s ideas or efforts are essential to your result, when accepting compliments from employer or client, remember to give credit to the one who helped you. By acknowledging people’s strength won’t downgrade yourself, in fact, it helps to strengthen the trust and the good relationship between you and your colleagues.
When your colleagues can trust you, they are more willing to help you in future.
In a Nut Shell
Let’s build a workplace that you can trust each other. No workplace politics, backstabs and betrayal.
Our CEO always reminds us, “Work is stressful enough, we don’t need other stresses anymore. Let’s maintain a transparent and free workplace so that everyone can be more focused on the work.”