Etiquette dates back to the times of the ancient Egyptians. Pharaohs required a certain order in their everyday lives and the lives of their subjects. However, it wasn’t until thousands of years later when French King Louis XIV put little “tickets” on his lawn to keep people from walking through, that our modern concept of etiquette was born.
Etiquette has three foundational building blocks: Respect, Honesty and Consideration. These three blocks work together and influence behavior. If you respect someone, you will be honest with them and considerate of them.
Etiquette is thinking of others before yourself, but observing the rules of etiquette should not mean that you are not treated with respect, honesty and consideration. On the contrary, observance of the rules of etiquette is based on mutuality and the expectation of reciprocation. The proverbial Golden Rule best sums up the principles of etiquette: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Poor business etiquette is called the “silent business killer.” If someone doesn’t like what you said, the way you behaved, or considers your appearance inappropriate, by the time you find out, it may be too late. In today’s globalized business world, having social and emotional intelligence is a competitive advantage in forging new relationships and winning clients.
What you will read in this book are not hard rules, but guidelines for appropriate behavior in professional and social situations. Familiarize yourself with these basics and put them into practice. Doing so will foster confidence and garner the respect of others.