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21st Century Business Etiquette to Boost your Professional Image

 Published  Publications, Tips

Business etiquette is a set of general guidelines for manners and behavior in a professional setting that allows professionals to feel comfortable and safe at work or in other professional settings while a professional image is a set of qualities and characteristics that represent perceptions of your competence and character as judged by both influencers and peers

A great professional image not only gives you more confidence but also helps you present yourself more competently and promotes your effectiveness and credibility with other people. Also, a great professional image is critical to the long term, sustainable business growth of your company.

No matter who you are or what you do, the way you dress and present yourself has a major impact on your success. When you walk into a room, it only takes 60 seconds for someone to form an impression of you based on your clothing, your mannerisms, and your manners.

The following business etiquettes would help boost your professional image:

Maximize Your Organizational Image

  • Are you on time for work and meetings, or do you consistently run late? You show respect to others by showing up on time or even early.
  • Are you prepared for the meetings you attend? If you facilitate, do you help keep the group’s energy focused in positive, productive ways?
  • Do you let others finish speaking before sharing your thoughts?
  • Do you complete work projects and tasks on time?
  • Does your workspace denote organization and efficiency?
  • Do you return phone calls and e-mails in a timely fashion?

Utilize Essential Business Etiquette and Protocol

  • Do you handle business social events with savvy? Can you converse with charm and ease at networking events?
  • Do you introduce yourself and others with confidence and with the correct protocol?
  • Do you remember people’s names and use them in conversation?
  • Is your electronic etiquette first class? Is your cell phone on vibrate during meetings and your e-mails free of grammatical and punctuation errors?
  • Do you greet guests to your office with a friendly welcome?
  • Do you refrain from gossip and inappropriate jokes?
  • Do you support your coworkers by providing help when needed and thank those who help you?

Avoid “difficult conversations” on team video calls

No one likes to be called out for something negative in front of the group. Pick up the phone to speak to a coworker individually about a matter that reflects on either of you negatively or embarrassingly.

Dress for Success.

  • Consider what you’ve been wearing to work. Does it communicate your personal and professional best? Has your business casual become too casual?
  • In the business arena, the “Wall Street” look is always fashionable when meeting with prospects and clients. Having different quality, well-fitting suits in subtle, conservative colors is better than a closet full of inferior, ill-fitting ones.
  • Find apparel brands that fit well. Then buy multiple pieces, such as dress shirts or dress slacks, in several colors.
  • What about eyeglass frames and your hairstyle? Do they need updating?
  • Foot-wears matter, too. Think quality—think polished—think worn heels replaced, even those tiny ones on your favorite stilettos.
  • Wear quality accessories that speak of sophistication, not cuteness.
  • Invest in a nice leather portfolio and business card case.

Enhance Nonverbal Communication

  • Good nonverbal communication is essential for a lasting good impression and shows you are a consummate professional.
  • Look at your posture in the mirror. Good posture not only makes you look competent, but it can make you look 10 pounds lighter!
  • How is your business handshake? Is it just the right firmness? Are you aware of the right times to give a handshake?
  • How is your eye contact when shaking hands and during introductions and conversations?

Having a great professional image can help you stand out in the crowd and “outclass the competition” at your next corporate outing, business meal, interview, or networking event. You’ll be able to walk into any room or event and concentrate on the people and business at hand with confidence and poise.

Author: Blessing Eruotor
Associate Member of the Institute
of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN)
Head PSRM, SO&C Compliance Services
Information Source: Rachel Wagner Ettiquettes and Protocol.
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