How important is etiquette
How important are ethics and etiquette in a job? Find out more about this successful duo
In the last blog posts we introduced you to the protocol with its symbols and rituals, the protocol standards for the organization of company events and the correct care for guests.
In this blog post we delve into the question of the correct manners and the meaning of ethics and etiquette.
In an increasingly global world, new challenges are constantly emerging. Where in the past the specialist knowledge was sufficient, nowadays additional skills are required - especially social skills. However, living together is only successful if the values and mutual expectations are clear. The golden rule, which is well-known in all cultures, has always provided good orientation here: “What you don't want someone to do to you, don't do it to anyone else”.
In addition to the technical and social skills, there is another skill: ethics. In terms of reflected morality and the ability to differentiate between good and bad, right and inadequate, ethics form the basis of our actions and our etiquette!
Business etiquette is described as social behavior in everyday professional life that corresponds to expectations. Expectations do not always have to do with fixed rules. In essence, they relate to HOW we should meet.
If we behave as our environment expects, trust, security and our own image are positively influenced. If the expectations are disappointed, however, this leads to irritation, tension or even the breakdown of business relationships. So it has decisive advantages to know and follow the correct manners in the respective environment. Basically, we differentiate between two aspects of business etiquette:
- The first impression ... for which, as is well known, there is no second chance
- Appearance and outfit
- Verbal and non-verbal communication
- Correct table culture
- Official rules in business dealings
- Values - personal and social
- Corporate culture
- Intercultural skills.
Good manners are not a matter of luck, but a learnable resource that is available to us at all times. Adhering to etiquette is a matter for everyone. If you want to be successful, you should know the expectations of others and deal with them appropriately - while remaining authentic at the same time.
Our etiquette expresses - consciously and unconsciously - our inner attitude and thus also our ethical attitude.
In many companies there are specific guidelines on the attitude with which business should be conducted and how business partners, employees and society in general should be dealt with.
Sincerity, trustworthiness and reliability lead to lasting success - dishonesty and corruption, on the other hand, not only lead to conflicts in the long term, but also to a loss of culture in the company. It is therefore important to keep the following principles in mind:
- We are credible, with integrity, with a clear conscience towards ourselves and others.
- We create a climate of trust, reliability, security and ensure stability in the company.
- We avoid conflicts with company rules and laws.
- We strengthen the acceptance and the positive image of our companies.
- We develop better business relationships with partners who think alike, and it is easier for us to acquire qualified employees who are a good match for us.
Ethics is a question of individual attitude and personal integrity. As with etiquette, the same applies here: It is a personal matter for each individual to adhere to it. Your individual attitude and attitude are of fundamental importance. You shape the behavior of your environment through your values and your actions.
Even if external etiquette and etiquette rules are lived differently across cultures - such as forms of greeting, table manners, working methods - the basic values for harmonious cooperation across countries and cultures are similar.
Dealing with other people should be characterized by courtesy, respect, mindfulness and appreciation - even in difficult situations.
But how do we do that? The Global Ethic Foundation.
In 1995 the Swiss theologian Prof. Dr. Hans Küng together with the Baden-Baden entrepreneur Karl Konrad Graf von der Groeben die Global Ethic Foundation. In various work areas, she deals with the question of how we can find a successful coexistence in our societies as well as across the borders of religions and cultures. Dr. Stephan Schlensog, who supports this contribution with his expertise, is Secretary General of this foundation.
Values such as humanity, justice, truthfulness or respect unite us - regardless of their differences - across the borders of religions and cultures. We don't have to reinvent them, we just have to make ourselves aware of them - above all, we have to find ways of promoting them in our societies, both large and small, and living by these values.
Appreciative interaction between people, conflict-free encounters between cultures, perception of responsibility in society and at work: All of these dimensions belong together and must be considered, worked on and communicated together if we want to find a successful coexistence in this increasingly globalized world. Every single person has to start with it.
One more piece of good news at the end: The “cost-benefit calculation” is simple and convincing. Low cost, great benefit! Because good ethical behavior does not cost you any money, just a little time, mindfulness and appreciation for others as well as for yourself.
And the benefit? It's enormous: in the form of trust, credibility, reliability and ultimately more business and more profit. Unfortunately, we often only recognize the benefits when others - or we ourselves - are subject to misconduct and the situation and / or the business can no longer be easily saved. In such cases, business economists like to speak euphemistically of "conflict costs" - as if these were completely self-evident "costs" that have to be expected ...
Dr. Schlensog from the Global Ethic Foundation sums it up by saying: "Ethics are not only worthwhile, they are worthwhile."
Ethics and etiquette are real success factors in dealing with one another - both in business and, of course, in private. So let's make them our core competencies and the basis of our coexistence!
Dr. Stephan Schlensog is a theologian, religious scholar and general secretary of the internationally active Tübingen Global Ethic Foundation.
Silke Freudenberg is an expert in protocol and event management, business etiquette and modern manners. As a sought-after event organizer, speaker, trainer and business coach, she supports companies and individuals nationwide in their professional appearance. She brings her many years of professional experience from government institutions, industry and business at home and abroad to the table. Silke Freudenberg is a systemic coach, member of the German Knigge Council and lecturer at the Protocol Academy in Hanover. This is the only advanced training facility in Germany that combines knowledge of the professional organization of events and official encounters with knowledge of national and international protocol practices and manners. Show all posts by Silke Freudenberg
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