Time for a new business etiquette
Wed 07 October 2009
, IBM, IBM Nederland B.V.
Doing business is peoples work, whether it concerns colleagues, customers or suppliers. To get into contact with these groups, businesses increasingly use digital aids, such as telephone, internet and e-mail. How should the employee make use of all these new means in 2009? What works and what doesn’t?
How to separate work and private life in a era where employees are increasingly flexible.
In an editorial comment in August, the “Algemeen Dagblad” concluded it is time for a new business etiquette. Based on experiences by its own employees, IBM’s “Social Business Etiquette guide”, attempts to describe this new business etiquette.
Below are 10 tips from this guide.
1. Drink more coffee, instead of e-mailing, chatting or calling.
One can not build a relationship through digital means; personal contact is critical. Every time a “digital-moment” occurs, ask yourself whether this should better be discussed during a coffee break. This is particularly true when it concerns an emotional subject, critic and confidential information.
2. Give proper attention! Mobile internet allows you to be online 24/7 everywhere, including meetings, team lunch and work related social events.
It is rude to be online when others expect to have your undivided attention. Give them priority and put your blackberry aside. If you have to be online, for example in case of urgent family matters (kids), inform your counterpart(s) openly and in a timely manner. At least they understand.
3. Each person has a different working day routine: when does the workday end and the evening start?
Some people continue to work from home, others strictly separate work from home. Do realise that every person is different in this respect and do not impose your routine on others. Discuss your own situation and the other’s always first. If you have contact outside working hours, response time is probably longer.
4. Business chatting is a relevant means of communication: instant messaging allows you to communicate real time with other people who are online.
It is an efficient way to directly exchange information. Ensure that the information is relevant, brief and to the point. Avoid private matters and jokes. Remember that the recipient of a message will be interrupted when the message comes in.
5. Avoid background noises. Increasingly, people call when on the move.
Do not have business conversations in a cafe or next to a lorry. Instead, find a quiet place or postpone the call, in particular when it is a sensitive issue.
6. Avoid becoming too personal in a business chat or blog.
The information remains visible for others afterwards.
7. Limit the “CC” culture: you can easily send a CC to half of the company.
But is everybody interested in this email? Also, are you using the right application (for example: should you not be using messaging instead). And is the email intended to inform (or just to activate someone)?. If not, people could get irritated and it could become counter productive.
8. Avoid “funny” sms’/voicemails/ringtones which do not fit your organisation and position.
Your manager/customer/colleague do not always appreciate sms language (J etc). The same goes for a “Tarzan-yell” ringtone or a personal voicemail. Keep it business like.
9. Be efficient when in a telephone conference or video call:
The opportunites are endless in the current digital age. A clear agenda and a “directive” discussion leader will ensure that a meeting starts and finishes on time, more so if properly prepared by the participants.
10. Present yourself properly, wherever you are:
One recognises a business man or woman through their clothes, the conversation, mobile phone and for example the laptop. Be discreet when for example in a restaurant, do not talk loud on the phone, or even better, go outside (a restaurant is not a meeting room). The way people start thinking about your company might be affected.
Articles in Life
- W World: 'Wonderful hotels'!! (article, 20-11-2012)
- Goodbye Summer, hello citytrips! (article, 01-10-2012)
- Saint Tropez versus Ibiza!! (article, 06-08-2012)
- Fear can be a wonderful catalyst for progress (article, 24-07-2012)
- To find your own way is to follow your bliss (video, 16-07-2012)
- See you in London!! (article, 09-07-2012)
- Leadership lessons (not) learned at the playground (article, 11-06-2012)
- Make everything OK button (article, 11-06-2012)
- Do you know yourself? Are you centered? (article, 31-05-2012)
- Disclosing information about yourself is intrinsically rewarding (article, 28-05-2012)
- Glitter & Glamour at Cannes Film Festival!! (article, 21-05-2012)
- An active personal life is good for your career (article, 21-05-2012)
- Are you MOM ENOUGH to do this? (article, 14-05-2012)
- Restaurant Noma: A Unique & Adventurous Gastronomic Experience (article, 07-05-2012)
- Honey, don't argue with your inner critic (article, 23-04-2012)
- In the Tiara spotlight: Gabrielle Kalkwijk (article, 23-04-2012)
- COO Sheryl Sandberg leaves the office at 5.30 - you should too! (article, 16-04-2012)
- Glimpsing Gaudi in Barcelona! (article, 16-04-2012)
- Lead by example: work-life balance for your team (article, 02-04-2012)
- 'We'll Always Have Paris' (article, 30-03-2012)
- Portrait Suites Rome: A Salvatore Ferragamo Experience (article, 14-03-2012)
- Sponsors wear your T-shirt in a meeting you're not in (article, 26-02-2012)
- Mas Museum in Antwerp: One of a kind (article, 26-02-2012)
- Magical Marrakech (article, 12-02-2012)
- Make your own branding statement! (article, 13-02-2012)
- Shell and LEAPwomen Energy mix (article, 06-02-2012)
- Charming Paradores of Spain (article, 29-01-2012)
- From VP tot Boss of Me: Rethinking career choices (article, 30-01-2012)
- Over 90 and still going strong (article, 19-01-2012)
- 28 Ways to Stop Complicating Your Life (article, 15-01-2012)
- Great Lifestyle Hotel for the whole family on the Veluwe (article, 14-01-2012)
- Famous women and their handbags (article, 08-01-2012)
- Hotel Trend: Hightea, Lunch, Drinks & Dinner (article, 18-12-2011)
- Inspirational quote (article, 18-12-2011)
- Ten inspiring voices (article, 12-12-2011)
- Christmas Sparkles in Paris (article, 04-12-2011)
- Working moms feel guilty, stay-at-home moms too (article, 28-11-2011)
- Inclined to always say Yes? 5 reasons to say No (article, 21-11-2011)
- Glamour Is Served!! (article, 15-11-2011)
- Confessions from men feeling guilty (article, 07-11-2011)
- Autumn Holiday on Mallorca! (article, 01-11-2011)
- In and Out of Alignment (article, 31-10-2011)
- How to move forward in spite of Fear (article, 24-10-2011)
- London 2012: A Booming City!! (article, 17-10-2011)
- CEO me!, handboek voor ambitieuze vrouwen -- en mannen (article, 10-10-2011)
- Scandinavia has stolen my heart!! (article, 03-10-2011)
- Gag-Worthy Marketing Campaigns And The Technological Gender Divide (article, 26-09-2011)
- Extraordinary Museums in Europe!! (article, 19-09-2011)
- Womance - a wonderful word (article, 17-09-2011)
- Corporate tweets en die van medewerkers vullen elkaar aan (article, 12-09-2011)
- The surprising truth about what motivates us (article, 28-08-2011)
- Social support: giving more important than receiving (article, 15-08-2011)
- Acceptance Leads to Momentum (article, 09-08-2011)
- Eliminating the 'ums' and 'uhhs' from your speech (article, 01-08-2011)
- You might want to name your daughter Deborah to help her with her career (article, 25-07-2011)
- Waarom begrijp je me niet? Beter samenwerken door het (h)erkennen van communicatiestijlen. (article, 18-07-2011)
- Echt leiderschap vraagt grondige zelfkennis (article, 11-07-2011)
- 8 Words That Should Never Appear in Your Twitter Bio (article, 11-07-2012)
- We’re not dumb enough to tweet photos of our privates (article, 04-07-2011)
- Teveel baby’s bellen 112 (article, 04-07-2011)
- Corporate personalities versterken reputatie bedrijf (article, 06-06-2011)
- Dare change (video, 05-06-2011)
- Does stress help us succeed? (article, 17-05-2011)
- Don’t do what you love (article, 09-05-2011)
- Work/Life Balance Across Time Zones and Technologies (article, 09-05-2011)
- Can there only be one ‘power’ in the power couple? (article, 03-05-2011)
- Holistic Leadership: The Starbucks example (article, 25-04-2011)
- Belizean Grove: (secret) old girls network? (article, 11-04-2011)
- Get A Thick Skin (article, 03-04-2011)
- Complete that difficult task faster with music! (article, 29-03-2011)
- 10 body language mistakes women leaders make (article, 07-03-2011)
- Don't Think About It. Do These Five Things Instead (article, 14-02-2011)
- Designerjurk in de uitverkoop? Je achternaam bepaalt! (article, 14-02-2011)
- To ski or not to ski: Best ski-resorts for mixed couples (article, 07-02-2011)
- No Choice but to Choose (article, 07-02-2011)
- There is a You-Shaped Hole in this world (article, 01-02-2011)
- Leptin: How to make a fat-burning hormone work for you (article, 18-01-2011)
- 10 Rules for Brilliant Women (article, 11-01-2011)
- Quick tips to improve your profile and picture! (article, 11-01-2011)
- Why, beyond middle age, people get happier as they get older (article, 03-01-2011)
- De perfecte netwerkborrels van het nieuwe jaar (article, 03-01-2011)
- Huwelijkse voorwaarden: Goed voor ons!? (article, 20-12-2010)
- Don’t ignore the nasty side of sisterhood (article, 12-12-2010)
- Living a life of inspiration (article, 29-11-2010)
- Challenge: building the ultimate LEAP-list! (article, 20-11-2010)
- LEAP is coming to see you (article, 02-11-2010)
- Choice Management: letting small fires burn (article, 01-11-2010)
- Move over Time Management! Make room for Choice Management! (article, 18-10-2010)
- Liselore’s life and work with social media (article, 24-09-2010)
- Maaike Kamphuis on change through networks (article, 17-09-2010)
- Change Consultancy with Maaike Kamphuis (article, 09-09-2010)
- ‘Self-Leadership is a continuous path’ (article, 19-08-2010)
- ‘It’s about setting goals for yourself’ (article, 06-08-2010)
- ‘Be honest when you don’t have all the answers’ (article, 27-07-2010)
- ‘Self-leadership is a constant dynamic’ (article, 15-07-2010)
- “Allow yourself to float and experiment” (article, 06-07-2010)
- Koen Gonnissen on effectiveness vs excellence (article, 25-06-2010)
- Success factors of innovative networks (article, 27-05-2010)
- Have a dark chocolate, for science’s sake (article, 07-05-2010)
- ‘Dutch uninformed about heart diseases’ (article, 16-04-2010)
- Take the Soft Skills Quiz (article, 07-04-2010)
- The value of social networking (article, 27-03-2010)
- Béatrice Guillaume-Grabisch on networking (article, 22-03-2010)
- Martin Seligman on Positive psychology (article, 26-02-2010)
- Happiness good for the heart (article, 19-02-2010)
- Great Career, No Children (article, 05-02-2010)
- Blue light chases away winter blues (article, 21-01-2010)
- Style, with Laura Dufour (article, 28-12-2009)
- Create your own style (article, 21-12-2009)
- Turning energy drains into energy gains (article, 13-10-2009)
- Managing your career through parenthood (article, 08-10-2009)
- Time for a new business etiquette (article, 07-10-2009)
- "Connecting people" as part of KPN's CSR programme (article, 06-09-2009)
- Vitality (article, 04-09-2009)
- Top-level sports and a working career can mix well (article, 08-09-2009)
- Full of Vitality (article, 01-06-2009)
Columns in Life
- Traditional Coffee Houses in Vienna! (05-09-2011, Nicole Bader)
- Famous Operas in a Magical Setting!! (22-08-2011, Nicole Bader)
- Spectacular dining spots!! (09-08-2011, Nicole Bader)
- Antwerp: A fashionista's paradise! (25-07-2011, Nicole Bader)
- Hotel Particulier: A hidden gem in Montmartre!! (11-07-2011, Nicole Bader)
- Tram 28: Explore Lisbon the Traditional Way! (18-06-2011, Nicole Bader)
- City beaches in Europe are Hip & Happening! (06-06-2011, Nicole Bader)
- Discover the ‘charm’ of European cities with Nicole Bader (06-06-2011, Nicole Bader)
- Yonda Poslavsky talks reappraising decisions (30-11-2010, Yonda Poslavsky)
- Find Your Sweet Spot part 2 (20-11-2010, Amy Riley)
- Find Your Sweet Spot (08-11-2010, Amy Riley)
- The Importance of Fuzz (01-10-2010, Betsy Sobiech)
- Make young achievers visible! (05-08-2010, Alberta Opoku)
- Why brainstorming doesn’t work (13-06-2010, Margaret Heffernan)
- Béatrice Guillaume-Grabisch on networking (16-04-2010, European Professional Women's Network)
- Three ways to shorten your workweek (01-02-2010, Sjoukje van de Kolk)
- Mental resilience (28-01-2010, Patricia van Casteren)
- The 12-minute rule (04-01-2010, Taco Oosterkamp)
- Lifehacking: One week at a time, please! (22-10-2009, Taco Oosterkamp)
- 18+ tips to have your brain maximum activated (08-10-2009, Joeke-Remkus de Vries)