Human Interaction In American Business
Human Interaction In American Business
Phyllis Davis (Business Etiquette Consultant) gives expert video advice on: Does good business etiquette allow me to tell jokes in the workplace?; It is appropriate to show anger in business?; How can etiquette help me deal with the office whiner or pessimist? and more...
Does good business etiquette allow me to tell jokes in the workplace?
Good business etiquette does allow you to tell jokes in the workplace. But just beware jokes are very revealing in the workplace. A person who tells sexual jokes in the office or jokes that target a gender or specific ethnic group really show their bias and their limited thinking and lack of compassion. However, I think everybody needs to know three jokes, I really do as I think joke telling is wonderful in the workplace. In the old days the thought of hanging around the water cooler telling jokes in the office just doesn't happen much anymore. A lot of gossip happens in the workplace, but joke telling really doesn't and unlike jokes, gossip can be very cruel to people if you don't know all the people in the workplace.
How can good etiquette make me a better manager?
Good etiquette can make you a better manager in a number of ways. There's an invisible line with managers in the workplace, where you want to be everybody and where you want everybody to like you - that's the herd mentality. We all want to be liked as it's our basic nature, and yet healthy boundaries with people in the workplace require that you give critique, not criticism. You should go over their project and see how it's going, and then offer feedback, rather than blowing up and saying, "This is not good work." Indeed critique creates good managers, because then they feel like they can come to you if they have problems or issues. If they're afraid of you, they wont come for fear of being criticized. So its learning how to give good critique, sticking to good etiquette, can really make you a better manager in the workplace.
It is appropriate to show anger in business?
The workplace is a great place for anger and its the wrong place to bring it up. Again, the more professional you are, the more stress you can tolerate, and the higher chances you'll have for advancement in the company. Anger really is inappropriate in the workplace. Some advice that most of our parents or grandparents gave us is: count to ten. I think that's good advice because the repercussions for showing your anger in the workplace are greater than any satisfaction you get from losing your temper.
How can business etiquette help me when someone is angry with me?
I freeze like a statue, and I don't blink if somebody is using anger at me or in my direction. My etiquette is I just freeze, and if there's no response because I'm giving what I call flat affect, there's no way that they can continue to be angry because you've broken rapport. People do not like being out of rapport, and if they sense that, they backtrack and realize what they've done, and they've got to move back into rapport with you. They have to, its the human condition. So that's how etiquette can help when someone is angry at you.
Is sarcasm appropriate in a business setting?
Sarcasm is inappropriate in a business setting. It comes from the Greek word to tear flesh and that's what it is, it's sarcastic. We all laughed in the 70s at the television show 'All in the Family' with Archie Bunker, but that's not appropriate today. That kind of sarcasm in the family or in the workplace is inappropriate when you demean and belittle other peoples beliefs. The humour didn't last in culture and in society. Indeed it's not appropriate in business because what people are trying to do when they use sarcasm in the workplace is to get people to leave them alone. And that's what you want to do. If people are sarcastic, give them what they want and leave them alone.
What is the etiquette of giving a compliment in business?
Giving and receiving compliments in business is tricky so it's important to know how to do it properly. I'm a big fan of both giving and receiving compliments when using the correct business etiquette, so lets talk about giving compliments firstly. Compliments are easy to give in the work place as long as you don't comment on someone's appearance. It's best to comment on someone's behaviour, for example, "Great job on that report, the footnotes really made it." The more specific you can be about a compliment in the workplace, the better. You don't want to say "Gee, Joe, you look great today in that suit" or even "Mary, you look terrific in that skirt" as those are inappropriate for the workplace. Giving compliments using correct business etiquette in the workplace is a way of bringing someone up to your level, and if you are in senior management, and you give someone a compliment, it encourages them because it makes them feel like they're worthy.
What is the etiquette of receiving a compliment in business?
When someone gives you a compliment in business, the ideal way to respond is by giving a compliment in return, this is good business etiquette. For example, you should use "Coming from you, that means a lot" or "You're too kind", which is the most common response that I think that I hear. I know it's the one that I use. It's giving a compliment in response to a compliment, and if you give compliments and you receive them well, you'll get more. If you say "Oh, it was nothing", then it makes that person wish they hadn't given you a compliment at all. It can completely demean the value of their input, which you also don't want to do.