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Social and Business Etiquette, not the same

BY: Judith Rasband • May 06, 2019

There can be differences between social and business office etiquette.  Unlike social manners, business manners take into account the pyramid of authority and efficiency on the job.  It is not necessary, for example, to stand and shake hands every time someone enters your office.  That would be disruptive and slows down your work.

On the other hand, no matter how tired you might be, or abrasive a client may be, professionals are urged to always practice good manners.  An environment in which people treat each other with kindness and consideration is certainly one in which a client enjoys doing business.

In social setting, it is common practice for women seated in a group to remain seated and shake hands with a newcomer, while the men are expected to stand up and shake hands.  In a business setting, however, both women and men are expected to stand and greet the newcomer.

Manners are becoming more and more “genderless” in today’s workplace.  Since manners are constantly evolving, it is important to keep current and learn the new rules of behavior to cover these changes.

There are literally hundreds of changing situations that confront us during our lifetime, with rules and guidelines for nearly everyone. There is no way we can keep track of them all.  Therefore, it is smart to keep a large, comprehensive, updated etiquette book on a shelf for ready reference.

“A good appearance and personality can open doors throughout your life, but only good character, as reflected in good manners, can keep them open.”

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