Business Etiquette and Protocol Skills (Part 1)

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Etiquette (pronounced [eti’ket]) is a code of behavior that defines expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a

society, social class, or group. The conduct or procedure required by good breeding, or prescribed by authority to be observed in official or social life. The rules and convention governing correct or polite behavior in society, or a particular social/professional group or situation. Proper behavior in a variety of settings.

Business Etiquette
Business etiquette is the way you handle yourself in a business/official environment. It is basically the social guidelines and manners to be followed in business situations when dealing with others. It can range from how to behave, dress, speak, stand, sit, laugh etc at both internal and external meetings (with colleagues, supervisors , customers etc).

Basics of Business Etiquette
• Knowing the proper manners for meeting and greeting others.
• How to act in both business and social situations.
• How close to stand and why.
• Knowing the customs of customers, employees, vendors etc
• How to address titled people.
• The acceptable professional presence for everyone (what to wear and what not to wear).
• Basic office equipment etiquette (usage etc).

Why Bother?
• It is a differentiating factor.
• People buy into your packaging first.
• Gives professional polish, poise and panache.
• Enhances your personal brand – (everything you do, or do not do, communicates the value and character of your brand).
• Represents the bank positively.
• You give people dignity and respect.
• Helps to project the right image with internal and external customers.
• Confidence booster.
• Modifies impolite behavior.

Conducting Business Appointments
Information is Power: Ensure you are informed about the customers business..
Agenda: Always prepare an agenda (things to discuss)
Timeliness: Always be punctual to meetings. Lateness is unacceptable. If you will be late inform the customer or reschedule.
Politeness: Always smile and make eye contact when greeting customer, seniors or colleagues.
Freshen up: Before going in for a meeting (Straighten ties, tuck in shirts/tops, clean sweat and oily face, comb hair, wash your hands etc).
Introduction: Inform the customer of your name and the name of your organization before starting a discussion.
Be formal: Always maintain professional conduct. Do not act over familiar with customers. Chewing gum during meetings is uncouth.

Business Appointments with Customers
• Dress appropriately. Every bank staff is expected to be in his/her complete suit for business meetings.
• Do not sit without being asked to.
• Ensure all your phones are switched off (or silent) Vibrating phones are distracting.
• Do not touch anything on customers table.
• Shirt sleeves down (Never have your sleeves folded or up-turned).

Vocabulary of a Professional
• Use of simple and grammatically correct English.
• Never use street talk (slangs, obscenities, foul language e.g. gonna, wanna, stuffs etc).
• Be careful and pay attention to frequently mispronounced words/’ethnic challenges”/”Nigerian English” (H factor for Westerners, P for Northerners, U for Easterners etc).

Voice of a Professional
Easy to understand and good enunciation e.g Christopher Kolade, Gameliel Onosode, Kofi Annan.
Maintain a well modulated voice: No strain.
Enthusiastic voice – lively and interesting. Do not put your audience to sleep.
Speak with an unaccented/lightly accented voice: Get rid of the rough edges and do not over flourish.
Controlled volume: Don’t shout. Don’t whisper.
Good pacing: Don’t rush. Don’t drawl.

Read 1414 times Last modified on Wednesday, 01 July 2015 17:37
Linda Diokpa

She is a Mass Communicator, Administrator and Blogger. She has over 17 years work experience that cuts across Administration and Directorate. Her blog is and you can follow her on Twitter @diokpalinda and Facebook: Linda Diokpa .

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