Business Etiquette 101
By Anderson Shih
During this past October meeting, David Gu and Viking Tao spoke to our students about business etiquette. Business etiquette is often what can make or break a deal, so it becomes crucial to be able to understand and apply it.
Mrs.Tao, a corporate and real estate attorney, introduced the idea of business etiquette, saying that business etiquette is a general set of business manners and guidelines in a professional setting that allows workers, employers, and others to feel comfortable and safe. She emphasized that business etiquette is necessary for diplomacy as well as for getting things done efficiently. To sum it up, Mrs. Tao introduced the 10 basic rules of etiquette:
Always make a firm handshake to project confidence and respect.
Start with a greeting, and introduce yourself with your full name.
If using a name tag, and put it on the RIGHT side of your lapel. This is because you shake hands with your right hand, which makes it easier for them to see your name.
Value other people’s time, it’s a sign of respect. Don’t show up too early and let them know if you’re going to be late.
Follow common business meal etiquette. Follow the host’s cue, don’t hail the servers, sit down from the left, stand up from the right, leave tips, etc.
When networking, try to talk about common topics before mentioning your intention. Use the POGO strategy: Person, Organization, Goal, Obstacle. Ask first about the person, then ask about their organization, then talk about the goal of what you’re doing, and finally, the challenge/problem that either of you are facing. Be polite about ending conversations and let them finish their sentence.
Don’t whine! If you want to express complaints or concerns, bring it up to the correct people and propose solutions instead of gossiping and spreading rumors.
Send emails at reasonable times, use the reply to the sender or everyone depending on the situation.
When writing thank-you notes, try to use handwritten notes
Mr. Gu elaborated on Viking Tao’s notes on etiquette, saying that etiquette can vary amongst different locations. He recounted his experiences with chinese etiquette and compared to his experiences with american business etiquette, showing that culture can often impact how people act in professional settings.
Nearing the end of the meeting Fiona Chen, the president of YES, assembled the groups for the investment pitch projects. With YES members, newly learned on etiquette for success, assembling to create new ideas and projects, the future certainly looks bright.
The Youth Entrepreneur Society’s meeting would not have been possible without the venue graciously lent by the Tao family, our speakers David Gu and Viking Tao, USCCC, and our wonderful parent team. Thank you!