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1 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS SKILLS COURSEWARE '!"#$%&##'()$*"&))& ''''+!,'-%)&./&0$1)&'+21.0!""#$%&'$%()*!++,"&-'&,.(,/(01+&.$++( 2#-"'&'&,.$#+

2 I hear and I Forget I see and I Remember I do and I Understand Confucius Chinese philosopher & reformer (551 BC BC)

3 Student Guide INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS SKILLS COURSEWARE Professional Curriculum

4 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS SKILLS COURSEWARE PUBLISHED BY: British Business Professional Skills Development (BBPSD), 80 Lodge Lane, Liverpool, L08 0QL United Kingdom ACCREDITED BY: levels relevant to a wide range of industry sectors. DISCLAIMER British Business Professional Skills Development (BBPSD) disclaims any and all liability for all use of the information in this document, including losses, damages, Further, BBPSD reserves the right to revise this publication and to make changes to its content, at any time, without obligation to notify any person or entity of such revisions or changes. ORDERING INFORMATION Books published by BBPSD and can be ordered via the web site at or by writing to company address at: British Business Professional Skills Development (BBPSD), 80 Lodge Lane, Liverpool, L08 0QL, United Kingdom THIRD-PARTY TRADEMARKS All third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners. FIRST EDITION First Print 2010 BOOK NUMBER BE10-01 Copyright 2010 by British Business Professional Skills Development (BBPSD), UK. All rights reserved. This publication is protected by Copyright, and permission should be obtained from the publisher prior to any prohibited reproduction.

5 Business Etiquette ABP Intermediate Award Association of Business Practitioners (ABP) APPROVED COURSEWARE

6 The ABP Intermediate Diploma in International Business Skills About the ABP Intermediate Diploma The ABP intermediate Diploma in International Business Skills consists of the following 8 self-contained modules: 1. Customer Service 2. Business Communications 3. Self Awareness and Personal Development 4. Business Etiquette 5. Business Basics and Finance 6. People Skills 7. Time Management 8. Information Technology for Business Each module has 50 hours (20 Tutor Taught sessions (face-to-face) and 30 self-directed learning), with a total of 400 hours for completing the ABP Intermediate Diploma. i Business Etiquette

7 To achieve the ABP Intermediate Diploma in International Business Skills Students who successfully complete the programme at Intermediate level will be able to appreciate and develop skills in a broad range of topic areas that are relevant to everyday business. The programme has been designed with two key aims in mind aim of the programme is that businesses in which the student is currently employed that are at the forefront of modern day business techniques. Programme Overview of the customer experience and the vital role it plays in a businesses success. Business Communications is the next module met by students. Effective communication skills are at the forefront of business activity. Various common types of communication, both verbal and non verbal, are considered and students are introduced to practical ways in which they can improve their communication skills. BBPSD All Rights Reserved. ii

8 Self Awareness and Personal Development is concerned with the student s individual personal development. Skills and techniques that will greatly assist their own and their team s personal development are introduced and practiced. Understanding how to behave professionally is the subject of the module Business Etiquette. This established business convention is an essential skill for a business employee. Basic Business and Finance introduces the student to the basic importance to businesses of correctly making use of available resources. The module begins by ensuring that students are aware of the most common business language before considering particular resources skills. The module People Skills looks closely at some of the key issues that arise when dealing with people and equips students with the fundamental kills required to deal available is the subject of the module Time Management. This module is designed to ensure that students are aware of current time management techniques and the most common time wasting activities that occur in businesses. that IT skills are prevalent throughout an organisation and the use of information technology in business is fundamental to the success of a business. This module explores some of the more common technologies in everyday business and gives iii Business Etiquette

9 students an understanding of the technical and management skills required in the rapidly changing IT and business environment. Programme Learning Outcomes After successfully completing this programme students will be able to: L1 understand and appreciate the importance to businesses of correctly making use of available resources (Covered in Business Basics and Finance) L2 appreciate the importance of effective communication to a business and develop relevant business communication skills (Covered in Business Communications) appreciate the importance to an organisation of working within established business conventions (Covered in Business Etiquette) L4 appreciate the vital role of good customer service and appreciate how they contribute to the customer experience (Covered in Customer Service) L5 have an understanding of the technical and management skills required in applying the more common business technologies (Covered in IT for Business) BBPSD All Rights Reserved. iv

10 L6 better understand how to work effectively with the people a business employs by considering the important aspects of teamwork, motivation and L7 apply some of the skills and techniques that are available to managers and employees that will greatly assist their own and their teams personal development (Covered in Self Awareness & Personal Development) L8 management techniques over the short, medium and long term (Covered in Time Management). v Business Etiquette

11 Notes... BBPSD All Rights Reserved. vi

12 BUSINESS ETIQUETTE Contents Introdcution to Business Etiquette 01 Module Learning Outcomes 03 Module Design 03 Learning & Teaching Methods 07 Assessment Type & Weighting 07 How to get the most from this booklet 07 Section1 What is meant by Business Etiquette? 09 Understanding business etiquette 11 Minimum standards required by etiquette practice 12 Example of organisational culture: 15 Knowledge and appreciation of courtesy and good manners at work 19 Section 2 Professional and Cultural Expectations 33 The values and expectations of different cultures 35 Determining which etiquette style is best suited to particular cultures 42 Effective polite verbal communication 60 Professional phone, letter and etiquette 64 Phone etiquette 65 Letter Etiquette 70 etiquette 73 vii Business Etiquette

13 Section 3 Acting in a Professional Manner 79 The importance of how to behave in a professional manner 81 Meeting protocol, preparation and attendance 83 Chairing and setting out a meeting agenda 86 Example of an agenda 88 Example of minutes from a meeting 89 Appreciate the issues involved with regard to disability in the workplace 91 General disability etiquette 93 Section 4 Communicating in a Professional Manner 97 Examples of appropriate phrases 101 Dealing professionally with stress and disappointment 103 Example of signs of stress 104 Section 5 Business Ethics 109 Behaving in an ethical manner 114 Harassment in the workplace 121 BBPSD All Rights Reserved. viii

14 BUSINESS ETIQUETTE Introduction Introduction There are certain ways in which we are expected to behave in society, some are culturally based and alter slightly across regions and countries, and others remain constant. Being disrespectful for example is not generally viewed in a positive way in any society, and a smile is universally regarded as a friendly greeting, often without a word being said. In the same way the business world expects certain levels of etiquette and it is important that you have a good understanding of these etiquette conventions that exist. This Business Etiquette unit focuses on how a business interacts with both external and internal stakeholders. The course begins by introducing you to what is understood by the term business etiquette, the established convention in which businesses relate to each other. It then goes on to investigate some of the different and important professional and cultural expectations in the business world. A business meeting starting on time would appear normal in some countries but strange in others, also some cultures but normal in others. Being aware of some of these differences is now becoming an essential skill for a business employee and this unit introduces some of the cultural business expectations that are to be expected in the modern business environment. The unit also introduces the important concept of business ethics and ethical business behaviour. 1 Business Etiquette

15 BBPSD All Rights Reserved. 2

16 Module Learning Outcomes After successfully completing this module students will be able to: colleagues behaviour Module design depth with one of the overall module s learning outcomes, L1 to L5 listed above. Thus Section 1 corresponds to L1, Section 2 to L2, and so on. The following table provides a brief description of each section in the Business Etiquette module. 3 Business Etiquette

17 Section Title Section 1: What is meant by Business Etiquette? Learning Outcomes Covered in this Section Understand what is understood as business etiquette Appreciate the key minimum standards required by etiquette practice Acquire a good working knowledge of, and Appreciate the value of, courtesy and good manners at work Appreciate the value of, and learn the techniques associated with introductions and Section 2: Professional and Cultural Expectations Appreciate the values and expectations of different cultures Be able to determine which etiquette style is best suited to particular cultures Be aware of the correct forms of address and understand how to effectively communicate verbally in a polite manner Be able to interact professionally by phone, letter and BBPSD All Rights Reserved. 4

18 Section Title Section 3: Acting in a Professional Manner Section 4: Communicating in a Professional Manner Section 5: Business Ethics Learning Outcomes Covered in this Section Appreciate the importance of, and learn how to behave in a professional manner Meeting protocol, preparation and attendance Chairing and setting out a meeting agenda Appreciate the issues involved with regard to disability in the workplace customers Dealing professionally with stress and disappointment Understand what is understood by business Appreciate the importance of behaving in an ethical manner Dealing with harassment in the workplace ethical issues that arise at work 5 Business Etiquette

19 Notes... BBPSD All Rights Reserved. 6

20 Learning & Teaching Methods: A suitable mix of lectures, tutorials, workshops, case studies, videos and hands on practical exercises. The module has 20 hours of formal contact teaching. Assessment Type & Weighting: The module will be assessed by a formal examination of 1 hour duration. How to get the most from this booklet end of each section. This module contains 5 sections and you should look back at the learning outcomes for each section as you complete the section and ensure that you are comfortable with each learning outcome. If you are not sure about one of the learning outcomes, or any aspect of that section then look back at the associated tutorial notes and exercises you have done in class. Also don t forget that this is YOUR booklet, so make notes in it as you go along that will help your understanding as you are learning. Remember that learning is an active exercise and you need to engage fully with the text, it is not the same as casual reading. 7 Business Etiquette

21 Finally, we hope you enjoy this booklet and get as much pleasure in studying aspects of business as we do! BBPSD All Rights Reserved. 8

22 Section 1 What is meant by Business Etiquette Learning Outcomes The Learning Outcomes of this section are: good manners at work 9 Business Etiquette

23 Inroduction is applied in the working environment and what are the key minimum requirements. Basic respect, courtesy and good manners at work are a fundamental basis for most of our work conventions, we like to be treated with respect in the workplace and by reciprocating this we are likely to build better relationships at work. Thus the this section looks at the value of, and gives you the accepted techniques associated BBPSD All Rights Reserved. 10

24 Understanding business etiquette As a professional it is important to understand what is meant by business etiquette and how it is applied within the working environment. Business etiquette is a combination of cultural, professional, and societal rules which highlight polite behaviour and respect. These rules are not limited to face to face conversations but can be applied in most areas of interaction within a business (e.g. s, virtual meetings, and phone conversations). Business etiquette, when practiced in an appropriate manner, can open communication channels, which can lead to building successful relationships, as well as your own personal success. It is important however to note that what is considered appropriate practice with regard to business etiquette in one business or even within one country may not be appropriate practice in another i.e. expectations vary widely. impressions, we often decide, consciously or subconsciously, how we feel about someone in about 3 seconds. Therefore it is important to understand what is professionally and socially acceptable when conducting business, as within the business 11 Business Etiquette

25 Minimum standards required by etiquette practice When trying to address the minimum standards required by etiquette practice it is when trying to understand what is accepted as good etiquette practice. Corporate/ abide by at work. Organisational culture varies both between and within companies. company s mission statement, image, facilities, values, structural hierarchy, products, and geographic location. BBPSD All Rights Reserved. 12

26 Activity current job or at a previous job). Now recall what your original perceptions of that person were and list them below. Make notes of what made you think or feel that way about the person. 13 Business Etiquette

27 Activity regard to your business. BBPSD All Rights Reserved. 14

28 Example (organisational culture) work ten minutes before 0900 as he was due to start work at Robert noticed that most of the other employees had arrived earlier and they were in the staff break room socialising and having coffee. Once the clock struck 9 o clock all of the employees left the break room and returned to their desks to start working. Although your own space at work and being able to personalise it was a big change for Robert as the last company that he worked for would not allow employees to put pictures on their desks. Robert also noticed that the employees often stopped at each other s desks to talk about work or ask questions regarding current projects. As the day progressed Robert enjoyed the relaxed and friendly atmosphere, he was particularly happy with the open communication channels at the company. Robert s Line Manager had an open door policy which allowed the employees to ask questions at any point during the day. This was a lot different when compared to Robert s last job where the Line Manager 15 Business Etiquette

29 Robert knew that he preferred the organisational culture at his new job compared to and would make sure that he arrived earlier the next day to join in the early morning socialisation in the break room. BBPSD All Rights Reserved. 16

30 Activity In small groups use the example above to identify and discuss the organisational culture Robert observed at Willow Trading. Compare and contrast your experiences of organisational culture in your current or previous work environment. 17 Business Etiquette

31 As you already know, organisational culture can vary from company to company but it is also possible for organisational culture to vary within an organisation. For instance, a senior manager may have a different set of unspoken rules to adhere to company. These unspoken rules can relate to appropriate dress, acceptable work and break times, company expectations, and code of conduct. an organisation, it is best to be as observant as possible as acceptable business etiquette can vary from organisation to organisation. The very basics of appropriate business etiquette can be summarised into the following points: Be punctual Be on time and consider arriving 10 to 15 minutes before you are supposed to be there. Be prepared You should be mentally and physically ready to work and meet people. Dress appropriately Your appearance should always be professional even if it is casual. If you are not sure what appropriate attire is, make sure you ask someone within the organisation. BBPSD All Rights Reserved. 18

32 Knowledge and appreciation of courtesy and good manners at work At work it is very common to have to work with people who have different ideas, values and beliefs. As working environments are becoming more diverse it is necessary to practice courtesy and good manners at work. It is common to run into overt and hidden problems when working with other people (e.g. disagreements, offended beliefs, and different working styles). There are two main ways of avoiding offending someone at work and getting into disagreements. This can be done through self-awareness and awareness of others. Awareness allows you to develop your thoughts appropriately before you communicate when working with diverse groups of people. People communicate in two different ways, through verbal and non-verbal communication. Verbal communication includes the words we say. When communicating verbally with someone, it is also necessary to think about the tone and the context of what you are going to say. Tone is categorised under non-verbal communication as it is a (the sender) can say something that they consider to be completely genuine and nonoffensive, but the receiver (the other person) in the conversation misinterprets what the sender was saying. When working with people it is necessary to consider how 19 Business Etiquette

33 your communication could be interpreted as misinterpretation can often lead to a breakdown in communication and work relationships. BBPSD All Rights Reserved. 20

34 Activity With a partner say the following phrases in different tones and discuss how the tone changes what the phrase is actually saying. Consider how you might improve what you are saying by changing the phrases so they are less likely to be misinterpreted. 1. What s the problem? 2. That s not my job. 3. You don t understand. 4. Calm down. Although being aware of what we say verbally is important, it is just as important to pay attention to your physical presence / body language. Body language is a powerful tool in communication. Being aware of someone s body language can tell you a lot about how they feel, if they are listening, and if they are actually interested in what is being discussed. Non-verbal communication includes posture, eye contact, gestures, physical space, and touch (it also includes tone of voice as previously discussed). 21 Business Etiquette

35 BBPSD All Rights Reserved. 22

36 Activity Look at the following photos and record your thoughts on what each of the pictures is telling you with regard to the individual s body language. Then discuss in groups what is considered appropriate body language when meeting someone in a business context. 23 Business Etiquette

37 Being aware of yourself and what you are communicating, both verbally and nonverbally, can help improve your success and relationships within business. BBPSD All Rights Reserved. 24

38 times as you are trying to make a good impression to build business relationships. different cultures there are generally accepted guidelines with regard to introductions relationships with new partners. For example, in most cultures, even if you are unable to speak the local language, contact and smile as this shows that you are interested in the person you are meeting. This relates back to body language and helps to send positive messages to the people you are meeting. to consider physical distance or how close you are standing to the person. In some cultures it is acceptable to stand quite close to someone that you are being introduced to as you are trying to form business relationships by creating a friendly and trusting and people tend to stand at a respectful distance to their business associates. In a business meeting you can tell if you are standing too close to someone by paying 25 Business Etiquette

39 attention to their body language. If the person feels uncomfortable with how close someone is standing next to them they will often take a slight step backwards or lean away with the body. If this seems to be happening when you are standing talking to colleagues just take a natural, slight step backwards and everything should run smoothly. Another rule that is generally followed regarding introductions is to always shake a meeting. Again you should always consider if this is acceptable to the people you are meeting. In many countries it would not be appropriate to shake a woman s hand when being introduced, in other countries a woman would be offended if you did not shake hands. If you are in any doubt it is better to wait and see if the person offers When shaking someone s hand you should extend your hand as you are being away from crushing someone s hand as well as limp wristed handshakes as this does to someone who is standing, it is expected that you will stand up to shake hands with that person. Remaining seated can signify that you do not think that the person you are being introduced to is very important. If you are unable to stand due to your chair being close to a wall or another person, just apologise by saying something like please excuse me for not getting up, I seem to be blocked in by... BBPSD All Rights Reserved. 26

40 will respect their status as you proceed to introduce everyone else to them. An example of an informal business introduction would be as follows Robert Jones, may I introduce Andrew Smith. should keep the introduction the same for everyone. An example of this would be Ms. Smith, this is Mr. Brooks, or Dr Adel, let me introduce you to Professor Nagar. should proceed with the titles unless someone says to refer to themselves by their Once you have introduced the individuals, you should include some information about each of them as this will help conversation to naturally progress. For example, Robert Jones, may I introduce Andrew Smith, our intern from Belles University. Andrew, Robert is the manager from Red Foods Incorporated. When it comes to introducing clients, always remember that the client is more important. Therefore if you were introducing a new client to your boss, you would 27 Business Etiquette

41 BBPSD All Rights Reserved. 28

42 Activity role play, discuss how the introductions went and what could be improved. Incorporated. You are expected to meet a new client from Willow Trading before a business meeting to discuss rebranding Willow Trading. While you are sitting at your desk working you see the receptionist direct the manager from Willow Trading towards you. You have never met the manger in person but you have had a phone conversation to set the meeting up. Before the meeting, you are required to introduce the manager from Willow Trading to your company s boss. The key elements to an introduction are to stay formal until it is appropriate to move those people you are trying to establish solid business relationships with. 29 Business Etiquette

43 BBPSD All Rights Reserved. 30

44 Overview Business etiquette is an important aspect of the business world that is not always given the level of importance it deserves. If you have no knowledge of how a professional should behave in a business setting then you are likely to make many fundamental mistakes, and you will usually be unaware of them, that will be detrimental to the business you are working in. an appreciation of the key minimum standards expected in the business world. It has also given you an appreciation of the value of courtesy, getting introductions right when meeting people and the importance of good manners at work. 31 Business Etiquette

45 Notes... BBPSD All Rights Reserved. 32

46 Business Etiquette Business Communication ABP Intermediate Awards Time Management IT for Business People Skills Self Awareness and Personal Development Customer Service Business Basics and Finance INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS SKILLS COURSEWARE ABP Intermediate Diploma in International Business Skills Association of Business Practitioners

47 Student Guide INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS SKILLS COURSEWARE Professional Curriculum

48 PROFESSIONAL TEST DELIVERY THROUGH Global Leader in Computer-based Testing

49 Make a Difference Not Just a Living

50 Partner With Association of Business Practioners British Business Professional Skills Development (BBPSD), 80 Lodge Lane, Liverpool, L08 0QL United Kingdom

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