Warren Buffett, American businessman has said that it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently. 

Knocking before entering or not getting up from the table before everyone else had finished or even covering your mouth while sneezing or coughing, aren’t all these some of the habits we all have been instilled with? Ever wondered what these really are? These are what the world calls etiquettes and appropriate behavior. Etiquettes are what that distinguishes us from animals.

Corporate etiquette refers to the rules of behavior one must follow in work settings.This can include a wide range of small things that if carried out the right way, can leave behind an everlasting impression. You’re reaching office on time, pleasant voice and tone and formal dress up may not show immediate results but it will surely help you in the long run. 

     1. Dress Code Ettiquette 

Edith Head quoted ‘you can have anything you want' if you dress for it’. This is true as one’s clothing is one of the most eye-catching features of one’s appearance. For those who believe in the first impression being the last one, it is all the more essential aspect of their adornment. In simple words, what you wear to work puts light on what you really are. Your choice of clothing often ends up saying a lot of things about you. It is actually unbelievable as to how much that cartoon t-shirt or an unpolished pair of shoes can convey.

It is really important to understand which attire goes well with which occasion. Spikes hairstyle can look great in parties but is out of place for the work setting. A wise person always dresses up according to his environment. Thus, some of these tiny bits can contribute to your impression in a big way.

     2. Telephonic Communication Etiquette :- 

I am of the opinion that communication by virtual means such as telephonically is one of the most difficult ways of expression. This is because some important visual cues such as gestures, body language, facial expressions etc. are often missing. That indicates that most of the work has to be done by voice and tone of the people communicating. 

Some easy tips can quite easily lead to effective telephone communication. These include:

•    Time of call- You can call up your best friend at midnight but doing the same with a fellow colleague or a client may leave him/her highly offended. Therefore, the hour of call often says a lot about the caller.

•    Tone of voice- Tone of voice is actually the director of any telephonic conversation. It can either make or break the game.

•    Never beat around the bush- The conversation should be crisp and to the point. It should begin with the greeting and end on a positive note like “it was nice talking to you” etc. Further, always remember that it meant for the official purpose, so choose words appropriately.

•    Special cases- In the case of exceptional circumstances like you have missed a call or so, make it a habit of calling back and apologizing.



 3.Interview Etiquette 

It doesn’t matter whether you are the interviewer or the interviewee, you should be able to reflect on some basic sense of work etiquettes. These include coming on time, being confident and truthful, making eye contact etc.

For those who believe that they are selected or rejected from an interview on the basis of their responses to the interview questions are gravely mistaken. What we don’t realize is that the interviewer begins to assess us from the way they knock the door before entering to the manner in which we close it. Every minute detail of our action says something big about us.

In addition to this, the interviewer also demonstrates certain code of conduct. This includes making the candidate comfortable and a big NO to any kind of bias. Just the way it takes two to quarrel, both the sides are party to the messing up of an interview.

4.Meeting Etiquette 

A study says that ideal handshake lasts for a span of three seconds. It is truly amazing what all a handshake can say about an individual. A firm, a well-timed handshake is sure to make an impact. Meeting etiquettes is not based on any scientifically defines manners of behaving. In fact, it is the sum up of all the above-mentioned aspect of corporate culture. It encompasses a variety of features such as formal wear, punctuality, being a good listener, putting one’s point of view forward in a polite manner among others.

It is crucial to note that coporate etiquette is not something to be learned or studied. It is to be observed and inculcated. Nobody can teach you to put your phone on silent while going for an interview. Its significant due to the fact that it depicts your organizations's culture. 


1.   Be on time. If you can’t do that, then try to get into a habit of reaching early. It’s not the right way but still much better than entering late.

2.   Be courteous at all time and to every person. This applies to all spheres of life and not just the workplace. People may not mention it, but they do notice and appreciate it.

3.   Be calm and composed during all tasks. Hustle often spoils stuff.  Even when you disagree with something or want to say “NO”, do so in a polite manner.

4.   Don’t be nosy. Peeping into other people’s lives and work is considered highly unprofessional.

5.   Bullying, teasing, verbal or physical insults or any other form of workplace violence is nowhere acceptable.

This is simply a suggestive and not an exhaustive list. Though each of us possesses a different definition of etiquette and behavior, yet, some things are universally like or disliked. Such small ideas can truly change the way people see you.

Just the way ‘a picture says a thousand words’, similarly; trivial aspects of one’s personality cast a great impact on those around them.

Posted in : Work Culture 
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