Business Etiquette

Business Etiquette

Good Behaviour 1: Apologize

Today we begin a series on business etiquette. The acceptable and expected behaviour in business circles that can affect your relationships and overall performance as an employee or as an entrepreneur.

We are a business focused on enabling higher performance through business analysis & strategic initiatives and as part of our research, we often comb through social media to see how B2B and B2C interactions are happening.

Quite often we see some business owners being outrightly rude to customers. A situation that has resulted in groups, pages and hashtags such as ‘buyer beware’ or ‘name and shame’.

Business involves people with different mindsets & opinions, biases & levels of understanding. It is, therefore, possible to make mistakes or have a misunderstanding of actions and/ or words. Which is where an apology would come in.

Business etiquette must be a core part of any business culture if good relations are key to the success of the enterprise and this is what we will explore in this and other upcoming articles.

One such behaviour is apologizing. An apology is not always an admission of guilt or wrongdoing. An apology in business circles is more of a bridge-builder and offers a clear space for the mending of relationships.

When the need for an apology arises, it means there is one who has caused offence and one who feels offended. Unfortunately, in business, sometimes the one who has been offended is the one who ends up apologizing. Such a situation would occur if there is recognition of the fact that there is more to be lost if there is no ground for moving on.

Harness the power of an apology as part of your Business Etiquette

Here are some pointers to help you get the most out of your apology:

  1. Be sincere about it and show remorse over the occurrence
  2. Do not offer excuses
  3. Don’t leave the situation unresolved over a long time
  4. Apologize in person where possible. If you are very far away, make a call. A written apology bears the tone of the recipient’s mind towards you
  5. Do not dwell on the past. Make amends and create a new experience
  6. Learn to forgive and let go even when you are the offended one. There are more important things to occupy your mind
  7. If it is difficult to apologize, practice it
  8. Don’t expect instant forgiveness and at the same time, realize it is a two-way street. You do your part and the other person does their part

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