Top 3 Rules of Business Etiquette

Top 3 Rules of Business Etiquette

When you were younger, your parents and teachers likely taught you basic etiquette: use your manners, sit up straight, speak when you’re spoken to, don’t chew with your mouth full. The list goes on, and most of those rules likely became second nature to you as you grew up. But, entering the workplace brings with it a whole new set of rules, and navigating them may not be second nature to everyone.

Emily Post says that etiquette can be whittled down to three basic rules: consideration, respect, and honesty. Those three principles can be applied to business etiquette as well, to ensure that you are minding your manners in your office as well as your home.


Don’t barge into someone’s office without knocking. Don’t interrupt others who are talking. Don’t hit “reply all” to that email chain. Do thank the secretary for the extra hour he spent polishing up your last quarterly report. Do recognize the sales team for the outstanding job they did with that last pitch. Do pay for lunch when you’re the one who issues the invitation. Common sense? Maybe, but a little consideration goes a long way, in the workplace and in life.


It may seem obvious, but showing respect for your coworkers is critical to a successful career. You should be respectful of your boss and those up the ladder, not because you want something but because they have worked hard and deserve it. You should be respectful of your peers because you are all in this together. And you should be especially respectful of your subordinates because they often carry the heaviest load, and if you want to be successful you will need their support to make it happen. Besides, you were once where they were, and you should always remember what that was like and treat them the way you would have wanted to be treated.


It’s always the best policy in every aspect of life and a key component of business etiquette. Not only is honesty important for establishing and maintaining trust, which is crucial in the workplace, but also remember that lies are very difficult to keep up with and very likely to bite you later! Be honest in your opinions, your work, and your relationships, and your reputation will reflect that honesty and win you a flock of loyal followers.

Business etiquette is very much common sense, and very much related to the manners you were taught as a child. Let your actions in the workplace be guided by consideration, respect, and honesty, and you will go far in your career!


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