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Business Protocol and Etiquette

Business Protocol
and Etiquette

Etiquette is a set of rules of social behavior.

“Elegance comes from being as beautiful inside as outside.”

Coco Channel
In the business world, the way you travel can make a good or bad first impression. The first impression is key. Do you know why? However, there is more business etiquette than being careful not to eat out loud during a business lunch and drink tea in a meeting without keeping it or licking a teaspoon. So how do you control unspoken business rules and influence potential clients and like-minded professionals?

What will you learn in the business protocol?



Table maners

Business cards


The clothes


Body language

15 basic tips for mastering business etiquette and protocol

01 Stand up when you meet someone and look them in the eye

It is common knowledge that you should stand when you are introduced to someone. The ladies can stay seated according to the protocol, but I recommend you stand up. If you stay seated, not only can it seem rude, but it also creates a psychological impress

An exception may be if you cannot physically stand up. You can also skip this step if you are sick and do not want to spread any germs, but if so, be sure to mention it. One could say something like, “It’s great to meet you, I’m just recovering from [x illness] and I wouldn’t want to pass it on.”

02 Pay attention to gifts

While giving is acceptable in some countries, it is considered a bribe in others and should be avoided at all costs. For example, in the United Kingdom and the United States, there are strong views on ethical giving, and under the Bribery Act in the United Kingdom, giving and accepting certain gifts is a criminal offense.

In China and Japan, however, business gifts are relatively common, but with the acceptance of a gift, special rules come. For example, a Chinese merchant will reject your gift three times before accepting it. The Japanese businessman receives it, but puts it away and looks at it at home or in the office. Unlike Europeans, they open the gift in front of the donor to show him the joy of the gift according to the protocol in Europe.,

03 Prepare the right introductory speech – golden 3 minutes!

When done correctly, the right introduction can change another professional’s view of your company and yourself. Let’s say you’re on a business trip abroad: you need to have an introductory speech informing others who you are and what you do! The most important is the first impression. There is only one chance.

The following example can be used in a presentation or meeting room environment and will leave a good impression because it is unforgettable and interesting: “Hello, my name is Marco. I have 10 years of digital marketing experience to help businesses grow in organic transmission through SEO and PPC strategies. The area where I excel is content creation, so I’m here to help you fine-tune your content to an audience that is your target audience. I look forward to working with you all! ”

04 Dress professionally

If you want to increase your professional reputation, you always need to dress appropriately. If your workplace has a super casual clothing code, it’s best to wear something smart. And if you’re going to a business meeting, it’s ideal if you’re “tuning” it up a bit. You want to feel confident and the clothes you wear can have a big impact on your self-confidence.

If you are traveling abroad, you should wear practical clothes that are handy. Do not cover yourself in six-centimeter heels, into which you can no longer put your foot in pain. Well, not even in pairs of sneakers, because they were comfortable on the plane! Less is more and more important is your feeling and self-confidence again.

We do not wear a jacket with our clothes and adherence to the protocol, but we show respect to the other party.

05 Keep the phone off the table

Whether you’re in a meeting or at a business lunch, it’s important to keep your phone securely in your pocket or bag. In such a digitally connected world, it is difficult to keep your hands off our devices and disconnected from technology. However, in every important business meeting, you need to focus on your surroundings and the people you are with. Therefore, turn off the sounds and focus on the moment of presence. This chance does not have to be repeated in your life.

Checking the phone while discussing a store is also disrespectful to everyone in the room. Verbally, it gives the impression that you would rather be somewhere else, which can easily turn them off – which could even cause the loss of your biggest client! Or discouraging a new client.

06 Be precise – don’t delay!

In time, you prove that you are fulfilling your obligations and that you are a trustworthy person.

Anything can be enough. If that happens, don’t stress, don’t panic! Notify people you need to meet immediately that you will be late. Please also inform them of your estimated time of arrival. And when you finally show up, don’t waste another 10 minutes complaining about what delayed you (if the other party is interested, try to lighten up and briefly). Apologize and continue quickly by opening a conversation on the topic you want to discuss. Don’t forget the mission and goal.

07 Express gratitude

Thanks to gratitude, you feel happier and it increases your motivation. As a business professional, it is therefore time to express your gratitude to others (I believe you are already doing so). It’s easy to thank someone for a good job, for their time or business, which makes them excited to help you or meet you again.

Similarly, if you are at a business lunch, be sure to thank the waiter for delivering the food or the person who met you.

08 Pay attention to your body language

Body language is important in any professional environment. Your body language belongs to non-verbal communication and reveals everything about you before you speak with your mouth, just your walk and coming to the room will reveal a lot about you! How is it possible? Watch an online seminar on body language.

If you sit with your back turned or slid on a chair, it means that you are not interested or bored. Similarly, uncertainty can occur when crossing and folding legs. And this kind of behavior can bring or disrupt a trade agreement.

The eyes are a mirror of the soul and the only part of the body that we cannot control consciously (ok, so another would be here). They reveal everything about us. Facial expressions express every emotion, anger, joy, sadness,…. Smile naturally! If you have a strong forced smile, the person opposite you will feel it and the conclusion of the agreement will look like that.

09 Introduce yourself by full name and address by name!

When introducing yourself to a business partner, be sure to use your full name to distinguish you from the XY group they met. It also gives you access to search on websites like LinkedIn (I’m not advertising here).

On the other hand, if someone accidentally introduces himself to you only with their first name, you don’t have to be ashamed to ask for a last name (especially if they haven’t provided a business card).

Do you remember the example from the seminar? Why do we also say first and last name? Our ear receptors don’t pick up the first one. If we have a difficult name, we use a business card. We address others by name, everyone’s name sounds most beautiful!

10 Observe the dining label

In addition to work desks, drinking coffee and alcohol, punctuality, and conversation topics, there are many other etiquette rules to follow during a business lunch. These include food choices (choose something to the same extent as the guest), alcohol consumption (do not drink alcohol if the guest refused, and if you do, stick to one glass), arrival time (late), and who picked up the card ( the person who arranged the meeting during lunch). And for all that is good in the world, do not speak with your mouth full of food!

You are in a restaurant where you have linen napkins, use them according to the etiquette of gentlemen and ladies. It is an unwritten language that your partner understands.

11 Ask meaningful questions

During business meetings, most people tend to pursue their own thoughts and ideas without asking any questions. Unfortunately, this is the case! Notice people when they communicate with you. They don’t care what you say at all. While you speak, they reflect in their heads what they will tell you! Instead of thinking about a good quarter hour, be sure to ask a few thoughtful questions that involve the client’s opinion.

This way you can find out what is important and then address their thoughts and concerns – basically working as a team and doing business. That was your goal, wasn’t it?

12 Take care of your business

Although business lunches are usually informal, it is important to keep personal questions in mind. You can easily offend someone by asking about their marital status or family life. Instead, hold a business conversation, but don’t be afraid to connect with common interests, such as music, your favorite authors, or the best places to eat in town.

If you’re not friends, don’t even do business! Synchronicity is very important.

13 Respect other cultures

As many companies are international, you will probably work with colleagues from abroad or trade with international clients. At the same time, it is important to understand cultural differences and always be respectful. Even if you do not know all the differences, it is important to try to adapt and learn some social tendencies. For example, if you are visiting France, you should greet your business partners with a kiss on each cheek, while in Japan it is a common compliment, in Laos you will clasp your hands and bow. Learn about a different culture and win people’s hearts.

14 Do not interrupt anyone

No matter how passionate or excited you are in a given topic, it is very rude to interrupt anyone when he speaks. It turns out that you think your opinion is much more important than their opinion and that you don’t really appreciate what they are saying.

If you are worried that this idea will slip you, write it down to make sure you have notes to think about and return to. After the meeting, you can then find the opportunity to express your opinion or e-mail a response.

The present moment is important, everything else has time. Things are as they should be and the time is right for everything. If you didn’t have time to say it, you shouldn’t have said it! Write it in an email or letter.

15 Thank you – it’s not the norm, it’s advice over gold!

“Acknowledgments” are not the norm after social gatherings, but they are necessary. If you’ve invited them to a meeting, be sure to contact them and thank them for their time. And if you’re invited, you should say goodbye to you with gratitude.

Want to know more about Label and Protocol?

For companies, we have prepared trainings and webinars according to the company’s culture,
tailored only to its employees and representative staff.

For more information, please call or write to us!

“Man responds to courtesy like a wax to heat”

Arthur Schopenhauer

Overall, good business etiquette includes good manners and gratitude to others. If you follow these tips, you will be able to travel to any part of the world and ensure that you adhere to the minimum standards of business etiquette.

If you need to download a specific country and business label for ladies or gentlemen, including a dresscode, book a consultation or an online webinar.


  1. go to a meeting with an unshaven face
  2. never carry a cluttered briefcase with documents
  3. do not sit on a low sofa
  4. don’t say long answers
  5. do not shake hands over the desk, over other people


  1. enter the room confidently and with a smile
  2. say the name of the person you are meeting
  3. gently rotate 45 degrees to release the tension
  4. use words effectively (positive)
  5. plan to leave


  • How do we invite you to an event?
  • Is it appropriate to invite lunch or dinner as part of a business?
  • How do we eat properly?
  • What can’t be missing in the invitation? Reading the invitation correctly

“Remember, everyone’s name sounds nice
and he is the most important thing for him! ”

Linda Hnatová