Use the directions above to guide students through the Icebreaker activity.
Student answers will vary.
Business etiquette: A desire to show others consideration, courtesy, and respect.
A Robert Half/Accountemps survey of 300 senior managers found that 65 percent believe being courteous to coworkers positively affects advancement.
Professionalism: Refers to a combination of skills, including business etiquette or business protocol, soft skills, social intelligence, emotional intelligence, polish, and civility.
Desirable workplace behavior: Refers to the interest or desire of businesses to have employees who get along and deliver positive results that enhance profits and boost the company’s image.
Desk rage: Extreme outbursts or violent anger in the workplace.
Cyberbullying: A form of bullying committed with digital devices aimed at scaring, angering, or shaming victims.
“Live the reputation you want to see online. These days, everything you do or say, even in a moment of weakness or in private, ends up online. It’s impossible to live one life and project another, so remember your current or future business before posting that provocative picture on Facebook. The Internet sees the good, the bad and the ugly.”
Martin Zwilling, start-up mentor, angel investor
Civility: Courtesy or politeness.
Polish: Includes making positive first impressions, shaking hands, improving one’s voice quality, listening, presenting well, dining skills, and more.
Dining etiquette: The set of table manners and interpersonal behaviors that are expected of a person while eating, especially during business meals.
“What about the jerks who seem to succeed despite being rude and thoughtless? Those people have succeeded despite their incivility, not because of it. Studies . . . have shown that the No. 1 characteristic associated with an executive’s failure is an insensitive, abrasive or bullying style. Power can force compliance. But insensitivity or disrespect often sabotages support in crucial situations. . . . Sooner or later, uncivil people sabotage their success—or at least their potential.”
Christine Porath, author of Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace
Social intelligence: The ability to interact well, be perceptive, show sensitivity toward others, and grasp a situation quickly and accurately.
Emotional intelligence: Also call the emotional quotient, it is the ability to identify one’s emotions as well as those of other people, empathize with others, and use emotional cues to guide thinking and behavior.
Hard skills: The technical skills in a worker’s field.
Soft skills: Commonly defined as interpersonal or social skills, professional skills, or, more broadly, emotional intelligence.
A survey of 300 senior managers and 1,000 workers in the United States by Robert Half/Accountemps established the most common complaints about poor workplace etiquette by these two groups.
Ethics: A set of moral principles or virtues.
Integrity: Following a code of moral values and being incorruptible.
Figure 11.1 summarizes the many components of professional workplace behavior and identifies six main dimensions that will ease your entry into the world of work.
“While some Fortune 100 executives have gone to jail trying to deliver financial results at all costs, others have pushed their businesses forward with decisions rooted in integrity and a commitment to employees, customers,
and shareholders. . . . If leaders do not operate from a place of integrity, it sets the tone for everything and everyone else and directly and negatively impacts the bottom line.”
Nicole Alvino, cofounder and CSO of SocialChorus
True: Business etiquette is an attitude, a desire to show others consideration, courtesy, and respect.
False: Desk rage refers to extreme outbursts or violent anger in the workplace.
True: Dining etiquette refers to the set of table manners and interpersonal behaviors that are expected of a person while eating, especially during business meals.
False: Ethics is a set of moral principles or virtues.
Figure 11.2 illustrates the effectiveness of in-person, face-to-face communication.
Vocal fry: A creaky, raspy sound at the end of drawn-out sentences.
Respondents typically favor lower-pitched voices in men and higher but not “shrill” female voices. Young women in particular have been criticized for vocal fry. This speech habit occurs in men, too, but it is generally perceived more favorably, suggesting gender bias.
Pitch: Refers to sound vibration frequency, that is, the highness or lowness of a sound.
Volume: The loudness or the intensity of sound.
Rate: Refers to the pace of your speech.
Uptalk: A habit of using a rising inflection at the end of a sentence resulting in a singsong pattern that makes statements sound like questions.
Employees may be sabotaging their careers when they sprinkle their conversation with annoying fillers such as like, you know, actually, and basically.
To initiate appropriate conversations, follow news sites such as NPR, the BBC, CNN, Apple News, Google News, and major newspapers online. Subscribe to e-newsletters that deliver relevant news to you via e-mail. Listen to
podcasts as well as reputable radio and TV shows discussing current events.
Watch out for dubious websites and be skeptical of news items on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media as too many have been shown to be planted, fake stories. Check several trustworthy publications or
media outlets to evaluate the accuracy of a news story. Be particularly wary of unverified Twitter posts.
Giving and receiving criticism on the job is normal. The criticism may be given informally—for example, during a casual conversation with a supervisor or coworker. Sometimes the criticism is given formally—for example, during a performance evaluation.
Responding positively to workplace criticism can help you improve your job performance. In the words of a career coach, if you make a mistake on the job, “own it and hone it.”
Most constructive criticism is best delivered in person. Personal feedback offers an opportunity for the listener to ask questions and give explanations. Occasionally, however, complex situations may require a different strategy. You might write out your opinions and deliver them by telephone or in writing. A written document enables you to organize your thoughts, include all the details, and be sure of keeping your cool. Remember, though, that written documents create permanent records—for better or worse.
Offer praise in public; offer criticism in private. “Setting an example” through public criticism is never a wise management policy. Human resources experts warn executives that the only morale-saving, courteous way to fire
a worker is in private and face-to-face—not, for example, by letter, e-mail, voice mail, and least of all by text. Otherwise, the remaining employees will be afraid to trust the boss.
Use the directions on the slide to guide students through the Group Activity.
Use the directions on the slide to guide students through the debrief on the Group Activity.
Despite the continuing reliance on e-mail, the telephone remains a crucial piece of equipment, whether in offices or on the go, thanks to mobile technology. Business communication experts advise workers to pick up the phone when they have a lot of information to convey or when the topic is sensitive.
“The truth is, while it certainly isn’t rocket science, proper telephone etiquette in a work environment involves a bit more than the ability to utter a greeting. Since it may be your initial point of contact with a client, customer or even your employer, it is your opportunity to make a good first impression.”
Dawn Rosenberg McKay, career planning professional
Text neck: Refers to the posture problems resulting from hanging our heads while staring at screens.
“Mobile devices are the mother of inattentional blindness. That’s the state of monomaniacal obliviousness that overcomes you when you’re absorbed in an activity to the exclusion of everything else.”
Henry Alford, author of Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That: A Modern Guide to Manners
Figure 11.3 provides advice on courteous and responsible mobile phone use.
The textbook provides the following sample voice mail greeting:
Hi! This is Jenny Schwartz of Kerberos Software, and I appreciate your call. I’m either working with customers or talking on another line at the moment. Please leave your name, number, and reason for calling so that I can be prepared when I return your call.
Use the directions on the slide to guide students through the Self-Assessment.
To make telephone calls more productive:
Plan a mini-agenda.
Use a three-point introduction.
Be brisk if you are rushed.
Be cheerful and accurate.
Be professional and courteous.
End the call politely.
Avoid telephone tag.
Leave complete voice mail messages.
To make receiving telephone calls more professional:
Pick up and identify yourself immediately.
Be responsive and helpful.
Practice telephone confidentiality.
Take messages carefully.
Leave the line respectfully.
Explain what you are doing when transferring calls.
Matrixed teams: Workplace collaboration among workers whose job task are spread across multiple teams and who don’t always work with the same people or report to the same manager.
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
Andrew Carnegie, self-made steel magnate, industrialist
Figure 11.4 illustrates the stages of team-building.
Hybrid model: Balancing remote work and on-site presence.
Working-from-home economy: A term coined by a Stanford scholar to refer to the current trend in today’s workforce in which large numbers of employees work from home, full-time or part-time.
Distributed Age: A term coined by a Spotify executive to define the unique characteristics of today’s workplace.
The COVID-19 pandemic propelled 42 percent of the U.S. labor force into the home office.
Virtual teams: Groups of people who, aided by information technology, accomplish shared tasks largely without face-to-face contact across geographic boundaries, sometimes on different continents and across time zones.
Research suggests that the advantages of remote work and virtual collaboration outweigh its disadvantages. Happier employees, fewer absences, less attrition, a larger potential talent pool, cost savings, and more collaboration options are just a few of the benefits cited.
Figure 11.5 illustrates other positive group behaviors.
Figure 11.5 illustrates other negative group behaviors.
Figure 11.6 identifies six steps for dealing with conflict.
“The average worker still spends half of his or her time performing activities that require concentration. We need to strike a balance between providing spaces for collaboration and heads-down concentration. As technology advances and mobility—outside and inside the office—becomes the norm, virtual and face-to-face collaboration are both critically important.”
Jan Johnson, vice president of design and workplace resources at Allsteel
A U.S. study of chief executives reveals that CEOs devote 72 percent of their workweeks to meetings with the average meeting taking an hour or less, but 17 percent exceeded two hours. In one survey, managers
considered more than a third of meeting time unproductive and reported that two thirds of meetings fell short of their stated objectives.
“In a co-located meeting, there are social norms: You don’t get up and walk around the room, not paying attention. Virtual meetings are no different: You don’t go on mute and leave the room to get something. In a physical meeting, you would never make a phone call and ‘check out’ from the meeting. So in a virtual meeting, you shouldn’t press mute and respond to your emails, killing any potential for lively discussion, shared laughter and creativity.”
Keith Ferrazzi, CEO of consulting and training company Ferrazzi Greenlight
Zoom fatigue: The feeling of exhaustion felt after hours on Zoom and other video calls.
Commonly used communication technologies are discussed in Chapter 1.
Figure 11.7 shows how the meeting’s purpose affects the number of participants.
Figure 11.8 provides information on how to use calendar programs.
Figure 11.9 shows a typical meeting agenda.
More formal groups follow parliamentary procedures based on Robert’s Rules.
If the group has one member who dominates, the leader might say, “Thanks, Tom, for that perspective, but please hold your next point while we hear how Alana would respond to that.” This technique also encourages quieter participants to speak up.
“The finger shouldn’t necessarily be pointed at meetings; it’s multitasking that you should be throwing the book at. When we multitask, our IQs fall by 10 points. Our errors increase by 50%. And according to a study by multi-project management software company Realization, multitasking is costing organizations $450 billion globally each year.”
Kathleen Owens, senior executive, board member, Epicor Software
Figure 11.10 includes brief meeting minutes, key points and decisions, and action items.
Virtual meetings: Meetings of remote and dispersed team members facilitated by communication technology; the opposite of face-to-face meetings.
The COVID-19 pandemic instantly banned a majority of office workers to the home office, and both employees and employers have embraced the advantages of remote working. The traditional five-day work week is unlikely to make a full comeback.
Figure 11.10 describes the basics of videoconferencing.
Companies with a global reach or a distributed domestic workforce could not function without teleconferencing. For Mozilla’s Chief Innovation Officer Katharina Borchert, 70 percent of her daily meetings are video calls because her company has many remote employees: “I cannot imagine a world without video calls anymore. Video is equally important for my professional communication and for staying in touch with friends and family back in Europe.”
Figure 11.11 shows how athletic gear company EverSports used video conferencing to meet virtually and design a new activity tracker.
Use the directions on the slide to guide students through the Writing Improvement Activity.