Being a successful business owner is about more than just having the right idea and the right skill set, or the ability to find the people who complement you. While all of this is important and definitely does contribute to the success of many well-known and respected entrepreneurs and executives, they also have a few other traits that make a difference as well. They all have certain traits and “soft skills” that they have honed and developed over the years that help make them exceptional leaders, and the type of person that employees and colleagues look up to. What they share is a commitment to practicing business etiquette. 

What It Means In Today’s Business Environment

Today’s business environment is different from that of a few decades ago. Society and individuals want to see different traits in leaders, and we make choices based on those desires. It’s not uncommon to see people deciding to avoid a certain business because of what its leaders have said in press conferences. That’s why it can be especially important for today’s business owners and leaders to be aware of themselves and to do their best to develop a strong sense of business etiquette. 

What that means today is having a strong sense of ethics, both personally and professionally. Being honest, willing to acknowledge that you’re imperfect, and acting with grace can all make a big difference in how people see you as a leader, which impacts the way they perceive your business. For example, if a deal falls through, your reaction will be reviewed and analyzed by the people with whom you had hoped to make the deal, your employees, customers and market analysts. If you reacted poorly, all of those people will remember that. 

How It Helps You

By setting out to have and display a strong and defined sense of business etiquette, you invest in yourself and your business. Being open and humble gives people a chance to know you better, which in turn makes you easier to work with. It also will give you a compass by which to guide your actions. In a tough situation, making the decision to act with grace and honesty can help ease your own conscience, but also improve your standing among your employees and colleagues. 

Though it may sometimes seem easier to let others take the fall, or make excuses, being unwavering in your sense of responsibility and self can make all the difference in the way you, and others, see yourself and your business.