Business professional communication: basics and rules

The basis of any successful team is compliance with the basic principles and rules of business communication. Relationships that are built on professional ethics and mutual respect create a comfortable working atmosphere and prevent conflicts from arising. Absolutely all business norms are important - from the ethics of business communication over the phone to speech culture in a conversation between a boss and a subordinate.

Both personal success and the results of the entire team depend on correct behavior in business communication.

Stages and forms of business communication

Communication is the process of establishing and developing contacts between people and groups of people. The nature of communication is determined by the goals of joint activity, and therefore can be different.

Business communication is a type of communication, the specifics of which are determined by the impossibility of professional and other related activities outside of communications with other people.

Business communication is a type of communication in which information is exchanged in the socio-legal and economic sphere of human activity in order to solve a specific problem (commercial, industrial, scientific and others).

In addition to business, there are secular, formal-role, intimate-personal, and manipulative types of communication. A distinctive feature of business communication is that the subject of communication is always significant, and the subject of communication is clearly defined and well known.

Business communication consists of stages:

  1. Establishing contact. This is the stage of acquaintance, when the partners are introduced to each other, the self-presentation of each of them and the exchange of general phrases.
  2. Orientation in the situation. The second stage, when subjects seek to understand each other’s positions and identify their own.
  3. Discussion. The stage at which specific business issues and objectives are considered and discussed.
  4. Problem solving. The stage of finding agreement between partners and an optimal mutually beneficial solution.
  5. Ending the contact. Stage of regulated termination of communication.

The purpose of business communication always lies outside the interaction of its subjects. But the means to achieve the goal are determined taking into account the interests and needs of all communicators.

The goal of business communication is productive and effective cooperation between partners.

Any communication includes three complementary processes: social perception - perception and understanding of the partner; communication – exchange of information; interaction – exchange of actions.

These processes in the business environment are strictly regulated; there are rules and norms for business interaction and etiquette.

The communication process is of particular importance. One wrong or inappropriate word can lead to significant negative consequences, such as loss of a client, partner, profit, and so on. But perception and interaction are also equally important.

Rules for holding meetings and negotiations

Entire books have been written on this topic. Here we present 7 basic rules.

  1. You are invited to negotiations at least two weeks in advance.
  2. The optimal time to start negotiations is morning (10-11 o'clock).
  3. At the beginning of the meeting, participants need to be introduced to each other.
  4. Usually the invited party starts the conversation.
  5. It is not customary to interrupt the speaker, or argue with the participants on your own.
  6. It is advisable to keep negotiations within 2 hours. If this time is not enough, you should take a coffee break.
  7. During conversations, turn off your mobile phone.

Compliance with the basic rules and principles of business etiquette will help you quickly gain regular clients and move up the career ladder. It is not necessary to remember all the nuances - for example, the rules for formatting paper letters can always be found in the reference book. It is important to know the basic norms - they will help you navigate in any situation.

Useful articles on the topic:

  • 10 ways to end a phone conversation without offending the other person
  • How to respond to client projects?
  • What is a contact report?

Author: Valentina (KadrofID: 13) Added: 04/28/2018 at 21:27

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Types of professional communication

Business communication can take the form of:

  • conversations,
  • meetings,
  • meetings,
  • meetings,
  • negotiations,
  • presentations
  • conferences,
  • correspondence,
  • consultations,
  • interview,
  • report and in other permitted form.

A self-respecting professional and specialist needs to be able to interact competently, know the rules and language of business communication.

Successful people interact both directly in person in an official setting and indirectly through technical means: telephone, fax, mail, Internet programs.

Increasingly, in modern society they are resorting to electronic communication systems, and the organization of work is becoming virtual. High technologies help increase the speed of information transfer and its accuracy, eliminating the “human” factor.

Consequences of Violation of Ethics

If the team does not comply with certain provisions, principles of business etiquette and ethical standards of communication, problems arise:

  1. Economic. They are expressed in low material motivation of staff, which affects staff turnover and neglectful performance of job duties by employees.
  2. Managerial. Associated with distrust of management principles and lack of ongoing control over the implementation of decisions made.
  3. Ethical. Due to injustice and unhealthy competition, deception and concealment of information are possible.

The purpose of creating ethical standards in a team is to develop a common organizing system, as well as a list of rules that all employees must follow.

Improvement must occur at all levels of communication and in various areas of corporate activity.

Principles of communication in a business environment

The concept of business communication includes not only the interaction between boss and subordinate and communication between business partners, but also the daily interaction of people who are not in close relationships.

It is customary to interact with strangers in a businesslike, cultural manner. Respectful attitude and behavior are the foundations of business communication and culture in society.

In addition to respect, the general principles of business communication include:

  • Interpersonality

Personality is the subject of communication in the business environment. Whatever the issue under discussion, people talk about it, each of them has their own opinion based on personal experience and character traits. This is fundamentally important, since the success of business relationships depends on the nature of interpersonal interaction between partners.

  • Multidimensionality

The fundamentals of business communication include the principle of comparing the content of the information being transmitted with how it happens. The tone of voice, its emotional coloring, facial expressions, and gestures are no less important than the content of speech.

The concept of “multidimensionality” assumes that in the interaction of people all components of communication matter.

It is not customary to violate the comfort zone of the interlocutor, or to be too far away during a conversation. The only allowed touch to a business partner is a handshake. It is unacceptable to talk while turning away from the person or looking over your shoulder.

  • Focus

The focus of business interaction is multi-purpose. This means that, in addition to the goal that is voiced and discussed, subjects may have other hidden, accompanying goals that do not contradict the first.

  • Continuity

While business partners are in close proximity to each other, even if they do not communicate directly, communication continues on a nonverbal level.

Posture, gestures, signs of attention shown to a business partner are important and carry a semantic load. Even silence is part of interaction. Businessmen do not forget that they are communicating with partners, even if the topic of conversation shifts to an area not related to business.

Negotiation etiquette

It is important for a businessman to have business negotiation skills. You should prepare for them, decide on your goals and formulate an action plan. Choose a place and time that will be convenient for both parties to the negotiations.

Negotiations will be successful if you manage to capture the interlocutor’s attention and establish a trusting relationship. Business communication should proceed according to plan. Each point should be recorded, and the results achieved should be analyzed. Negotiations end when all intended goals have been achieved.

Mistakes and avoiding them

During negotiations you should not do the following:

  1. Treat your interlocutor as an opponent.
  2. Show hostility, secrecy and suspicion.
  3. Focus on the fact that the region or city in which the company is located is better than others.
  4. Choose a collectivist type of thinking. It indicates a reluctance to accept obligations.
  5. Take an authoritarian position in which members of your delegation do not have complete information.
  6. Negotiate toughly, do not make concessions or compromises.
  7. Try to avoid discussing problems, move the negotiations into another thematic direction, insist on a break in advance, knowing that it will not be followed by a discussion of an uncomfortable issue.
  8. Do not take into account the regional and national characteristics of partners.
  9. Failure to fulfill obligations that were agreed upon.

Rules of communication

The more competent a person behaves in a professional environment, the better others treat him.

5 rules of communication in a business environment:

  • Focus on mutual understanding

Business communication has the goal of finding a compromise. It is customary to be ready and open to perceive and exchange information with a partner. It was unethical to provoke the interlocutor into conflict or avoid contact. Attention, respect and interest in the interlocutor’s speech is expressed in looks, gestures, and the ability to listen without interrupting.

  • Speech should be clear, intelligible, unhurried and non-monotonic.

In general, any extremes in speech should be avoided. When a person speaks too quietly, indistinctly, quickly or, conversely, too slowly, his speech is difficult to perceive, becomes incomprehensible and unpleasant.

In addition, if the subject speaks moderately loudly and extremely clearly, his partners get the idea that he is a mature person and a confident person.

  • Thoughtfulness of speech

The speech must be composed, or better yet, written down. Before starting a conversation, business people note for themselves topics and issues that require discussion. A report or public speech is built according to plan, the introduction, the main part and final conclusions, and results are written.

  • Ability to ask both open and closed questions

The answer will depend on how the question is asked. If the question requires a “yes” or “no” answer, the interlocutor will have to answer clearly; if the question remains open, he will have the opportunity to express his point of view. Questions that are too direct or tactless should be avoided.

  • Unacceptability of long phrases and complex sentences. Short, meaningful phrases save time and simplify the perception of information.

Compliance with all the principles and rules may seem problematic, but difficulties are overcome by working on oneself. The ability to communicate in a business environment comes with experience in business interaction.

Business etiquette is a set of rules that govern business communications between colleagues, employees, and partners. These rules are often not written in any specific document, they are not included in the employment contract, but they significantly affect the quality of work.

In this article we will look at the most important rules of business etiquette that are mandatory for any company.

10 main rules of business etiquette in a company

Dress code

All employees are required to adhere to a dress code. Moreover, its severity is determined by the specifics of the company’s activities, for example, in the banking and insurance business this will be the most strict appearance; in the field of fashion and beauty - this will be the appearance in accordance with the trends of the season; in the IT field there will be a casual (everyday) style.

At the same time, one way or another it must be defined, and employees must follow it. Uniform standards of appearance create a working mood; appearance does not distract from completing tasks.

A careless, sloppy look, too bright and revealing is prohibited. Otherwise, appearance standards are regulated depending on the specifics of the company.

Politeness and respect

Often employees forget about the rules of communication and say everything “as it is”, without mincing words. As a result, communication becomes personal and the conversation moves away from the work topic, transforming into a simple argument and swearing. To save time and improve business etiquette requires precision in communication, courtesy and respect.


We've probably all had those moments when a meeting just can't start because half of the invitees are late, when the right person doesn't show up at all or ignores the meeting.

We also constantly encounter the fact that employees do not do their part of the work on time and do not consider it necessary to notify them in advance about difficulties that have arisen.

This behavior slows down the overall work and shows disrespect, so one of the important requirements of business etiquette is punctuality and accuracy.


Take on what you can do, and if the deadlines or quality of work may change, this must be discussed in advance. Business etiquette is, first of all, respect for colleagues and the desire to make the work process quick and convenient.

Not fulfilling obligations, deceiving, providing a result that is not the one that was agreed upon - this is a gross violation of the rules of communication.

Ability to resolve conflicts

When many people come together and try to do a common cause, conflicts are inevitable. Business etiquette requires the ability to resolve controversial and tense situations in a polite and professional manner.

Violation of business etiquette is hysteria, rudeness, rudeness, sarcasm and caustic communication. In this case, the employee does not resolve the issue, but tries to hurt the colleague’s personality.

Ability to communicate

Business etiquette also regulates the style of communication that occurs outside of solving problems: conversation at lunch, in the smoking room, on the way to the subway. Even in more informal communication there should be no gossip, discussion of the company or colleagues in a sharply negative tone, or discussion of the personal lives of employees.

Business etiquette in a company involves neutral or positive communication that will not spoil the mood of colleagues or touch on too personal topics.

Telephone communication skills

Telephone conversations with colleagues, employees and partners must be clear and structured. Polite communication and a desire to help resolve the caller’s issue are a must. The form of communication is also important: be sure to introduce yourself and name your department (so that the person can understand whether he has come to the right place), use polite expressions, and summarize the results of the conversation if you discussed an important issue.

These rules of business etiquette allow you to quickly resolve all issues over the phone, as well as show your respect for the caller.

Competent correspondence

Your writing style should follow the same goals of business etiquette: simplify your work, show respect for your colleagues. Write clearly and briefly, competently and legibly. Check if you forgot to attach the file and write a clear subject line.

When corresponding in instant messengers, do not write outside of working hours, do not send personal photos and pictures, stick to a business-like and laconic style.

Ability to conduct meetings

When planning a business meeting, meeting, or work group, think in advance about how best to organize it. Choose a suitable time and place, prepare equipment and materials. Direct the flow of communication, maintain a working mood.

Ability to maintain vertical relationships

This rule applies to both subordinates and managers. Both parties should avoid familiarity and communicate in a businesslike manner. The manager must give feedback in a correct form, without affecting the employee’s personality. And a subordinate should not cross the line and break the authority of the leader, try to cast him in a negative light.

This is mutual respect and understanding that subordination is simply the distribution of business responsibilities, which is based on common goals. And the better everyone does their part, the better it will be for everyone.

To summarize, business etiquette is a way to communicate with colleagues in a way that makes work more enjoyable and easier. Communication should help achieve goals and motivate participants in the process.


If you need to train employees on the topic of business etiquette, then you can order the “Business Etiquette in the Company” training. During the training, we will analyze all aspects of business correspondence that employees encounter:

  • Dresscode and appearance requirements
  • Corporate requirements of the company, rules and standards of conduct
  • Speech etiquette, standards of business communication among employees
  • Business etiquette in communicating with clients, partners, suppliers

Each employee will be able to form his own style of communication, which will comply with the rules of business etiquette, and at the same time will be comfortable and pleasant for him.

Language of communication in the business environment

The concept of "language" is used to refer to the system of signs through which people think and speak. It is also a way of expressing a person's self-awareness.

The language of business communication is an official business style of speech intended for communicative interaction in a professional business environment, as well as other related areas.

Business language is a system of communication in oral and written form that regulates working relationships.

The official style of writing has the following features:

  • concise presentation of information;
  • strictly required form;
  • special terminology, cliches, clericalism;
  • narrative nature of written speech;
  • almost complete absence of emotionally expressive means of speech.

Business oral speech has three components:

  • content component (characterized by clarity and logic);
  • expressive component (characterizes the emotional side of information);
  • incentive component (recognized to influence the feelings and thoughts of the interlocutor).

The language of business communication of the subject of interaction is assessed according to the following indicators:

  1. Lexicon. The larger it is, the more expressive and effective the speech is. Moreover, the interlocutor is a literate, educated, cultured person.
  2. Vocabulary composition. In addition to how many words a person knows, what kind of words they are is equally important. Words used in common parlance, as well as obscene and slang expressions are unacceptable in the business environment.
  3. Pronunciation. The written language of the organization is the official state language of the country or the international business language (English). Business communication in the form of oral speech is complemented by pronunciation. It is customary to speak in a dialect that is closest to the literary language.
  4. Stylistics and grammar. The language must be literate. Correct direct word order in a sentence, absence of tautology, filler words, etc.

Etiquette for business conversations on the phone

Modern speech etiquette and communication culture take into account the latest technical capabilities. Standards for conducting telephone conversations :

  • Compliance with corporate forms of greeting, introduction, address, farewell.
  • Informative, concise statements. You shouldn’t take your partner away from business for too long.
  • Logical structure of conversation and presentation of thoughts. Many people remember information over the phone less well than in a text or a personal meeting. It is necessary to clearly express the main points that need to be conveyed to the interlocutor.
  • Friendly voice, politeness, compliance with the principles of speech etiquette.
  • Clear, competent speech. In telephone conversations, the opponent's gestures or appearance are not visible. Voice and competent speech structure will benefit the company’s image.
  • Average rhythm of word pronunciation.
  • Moderate voice volume.

Psychology of business interaction

In a professional environment, it is customary to adhere to etiquette, general standards of morality and ethics.

Business communication is based on the following moral standards:

  • honesty;
  • decency;
  • justice;
  • responsibility.

But the concept of business communication also includes the psychological aspect of interpersonal relationships. They can not only be neutral-friendly, but also have the nature of fierce competition and struggle.

Business communication is not only the ability to speak, look and conduct business well, but also the ability to build interpersonal relationships.

Business ethics

Ethics in business communication is one of the most important components of successful cooperation between partners.

What is ethics? In general, its concept includes a set of norms that regulate human behavior in society. The word itself denotes the manner in which one should behave when communicating with other people. Business ethics implies almost the same thing, only it concerns exclusively managers and businessmen. It represents the rules that must be followed during business negotiations.

The head of a company cannot always conduct a conversation flawlessly. But every mistake made can lead to failure. To prevent this from happening, you should be able to admit your mistake and take steps to prevent it in the future.

  • When greeting, you must politely say hello by shaking hands with all participants in the negotiations. Don't squeeze your hand too hard.
  • Before starting a conversation, you should offer your partners coffee or tea. This tradition appeared not so long ago, but nowadays almost everyone uses it. Drinks are offered to make a person feel relaxed and have a more positive attitude.
  • If an unpleasant mistake was made during the negotiations, you must apologize to your partners for the inconvenience caused. After this, you can continue the conversation.
  • When discussing business issues with your partner, try to answer all his questions. If for some reason you cannot answer right now. Apologize and ask for time to think about it before a specific date.
  • Have a pen and notepad with you and write down all important information. At the end of the negotiations, you should not go back and ask again for information that you have already been given.
  • Don't raise your voice, speak clearly and clearly.
  • When dressing, adhere to a business casual style.

Ethics in business communication also involves following certain steps in business communication.

Contact between subordinate and supervisor

One of the main rules that business communication etiquette prescribes is respect for the manager by subordinates. This does not mean that he needs to be flattered or agree with everything.

An employee with his own views and opinions on issues related to work issues, and who knows how to present this in the correct form, is a good employee. Such subordinates are devoted to their company and do not neglect speech etiquette in business communication.

When talking with your boss, it is not recommended to point out any shortcomings in a harsh manner. The culture of business communication in such contact comes down to the ability of a subordinate to convey the necessary information to the manager without flattery, lies or cunning. In a calm and friendly atmosphere in a team, this is not difficult to do. Relationships between subordinates and managers, built on trust, are the application of ethical rules in business communication.

If a subordinate wants to make suggestions to improve the company's performance, then he should not immediately go to the top manager of the company. First you need to contact your nearest boss, otherwise the chain of command will be broken. In the future, such behavior of a subordinate will cause discord in the team.

Telephone etiquette and its basic rules not related to conversation

According to etiquette, a business telephone call can only be made during working hours. In emergency situations, you can disturb the subscriber before 10 pm, but no later.

If important issues need to be discussed, the dialogue should be planned for the pre-lunch period. It is at this time that information is absorbed better. In most cases, the interlocutors are calm, aggression and irritation have not accumulated.

You can expect a response within 7 rings. Next, it is customary to press the end call button. An incoming call is answered after the 3rd ring. This should be done no later, but not earlier.

The duration of a business conversation on the phone has regulations. The duration should not exceed 4 minutes. When you need to increase conversation time, it is recommended to schedule a conversation in person.

When the dialogue is interrupted, the conversation initiator makes a repeat call. This helps avoid confusion about who should call whom back. Instead of the interested person, the call can be made or received by the secretary. It is also possible to assign telephone conversations to another employee.

You can’t force a person to wait for things to end. You need to ask for forgiveness and ask to reschedule the conversation for another time. You can make calls to the personal number of your interlocutor only if he has provided it himself. If the number was given by third parties, you cannot use it.

You can't eat or drink. This is considered the height of lack of culture. Failure to fulfill a promise to call back is a gross violation of the rules. Even if the conversation has lost its relevance, you need to call back.

It is customary to keep a piece of paper and a pen next to the device. This is necessary in order to record all information. Secret information is not transmitted over a cell phone. Such data is exchanged only during a one-on-one conversation. During the conversation, listen carefully to the caller, without being distracted, so as not to lose the thread of the dialogue.

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