This two-day course covers two key dimensions of business interaction: making the right impression, and doing the right thing.

On the one hand, Business Etiquette is means mastering the conventions, rules, customs and expectations that we must navigate in order to work professionally in high-level business.

On the other hand, Business Ethics means avoiding or staying on the right side of moral and ethical dilemmas that we all necessarily encounter from time to time.

This course contains the following modules:

  • Business etiquette basics: greetings, handshakes, cards
  • Small talk and making the right impression
  • E-mail and telephone etiquette
  • Business dining and social etiquette
  • Business ethics: concepts and consequences
  • Ethical models: Kohlberg’s six stages
  • Managing ethical dilemmas
  • Ethical decision-making tools

Learning outcomes

After this course you will be able to:

  • Network effectively, including greetings, introductions and small talk
  • Feel comfortable and confident about your business communication in every situation
  • Working across different cultures and nationalities
  • Evaluate the moral and ethical dimensions of situations that you may encounter
  • Make sound ethical choices based on appropriate principles and approaches
  • Avoid, recognise and manage ethical dilemmas

Course Outline

Business etiquette basics

To begin, participants will explore what etiquette is all about and what role manners play. As a pre-assignment, participants were asked come up with at least five examples of etiquette that they see at work or at home. During this session, we will review examples; be prepared for some debate!

During the important first few minutes of a new relationship, a handshake is usually the only physical contact between two people. In this session, we will discuss and demonstrate the five factors of a good handshake. The exchange of business cards is a common ritual when meeting a new person. We will discuss some things to keep in mind when giving and receiving business cards.

The skill of making small talk

Being able to small-talk successfully is one of the most crucial skills a businessperson can develop, but it’s also one of the hardest. We’ll discuss some basic do’s and don’ts of small talk.

Do you remember names? There are four keys to remembering names. In this session, we will discuss and practice each of them.

We will discuss some ways that participants can make sure their first impression is perfect. It’s always difficult to know just how to dress, particularly if you’re meeting new people. We will cover some basic guidelines and the details of particular dress codes.

Business dining and social etiquette

This session will focus on the dos and don’ts of business lunches. If possible, we recommend that you practice an actual business lunch.

E-mail and telephone etiquette

How a businessperson presents themselves over the phone and via e-mail is just as important as their in-person impression. We’ll discuss some key points of telephone and e-mail manners in both a small group and a large group setting. We’ll also talk about thank-you notes.

Business ethics: concepts and consequences

To start the day, we will discuss what the words “ethics” and “morals” mean. Participants will also have an opportunity to identify some of their personal values.

Before we begin discussing how to make good decisions, learners will be asked to think about how they would respond to some sticky situations. We also look at some of the payoffs of ethical behaviour.

Ethical models: Kohlberg’s six stages

This session will explore Kohlberg’s six stages of moral development through a lecture and a small group exercise. We will look at some classic philosophical approaches to problems during this session, including the golden rule, utilitarianism, and the categorical imperative. Participants will also apply these approaches to some hypothetical situations.

ISOC trainers

Training staff include