Course Outcomes

This etiquette course targeted to engineers, scientists, and other technical professionals will:

  • Explain the most common stereotypes IT specialists and other technical professionals must often work to dispel.
  • Help your team understand workplace expectations related to professionalism and business etiquette.
  • Highlight mistakes people often make when using telephones, both traditional models and their smarter siblings.
  • Review the ins and outs of writing professional email.
  • Prepare your group to handle conflicts with coworkers, customers, and clients.
  • Examine how grooming and wardrobe choices influence perceptions.
  • Outline the elements of effective business networking.

Course Overview

Pretending to pay attention on a conference call, copying everyone on email responses, responding with no empathy to an upset client, and a host of other offenses plague offices throughout the world each and every day.  This onsite etiquette workshop targeted to technical professionals, addresses the most common mistakes people make at work and what to do instead.  The course is participant focused and activity based. Whether you have a team of engineers, scientists, or computer professionals, if they need to polish their people skills, this course fits the bill.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain what office etiquette and professionalism are and why they matter at work.
  • Discuss communication styles.
  • Explain how and when to use the telephone, email, text, or a meeting.
  • Describe the impact of tone, words, and body language on communication.
  • Soften blunt communication.
  • Identify appropriate and inappropriate office dress.
  • Describe the importance of business relationships and how to develop and maintain them.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Formatting the Hard Drive: Identifying and Fighting Stereotypes

This course begins with a discussion about the importance of professionalism and the stereotypes IT professionals must often fight.  Following that icebreaker, participants will work through several exercises around the topic of communication style preferences and identify their natural strengths.

Avoiding Crossed Wires: Testing Your Telephone Etiquette

The program continues with an exploration of various communication tools.  This unit focuses on the phone – a ubiquitous office fixture that is often misused and abused. We’ll discuss basic telephone etiquette and the nitty-gritty rules of smartphone etiquette and texting.

Managing Mail: Understanding the Essentials of Email Etiquette

“He emailed me, and I was sitting right next to him.”  “She copied everyone in the office to say ‘me too’.  Can you believe that?  Like I don’t have enough ‘real’ mail I need to get through each day!”  Sound familiar?  Probably.  Email is a wonderful convenience when used correctly. Unfortunately, many people don’t have a clue or have forgotten what they’ve been told over the years about proper email etiquette.  During this workshop segment, we will discuss when to use email, what a good email looks and sounds like, and what to do when and if email gets out of control.

Upgrading Your System: Planning Messages

While good communication has a lot to do with basic etiquette, even the best manners will not make up for poor message planning. This course component reviews the process of preparing communication and conducting an audience analysis. Participants will work through a series of case studies to determine the best way to deliver bad news, share good news, address conflict, and handle misunderstandings.  By the end of this part of the class, group members should have a clear understanding of how to position their messages and what communication vehicle to use.

Packaging Your Program: Choosing the Right Clothes

“He’s great at his job, but he looks as if he just rolled out of bed.  We can’t send him to client meetings, and that’s a shame.  The guy is the most talented person we have.” Although IT professionals often adhere to what others may view as a relaxed dress code, relaxed shouldn’t mean sloppy.  This workshop segment looks at how dress can affect people’s perceptions of others.  Working through a series of exercises, group members will identify looks that say “competent” and “capable” and those that telegraph “disorganized” and “disheveled.”

Using Cookies and Establishing Favorites: Building and Maintaining a Network

This program concludes with a discussion about networking: what it is and how to do it traditionally and online.  Participants will create a networking map, develop a connection plan, and determine what they can offer others.  By the conclusion of these exercises, group members should understand what they can do to nurture their relationships with others.

By the conclusion of this workshop, those who attend should understand how they can leverage professionalism at work, communicate with purpose, and grow and build their networks.