Spoken or written words are the most usual way how we perceive communication. We can communicate also with action or behavior and with the color and design of our clothes. The culture makes big difference how we learn to communicate, what is suitable and what is the working culture. In business life we need to think all of these. What is the appropriate way to write, how to get professional respect by speaking? What about clothes and color of our outfit?
Written and spoken business language has formal style. At first it shows respect to the receiver of the email or the person with whom you have a discussion, and on the other hand if the working language is not your first language, the formal message is easier to understand. You can also show your skills with communicating professionally.
Some organizations have strict rules how to communicate inside and outside the company, still there are people who are not willing to take these advices. I have received business emails where all the messages have been written in the subject line with caps lock on. As the subject line was quite short, usually some needed information was missing. My colleagues told me to ignore the writer’s rude style. He writes almost every email in the subject line. In our unit we have training of email for every new employee. On the other hand, there are strict rules considering all corporation. Well, they say that rules are made to be broken…
There are cultural differences when acting in global corporations, the business partners are located abroad or when the business support services for example IT –support have been outsourced. The IT –support of employee in India have different working culture than we have Finland. I have been dealing with problems where ten people in the Finnish unit can’t work because of software problems. IT –support in India does not rush, because it is only ten people. I am always polite, but how to push the message through? How to make them understand the influences, if people can’t do their everyday work tasks?
Business wear for men is easy, but it can cause grey hair for women; what to wear, skirt or trousers, shirt or blouse, jewelries and what kind of, heels or not, a handbag… and the color of the costume. Black color is not the best for the Finnish white skin. Women can choose soft colors to the clothes and refresh the outlook with jewelries or scarfs. A skirt should be knee length and open necklines do not belong to business wear. Shoes can be high heels, but comfortable to walk. When you meet new colleague, the outfit is one important part of the first impression.
I have noticed during my career that after the competence the business wear is a one important thing for women to keep in mind to retain respect in business life. Written language is another important thing and spoken words should be in line with the two previously mentioned things. Of course there are differences between business fields. Basic office workers differ from artistic fields, but always think first before brake the rules.
Text: Kati Aronen, student of Independent Study in English course