Have you ever wondered just how important it is for a BBA student to know about proper business etiquette and protocol to succeed in one's future career, especially when working in an international business environment? During the IWBAS week we had an opportunity to take part in professor Zsofia Makranyi's lecture "Business Etiquette and Protocol, Business Communication”.
Professor Makranyi had taken explanations from dictionaries for etiquette and protocol. She asked the audience if they could explain them and their difference. Among the audience the consensus was that protocol is much stricter and etiquette is part of the protocol. Etiquette itself is described as customs or rules concerning correct or acceptable behavior, and it involves the code of practice. Protocol however usually concerns certain procedures, and it includes customs and regulations of specific events such as state or diplomatic ceremonies.
In the Budapest Business School, where professor Makranyi teaches, the education structure is very similar to the one we have in Finland. The BBA studies takes 3,5 years, during which one can specialize for example in Human relations, Business IT, Finance and accounting and Business management. Along with other universities Budapest Business School also continues to adapt to the globalization by highlighting the importance of foreign language and communication skills. Therefore, we were interested to learn if there were some influential factors to consider when doing business with Hungarians. According to Makranyi there are no specific factors to keep in mind. They have adopted same rules as western Europe, in other words Hungarian cultural traits do not stand out remarkably from Finnish perspective.
An interesting fact is that in Budapest Business School they also offer both theoretical and practical education in business etiquette and manners, which has been very popular among students. Education as well as the lecture we took part of cover topics like how to behave in a job interview or at a workplace, proper dining and table manners and many other wider topics concerning one's behavior in important business situations. The aim of the education in question is to provide the students with the knowledge of the etiquette and protocol required from them in the labor market. According to Makranyi there are no specific influential factors to consider when doing business with Hungarians. They have adopted same rules as western Europe, in other words Hungarian cultural traits do not stand out remarkably from Finnish perspective.
Professor Makranyi emphasized the importance of first impressions during her lecture. We have only from two to three minutes to make a good impression for example in situations like job interviews, business meetings, negotiations and social occasions, where you mingle and make new connections. She highlighted networking and overall business connections as a point of focus for anyone interested in further developing one's career in a successful manner. It is the other people that can make or break your career, because business is about people. They are your best resource to achieve your goals.
During the lecture came up three important rules of networking. Firstly, always prepare before you go: e.g. get informed about the company and the people you are meeting with. Secondly, if you greet someone, always remember to say goodbye. Be positive and remember eye contact. Thirdly, if you make new connections, follow up through some suitable channel.
When introducing yourself or another person, the most important person of the current situation should always be introduced first. Starting a conversation can sometimes seem daunting, but you can start by finding the commonalities and compliment fellow participants. However not on their personal achievements, but rather on the successful endeavors of the company or industry they represent. Also, asking for opinions about the occasion and referring to the purpose of attendance of the participants can easily be utilized as a small talk subjects.
Zsofia Makranyi with MintWear OPY: Emmi Korhonen, Eerika Kivelä, Johanna Koskinen, Robert Kronberg, Heidi Korhonen, Riikka Kokkonen, Oskari Karlo, Sara Korpela, Santeri Karonen and Samuel Kautto.
Written by: Emmi Korhonen & Sara Korpela of MintWear OPY