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Urban Café with Miriam Angila


ABOUT BUSINESS: The business of etiquette



Just landed yourself a new job, be it corporate or the “hustle” there are some simple business rules that are not really taught and should be taught in the Kenyan market or business environment.

Business Etiquette differentiates the rising star and the guy who turns of the engine. Often, the star has mastered the nuances of business etiquette, the subtle but critical behaviors that can make or break an important meeting, influence a first impression or impress a potential client.

The following simple rules can make a huge difference in your business:


In Kenya, there is a saying that “there is no hurry in Africa” perhaps the reason why we are still in the third world? If you’re the meeting host, on time means at least five minutes early. If you’re the guest, on time means on time. It’s crazy how often people on both sides of the invitation are late and say nothing about it. If you get held up and know you’re going to be delayed, a quick text can keep the person on the other end from feeling stood up or their business not being so important to you


I feel like I’m bashing Kenyans but this is a norm, they always drag a girlfriend or husband, this is a huge   no-no, unless you are partners in the business or the host has asked for their company. It’s inconsiderate to assume that the company wants to pay for your spouse. Secondly, if you bring your significant other and nobody else does, talking shop feels awkward to everyone (your guest included), and that’s what business lunches or dinners are often about.


Guys, I know you have the latest gadgets and you want to show off! Business etiquette requires those annoying gadgets off and no not on silent so that you can run off outside when the damn thing vibrates, this means my meeting isn’t important and my business isn’t important either. Unplug, focus and see how productive the meeting shall be.


The physical connection you make when shaking hands with someone can leave a powerful impression. When someone's handshake is unpleasant in any way, we often associate negative character traits with that person. A firm handshake made with direct eye contact sets the stage for a positive encounter.

Women take note: To avoid any confusion during an introduction, always extend your hands when greeting someone. Remember, men and women are equals in the workplace.


Millennials do not recognize hierarchy in Kenyan business environment, everyone is an expert but laws in the office are there for a reason. You would easily be fired for silly things such over stepping your boundaries. Smooth relationships with everyone is of great importance however know your place, your position and space with due respect


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