Emily Post's the Etiquette Advantage in Business: Personal Skills for Professional Success / Edition 2

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As today's workplace becomes increasingly more competitive, knowing how to behave can make the difference between getting ahead and getting left behind. In The Etiquette Advantage in Business, 2nd Edition, etiquette authorities Peggy Post and Peter Post provide you with the all-important tools for building solid, productive relationships with your business associates — relationships that will help propel you and your company straight to the top.

In this completely revised and updated edition, which includes three new chapters on ethics, table manners, and electronic communication, the Posts show you how to handle both everyday and unusual situations that are essential to professional and personal success — from resolving business conflicts with ease and grace to getting along with your boss and coworkers; from making long-lasting contacts to winning clients and closing deals. They also offer up-to-date guidance on pressing issues such as harassment in the workplace, worker privacy, e-mail dos and don'ts, and knowing how and when to shoulder blame.

Written for business workers of all types and backgrounds, The Etiquette Advantage in Business remains the definitive resource for timeless advice on business entertaining, written communication, dressing appropriately for any business occasion, conventions and trade shows, job searches and interviews, gift-giving, and overseas travel.

No matter the situation in which you find yourself, the Posts will give you the confidence to meet the challenges of the work world with confidence and poise — because today, more than ever, good manners mean good business.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060760021
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/3/2005
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 509,127
  • Product dimensions: 7.37 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 1.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Peggy Post, Emily Post’s great-granddaughter-in-law, is a director of The Emily Post Institute and the author of more than a dozen books. Peggy writes a monthly column in Good Housekeeping and an online wedding etiquette column for the New York Times.

Peter Post is the great-grandson of Emily Post and the managing director of The Emily Post Institute. As creator of the Emily Post Business Etiquette seminars, he leads business seminars for companies both in the United States and abroad. Author of the New York Times bestseller Essential Manners for Men, he writes a weekly question-and-answer business etiquette advice column, "Etiquette at Work," that appears in the Boston Sunday Globe.

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First Chapter

Emily Post's The Etiquette Advantage in Business 2e
Personal Skills for Professional Success

Chapter One

Why Etiquette Matters

Etiquette is one of the most misunderstood words in the English language. Most people, when asked what etiquette means to them, reply, "Manners," "Politeness," "Thank-you notes," "Rules." Over the years, in thousands of interviews, Emily Post was repeatedly asked what etiquette meant to her. Here's how she defined the term:

Whenever two people come together and their behavior affects one another, you have etiquette. Etiquette is not some rigid code of manners, it's simply how persons' lives touch one another.

Emily Post understood that etiquette is not about rules; etiquette is about building relationships, plain and simple. Etiquette gives us clues as to how we should act and what we should do in any given situation, so that we can be as successful as possible in our interactions with the people around us. Far from stifling your personality in a straitjacket of do's and don'ts, etiquette -- by giving you the confidence to handle a wide variety of situations with ease and aplomb -- actually lets you focus on being your own, relaxed self: the real you.

"I Want You To Do A Better Job Building Relationships"

That's what your boss could tell you in a job performance review. If she did, how would you go about fulfilling such a request? Chances are, you wouldn't have a clue where to begin. If, however, you shift your focus from improving your "relationships" in general to evaluating how well you handle the specific factors that influence all relationships, this goal will start to look much more attainable. This is easier than you might think, because there are really only three things that affect a relationship: your actions, your appearance, and your words.

  • ACTIONS. The things we do can have various impacts. Imagine: You sit down at a restaurant table with a client. After a few minutes, your cell phone starts ringing. You answer it and start talking. Clearly, we are all aware that this action would create a negative atmosphere at your business lunch. What is a better action, one that will improve your relationship with your client? Simple: Either turn off your phone before meeting your client or let your client know that you're expecting a call, and then excuse yourself to the lobby or restroom area when your phone vibrates.

  • APPEARANCE. The importance of clothes and grooming is obvious. Dress like a slob, and the people you are with will think of you as a slob. Body odor and bad breath -- those are no-brainers. But what about body language? That falls under appearance as well: Twitching your foot during a meeting says you are either nervous or apprehensive, or you can't wait for the meeting to end. Improve your appearance by keeping your foot still -- and staying calm, alert, and twitch-free in general -- and you will build better relationships with the people you do business with.

  • WORDS. Coarse language is clearly out of bounds. But say you're in a meeting and you blurt out, "Oh my God, Sally, what a great idea!" Later, you discover that some of the people present were offended that you took the Lord's name in vain. Suddenly, instead of thinking about Sally's great idea, those participants are focused on you and their negative perception of you.

One of the hallmarks of good etiquette is that it never calls attention to itself. When everything is going well as far as your actions, appearance, and words are concerned, your focus -- and the focus of the people you are with -- will be on the content of your discussion. Slip up with any one of these factors, however, and the focus will suddenly shift to the failure ("I can't believe he just did that"). By being aware of your actions, appearance, and words, and working to improve your performance in all three areas, you can directly enhance the quality of your relationships.

Job Skills Versus People Skills

Being successful in your job or your job search hinges on two critical factors: your job skills and your people skills. Your job skills are the capabilities you bring to your work. If you're searching for a job, it's unlikely you'll be invited for an interview if you don't have the requisite job skills. The same goes if you're up for a promotion, or if your company is up for a job or contract with another firm: The reason you are being considered for the promotion or your company is being considered for the work is the set of job skills and capabilities you or your company possesses.

Once you enter the room for an interview, however -- whether as a job applicant, or a candidate for a promotion, or a salesperson -- your personal skills are what will most likely get you the job.Your ability to connect with that person across the table more readily than any of the other candidates is critical to your potential success. In short, your job skills will get you in the door, but your people skills are what will land you the assignment.

Fair? Perhaps not. Reality? You'd better believe it.

It makes sense, too: Imagine you're a CEO who's considering three employees for a promotion, so you invite each of them in turn for a talk over lunch. Jane knows her job cold but can't quite make or hold eye contact with you. Kevin is friendly and outgoing, but he eats holding his fork like he's going to stab someone and chews his food with his mouth open. Jonathan, on the other hand, walks into the interview dressed for the job he wants, rather than for the job he now has. His table manners don't draw attention to his eating; instead, you find yourself focused on the conversation you are having with him. He smiles, and he holds eye contact -- but not for too long.

Emily Post's The Etiquette Advantage in Business 2e
Personal Skills for Professional Success
. Copyright © by Peggy Post. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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