Mind Your Ps and Qs

When most people hear the word “etiquette” they immediately think of fish forks and proper napkin placement. That’s not what etiquette is really all about. It’s about behaving in a way that puts those around you at ease.

I’m preparing for an upcoming business trip. I have my packing list in progress. I have my agenda ready and my reservations made. I’m also currently reading the updated Emily Post’s The Etiquette Advantage in Business by Peggy Post and Peter Post. It has some guidelines for traveling, dressing, and behaving while doing business. Now, I don’t consider myself an oafish boor. I generally behave myself fairly well in most situations. Still, I’ll be rubbing elbows with people in the higher ranks of our direct sales company. I’ll be dealing with concierges, bellhops, and possibly even maitre d’s. I’ll be eating meals with people I’ve just met. I’ll be interacting with people from all over the country. Brushing up on my manners seems like a good idea.

The book also has a section on job hunting. These days, with so many people vying for every open position, knowing how to behave well could make you really stand out. Unfortunately, far too many of us were never taught the simplest guidelines of decorum.

How about you? Are you comfortable at a business dinner with the boss? How about a meeting with the company mucky-mucks? If so, wonderful. If not, I’d suggest taking a little time to read through a business etiquette handbook. It just might make you feel more at ease the next time you step outside of the box.

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