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The Etiquette Advantage in Business, Third Edition: Personal Skills for Professional Success Hardcover – May 13, 2014
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From the Back Cover
Your key to professional and personal success
Completely revised and updated, the third edition of the Posts' The Etiquette Advantage in Business is the ultimate guide professionals need to build successful business relationships with confidence
Today, more than ever, good manners mean good business. The Etiquette Advantage in Business offers proven, essential advice, from resolving conflicts with ease and grace to building productive relationships with colleagues at all levels. It also offers up-to-date guidance on important professional skills, including ethics, harassment in the workplace, privacy, networking, email, social media dos and don'ts, and knowing how and when to take responsibility for mistakes.
For the first time in business history, four distinct generations inhabit the workplace at the same time, leading to generational differences that can cause significant tensions and relationship problems. The Etiquette Advantage in Business aims to help navigate conflict by applying consideration, respect, and honesty to guide you safely through even the most difficult situations.
Written for professionals from diverse backgrounds and fields, The Etiquette Advantage in Business remains the definitive resource for timeless advice on business entertaining and dining etiquette, written communications, appropriate attire for any business occasion, conventions and trade shows, job searches and interviews, gift-giving, overseas travel, and more.
In today's hyper-competitive workplace, knowing how to get along can make the difference between getting ahead and getting left behind. The Etiquette Advantage in Business provides critical tools for building solid, productive relationships and will help you meet the challenges of the work world with confidence and poise.
About the Author
Peter Post, great-grandson of Emily Post and a passionate golfer, is the author of the New York Times bestseller Essential Manners for Men, Essential Manners for Couples, The Etiquette Advantage in Business (with Anna Post, Lizzie Post, and Daniel Post Senning), and his weekly business etiquette column Etiquette at Work in the Boston Globe. The father of two grown daughters, he lives with his wife in Vermont.
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This "...third edition also brings added emphasis to the growth of digital communication and social networking. Texting, tweeting, blogging, LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Pinterest now can be used to build relationships or be abused and hurt relationships and even cost people their jobs..."
At the beginning of the book the authors, Anna Post, Lizzie Post, Peter Post, and Daniel Post Senning, go through great length to describe the positiva and advantages of following the advice this book conveys.
"... A survey in 2000 revealed how serious the issue had become: more than 50 percent of workers had been treated rudely. As a result, 22 percent of them were decreasing their work effort and 12 percent were leaving their jobs because of it..."
These are shocking numbers.
The book covers the effects of every tiny details from not holding a woman's coat, over not washing the dishes in the company kitchen, to falsifying financials and lying about one's contribution to a project.
Again, the numbers are shocking.
"... The Ethics Resource Center identified a number of different types of unethical behavior that were reported by employees as behaviors they had witnessed:
• Abusive or intimidating behavior toward other employees (18 percent)
• Lying to other employees (17 percent)
• Discriminating on the basis of race, color, gender, age, or similar categories (12 percent)
• Conflicts of interest (15 percent)
• Violating company policies related to Internet use (12 percent)
• Misreporting of hours worked (10 percent)
• Violations of health or safety regulations (10 percent)
• Stealing, theft, or related fraud (9 percent)
... (and more ...)"
The book is well written, and the "reality" of these issues are made clear through the inclusion of Q/A segments/questions the authors received from professionals of various backgrounds. Obviously, the parties did not know what the right course of action was, yet they saw the problems. This book offers answers and solutions.
The book also features actions steps to take for managers, which I think is important and helpful; over the decades I have seen too many cases where managers let an issue slide simply because they did not know what to do.
There is also a section for the "ethical job seeker" which these days may be more valuable than only ten years ago, dressing and grooming (which even elaborates on details such as tattoos and body piercings), resume writing, preparations for interviews, etc.
Since the book also addresses dozens of scenarios what to do when employees see anything from small violations to major improprieties, it also addresses the "whistle blower"-question. I was pleasantly surprised because never having been in that situation I learned something I had never even heard about,
"... The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires public companies to have anonymous “hotlines” or similar whistle-blower systems so that employees can report ethical violations without revealing their identities.."
I was also happy to find out that the authors suggest to always convert a resume into a .pdf file. This way the formatting will be maintained. I have been telling friends of mine the same thing for a long time and nobody seems to know. Equally, I was excited to see that the authors recommended to ask, "Could we take a few minutes to review my resume?" during a job interview. Indeed, I had learned what the authors describe, the hard way. At one employment one of my bosses said to me, "I did not know that you knew how to do this..." And, when I replied, "I listed it on my resume" she said, "well, I did not read the whole thing." Yep, it happens. If I would have asked the above question, maybe I could have negotiated a higher salary. And, the topic of salary negotiations gets discussed in the book, too.
The books also addresses questions/complaints which might become legal issues and recommends to "document the problem" before doing anything else. That's another one of these things so many people don't know.
This book packs 352 pages of useful information without any repetitions. It is an interesting to read, the content is presented in a lively manner, and I bet every reader thinks "I better keep this book for reference" on my kindle. Maybe many readers even think, "I should buy this book for my child," like I did.
Gisela Hausmann, author & blogger
The Emily Post Institute attempts to be straightforward with a touch of class. The cover jacket is a ho-hum beige, white and black with a little burgundy to spice things up to lukewarm. If you look under the jacket, you'll see that the gray near the spine is off-set by the dull brick red. What gives it the extra elegance is the gold lettering. Elegant but understated.
Although Post attempts to be relative in today's new age of young upstarts making billion dollar businesses in technology, after working for two multinational companies, I'm torn between feeling this book it out of touch to feeling the management was out of touch.
For instance, what about a company where the dress code seems to be shorts and T-shirts, where informal Friday has been extended to every day and silly string is considered an appropriate way of celebrating? So this may not apply to offices where everyone is armed with a rubber band gun and people compete at having the craziest personalized space.
Of course, I should add that particular company had several problems that could have been resolved if the young men who started it had taken lessons from Emily Post such as understanding that OSHA regulations aren't just for middle-aged men and women.
The first chapter neatly points these things out--not directly because Emily Post won't advise you on legal matters. Instead, they do identify a number of different types of unethical behavior according to the Ethics Resource Center National Business Ethics Survey from 2013. Ah yes. That Internet company should have paid attention here.
At the top of the list is abusive or intimidating behavior toward other employees, discriminating, conflicts of interest and violations of health and safety regulations. All things that the management of said Internet company tried to overlook with their we're a fun, happy, party place.
Emily Post doesn't cover how to behave at a beer drinking Friday night or karaoke social. They do cover email, telecommuting and social networking, but I worked at a company where chatting and email were used more frequently than the telephone.
Also there's a regional disconnect. I read the color considerations for the Dress and Grooming chapter. In SoCal, black, navy blue, gray and taupe are very banker-ish. I think in some areas, bright colors are the norm and not considered tacky. The caution against bright orange, magenta and other loud colors might also be seen as very much part of the sensibilities of white, non-Latino culture.