Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Business

May 21, 2014

Emily Post Institute updates business etiquette

NEW YORK (AP) — Much has changed about workplace and business etiquette since Emily Post was dispensing advice herself.

Post died in 1960, but her family has carried on her love of good manners through the Emily Post Institute in Burlington, Vermont. The latest from the Posts is a third edition of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business," released this month by William Morrow.

Great-great-granddaughter Lizzie Post said an update was needed to take into account the explosion in social media and digital communications, along with a more casual work environment in many fields.

Some highlights:

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SOCIAL MEDIA AND SMARTPHONES

When you make a mistake, 'fess up. Post recalled a recent radio show call-in question that went something like this: "'I butt-dialed all of my business contacts while on a 10-hour hike over the weekend. What do I do and is there a term other than butt-dial that I can use?' We say purse- or pocket-dial work, too, and apologize immediately using whatever communication you usually use for each contact."

Generally, she said, avoid the urge to get all loosey-goosey. Use email, private message, text and voice mail very, very carefully.

"Unless you would feel comfortable posting it on a bulletin board in your town or screaming it to everybody that you know, don't do it," Post said.

HUGS AND KISSES

"I'm always surprised at how much there is of this when I'm doing business. I'm getting hugs and a kiss on the cheek as a hello. Usually it's after the very first meeting. The very first meeting is still usually a handshake."

But Post is a fan of hugs and kisses on the job after the first meeting, depending on your field. "I like feeling like I'm doing business with a person who I have a personal connection with. I know many people who want to keep professional professional and they don't want to be hugging somebody that down the line they might have to say, 'Look, we can't work with you anymore.'"

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