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Whitmore, Jacqueline; Business Class, 2005.

Whitmore has compiled a slim, readable compendium of basic rules of workplace etiquette. Talent, education and experience aren’t enough, she says. You also need business etiquette, which she describes as a powerful, practical and profitable skill that will help you get a job, keep a job and succeed on the job.

The book touches upon creating a good first impression, dressing for success, making small talk, and that critical business skill, dining out.

My favorite chapter is one that is so desperately needed: “Minding Your Manners in the Electronic Age.” Among other suggestions, Whitmore urges that we:

  • Avoid long phone conversations, because they impede productivity.
  • Leave only brief voice mail messages, mentioning our own phone numbers at the start and again at the conclusion.
  • Make good use of email subject lines, keeping the lines brief, specific, and relevant.
  • Suppress the urge to look at our BlackBerries during meetings. And
  • Allow the people we are with to have precedence over calls we want to make or receive on our cell phones.
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