Etiquette and Success

This blog is all about career advice and career success.  As a career success coach, I advise my clients that they need to develop competence in four key areas if they want to become a career success: positive personal impact, outstanding performance, dynamic communication and relationship building. 

You create positive personal impact by doing three things.  1) Creating and building your unique personal brand.  2) Being impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line.  3) Knowing and following the basic rules of business and personal etiquette.  Today, I’d like to provide some career advice on business and personal etiquette.

To begin with, you don’t have to carry around an etiquette handbook.  Just follow three principles that Emily Post laid out many years ago; be honest, be respectful and be considerate.  These are simple common sense career advice principles that will help you create positive personal impact.

My new book Success Tweets: 140 Bits of Common Sense Career Success Advice, All in 140 Characters or Less will be out soon.  Here are a few of the tweets in it that relate to business and personal etiquette….

Tweet 73: Be gracious.  Know and follow the basic rules of etiquette.  Everybody likes to be around polite and mannerly people.

Tweet 74: When someone compliments you, just say “thank you.”  When someone criticizes you, say “thank you, I’ll work on that.”

Tweet 75: Learn and use simple table manners.  Good manners make you look polished and poised and help you concentrate on the conversation.

Tweet 76: Always act like a lady or gentleman.  It’s not old fashioned; it’s smart business and leads to a successful life and career.

Tweet 77: Keep your breath fresh.  Brush after meals and coffee.  Use the strips.  Don’t chew gum.  Ever.  It makes you look like a cow.

Tweet 78: Say “thank you” often.  You’ll succeed in your life and career, build a strong brand and leave a legacy of being a nice person.

Tweet 79: Be courteous.  It costs you nothing, and it can mean everything to someone else.  It also helps in getting what you want.

Tweet 80: Learn and use the basic rules of etiquette.  Social faux pas may not ruin your career, but they certainly won’t help.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people create positive personal impact.  Knowing and following the basic rules of personal and business etiquette will help you create positive personal impact.  Courtesy costs you nothing and can mean everything to someone else.  For example, when a server asks what you would like to drink, it is not more difficult to say, “May I please have a glass of iced tea?” than it is to say, “Iced tea.”  The first response is courteous.  The second merely communicates that you want iced tea.  Courtesy means acting like a lady or gentleman.  As a career success coach, I always try to be a gentleman in every situation in which I find myself.  I’ve found that everybody likes to be around polite and mannerly people.

That’s my take on creating positive personal impact.  What’s yours?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading.


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  1. I have found that manners and etiquette in the workplace have done more for my career than any other thing. In today’s world, what you know is only part of your ability. The rest of your ability is defined by how people view you. Etiquette is the key…

    I came across a website that describes how workplace etiquette can help you get ahead in your career. It is

  2. Melito:
    You’re right — manners and etiquette are important. Thanks for the link.

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