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Importance of Etiquette in Business

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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Importance of Etiquette in Business
    Posted: Aug/10/2009 at 10:38am

Recession spurs Americans to brush up on manners

By Michelle Nichols Michelle Nichols Fri Aug 7, 4:20 pm ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – More Americans are turning to charm school in a bid to gain an advantage over rivals in a job market battered by the longest economic slump since the Great Depression, experts say.

Etiquette trainers and consultants report growing business from clients who believe that a good grip on manners could be the key selling point that helps them get hired or keeps them off the unemployment line.

"People I think are prepared to do wdon't likever it takes to maintain their job and to have some sort of an edge immediately," said Gloria Starr, an adviser on corporate image, etiquette and communications in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Starr, who says business is up 40 percent in the past year at her Modern Day Finishing School, said people were "realizing that it takes more than just competency and knowledge" to keep or win a job.

Peggy Newfield, who has been teaching etiquette for 30 years and runs the Atlanta-based American School of Protocol, said business was "booming."

"We cannot keep up," she said. "When the economy is down etiquette training will always be up. They're focussing on 'What I can do to survive, I have to really up my game because the competition is keen.'"

Proper business manners, however, extend far beyond greeting or thanking a prospective employer. Etiquette classes tend to dwell on the basics of presentation in an interview, including what to say and how to dress.

"It's so much more than writing the thank-you note at the end," Newfield said. "It's about walking in for the job interview, every hair is in place, your clothes are immaculately pressed, your shoes are polished, you're groomed to the nines, you speak the part, your English is correct."

Studies have shown that "85 percent of the reason a person gets a job, keeps a job and moves up is related to their people skills," said Carol Haislip, director of The International School of Protocol in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

"There are very few jobs out there where your manners, where your socials skills, are not a big piece of what it will take to be successful," she said. "Manners are the great equalizer and if you have manners you can walk into any business or social situation."

Do you think that etiquette is important?
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