The perfect format for those who love to read.

0 thoughts on “Books

  1. Steve Metivier

    I’ve found that many business people like to keep in touch with their clients by dropping them an occasion (real) greeting card – for a birthday, anniversary, or milestone of any kind. They not only provide a handy “container” for a personal note, but convey an often-amusing message. And, they can be kept around for a few days, getting noticed by other visitors to the office. It’s a nice touch, all-around.

  2. Greg Tamblyn

    This is spooky. I just read your wonderful June 2017 newsletter about the handshake, with a link to this post. So of course I read this post, and was going to offer a comment about fist pumps (and maybe even cheek bumps), only to see that I already offered the same basic comment THREE YEARS AGO!

    At least I know my brain works the same, for better or worse.

    I thought your thoughts about the handshake in your June 2017 newsletter are right on target. It’s a cultural staple in the west, but becoming more awkward for many reasons. The history of it is fascinating. Maybe the future of it is…. bowing?

  3. Mahbuba mili


    Thanks for your informative post. Single-button coat, two-button coat and three-button jacket tips are excellent.

    We should follow those rules when we wear suit.


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  9. Peggy Roney

    Hah! President Obama’s faux pas with the gum will seem miniscule after they experience Trump. I’m sure the Chinese noted his treatment of PM Angela Merkel–facing away from her and refusing to shake her hand–ignoring her– and W Bush’s treatment of her as well–massaging her shoulders. Impudent may be the better word to describe those two.

    Because courtesy is your field (and our goal), I am sharing the name of a priceless little book (157 pages) by Anne-Laure Monfret. I heard Ms. Monfret discuss her book at a conference, US-China Peoples Friendship Association, in Washington, DC. The title is Saving Face in China: A First-Hand Guide for any Traveler to China. Any visitor will find it valuable. Business people will find it indispensable. I think you will find it fascinating and well as practical. I have included below one person’s review of the book. Many more are online.

    Peggy Roney

    How To Save Face In China. The Book.

    By Dan Harris on May 11, 2012

    Unless you have a perfect mastery of Chinese language, symbolism, and social nuances (and who even has that of their own country, anyway?), consider picking up a copy of Anne-Laure Monfret’s Saving Face in China, a practical book aimed at aiding you in making a decent impression on your Chinese business contacts.

    Monfret is a French management and HR specialist who spent eight years in China. Her book addresses the trickiest areas of Chinese culture through thoughtful explanations and first-hand stories. As she illustrates, it takes a whole lot more than common courtesy to navigate Chinese business meals, deals, and conflicts, all of which are fraught with complex hierarchies and expectations. Alternating between big-picture concepts (e.g., western versus Chinese notions of “efficiency”) and concrete do’s and don’ts (do give a nice bottle of cognac as a gift, but never, ever give a clock), the book is a crash course in avoiding major social gaffes.

    Monfret concedes (and I tend to agree) that you are not going to torpedo a big business deal by, say, declining a second helping of chicken feet because most Chinese give westerners sufficient cultural wiggle room. That being said, your causing a loss of “face” can hurt you and your business venture.

    Most English speakers have a general grasp of what it means to “lose face” and westerners certainly value their egos and reputations. But for the Chinese, Monfret emphasizes that causing someone to lose face is easier and more serious than most westerners realize. Perhaps most concerning is how difficult it is to restore face once the damage is done—if you want any shot at making amends, you had better use the right variant of the Chinese word for “sorry” and follow the other tips Monfret sets forth in her section on apologies. There is no doubt that knowing China’s cultural customs can aid you in doing business in China and Saving Face in China makes for a quick and enjoyable way to get there.

    Saving Face acknowledges the oddness of Chinese social customs without belittling Chinese culture, focusing instead on the historical and psychological context of these traditions. Embracing both the absurdity and the dead-seriousness of the Chinese concept of “face,” Monfret presents a great deal of information in a straightforward, guidebook-like style that’s perfectly suited for a casual in-flight read. My only beef with the book was that it read as though it had not been reviewed by a native-speaking English editor. As a French major who lived two years in France (during 4th grade and my junior year in college), I mention this as partial revenge.
    Tags: business culture, China’s business customs, Chinese business culture, Chinese culture, Doing Business in China, etiquette, Face (sociological concept)

    Dan Harris is internationally regarded as a leading authority on legal matters related to doing business in China and in other emerging economies in Asia. Forbes Magazine, Business Week, Fortune Magazine, BBC News, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Economist, CNBC, The New York Times, and many other major media players, have looked to him for his perspective on international law issues.

  10. Ines Pljakic

    Lydia, I think that no matter the job position or a company, if there is no dress code – business casual should always be the choice! It’s elegant, professional and most of all, comfortable 🙂

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  12. Rachel Lannister

    Thanks for the very informative article. You stated that a business that doesn’t understand that customer relations have everything to do with success will not be around long. I had heard in the past that service training for business was beneficial. Based on your writing, it makes sense that a business would want to invest a lot into making sure that their employees were trained to be polite, and trained to give good service.

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  17. Harold Hargrave

    Greetings! Quite helpful advice on this article! It is the little changes that make the largest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  18. Gavin Jacquez

    I really like what you guys are usually up too. This kind of clever work and reporting! Keep up the terrific works. I’ve added you guys to my blogroll.

  19. Igoriok

    Try going to a busy restaurant at lunchtime. Look around you at what people are wearing and see if you don’t make judgments about who they are, their line of business, their personalities and their competencies. Think about how you feel when you are dressed in your usual business attire as opposed to casual dress. Your choice of business apparel speaks to your professional behavior and credibility. It is important to understand how to dress for business if you wish to promote yourself and your organization in a positive manner.

  20. Linda Skudlark

    Very idealistic but good… if you are human you will try even if you do not live up to the expectation of others. If we can show kindness and careful teachings to one another perhaps we can blend a bit better… we have a long road that needs careful attention… and jobs will flourish… minds will be filled and great discoveries will occur… all to benefit mankind. I hope.

  21. Edward Campbell

    My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was right. This post truly made my day. You can’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  22. Elizabeth Cockerill

    I think that everything posted was very logical. But, what about this? Suppose you were to create a killer title? I am not suggesting your information isn’t good, however suppose you added a headline to possibly grab people’s attention? I mean “How Long Are You Keeping Your Customers on Hold?” is a little vanilla. You might glance at Yahoo’s home page and watch how they create news headlines to get people to click. You might try adding a video or a related pic or two to get people interested about what you’ve written. Just my opinion, it would make your blog a little bit more interesting.

  23. Bonnie Davis

    Thank you Lydia for saying what so many are thinking. We need to do better… to go high. Let’s band together after the election and see if we can’t create a better world.

  24. Efrain

    Hello! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Terrific blog and wonderful design and style.

  25. Georgetta

    You can definitely see your expertise in the work you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

  26. Vonnie

    Appreciating the commitment you put into your site and in depth information you provide. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while tat isn’t the same out of date rehashed material. Wonderful read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

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  28. Cat

    I have been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  29. Joni

    I truly appreciate this post. Iˇve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thx again

  30. Abigail

    Meetings are both a pleasure and a pain – this is a great piece. You’re right – it is important to remember that everyone in that room has a say on what goes on and should be listened to. Thanks for sharing your views!

  31. Mr. Smith

    Appreciate the time and energy you put into your blog and in-depth information you provide. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Excellent read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  32. Mohamed

    What you posted made a ton of sense. But, consider this, suppose you were to create a killer title? I am not suggesting your content isn’t good, but suppose you added something to possibly get folk’s attention? I mean “An Email Etiquette Dilemma – Is It Hey, Hi or Dear” is a little vanilla. You might peek at Yahoo’s home page and note how they write news titles to grab people to click. You might try adding a video or a related pic or two to grab people interested about everything you’ve got to say. In my opinion, it would bring your website a little bit more interesting.

  33. Chloe Dortch

    Your style is unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity. Guess I’ll just bookmark this site.

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  37. Tom Szabo

    OK, I have a slanted view of this post/issue. I’m a photographer and much of my business comes from professionals and executives who need head shots for business. Needless to say I’m not impressed with the people using LInkedIn and don’t use a photo of themselves for their profile OR crop out all of their friends from a group shot, but you still see someone’s hand on their shoulder. Do they really think they look professional?

    In addition, knowing I’m a photographer why would they ask to “friend” me under the same profile photo circumstances? Frankly I think it’s rude. Maybe it’s because I’m NOT a millennial?? Thoughts/comments?

    1. Lydia Ramsey

      Tom, I would agree that most people who want to connect with others on LinkedIn are trying to sell you something. It is rarely a mutually beneficial relationship. And yes, it is unprofessional to create a LinkedIn account without a photo.

  38. Pingback: Email Etiquette - When Will We Ever Learn? - Ramsey's Rules

  39. Greg Tamblyn

    As Franklin P Jones said, “The problem with being punctual is that nobody’s there to appreciate it.”
    That’s an amusing little story about the garage. Maybe there’s a blog post in it? “Stuff to do when you’re stuck in the garage in nice clothes.”

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  45. Veronica Marks

    My brother is in medical school right now, and I think this article would help him a lot. He is doing his rotations, so he sees a lot of patients. I like the tip to practice professional meeting and greeting. He would definitely benefit from doing a little practicing beforehand. I’ll have to send this to him!

    1. Lydia Ramsey

      Thank you, Veronica. I am delighted that you found my article helpful and worthy of forwarding to your brother. My intention was to help up and coming physicians learn a soft skill that is all too often overlooked in medical school. I wish him great success.

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  48. serp checker

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every
    day. It’s always helpful to read articles
    from other writers and use something from other sites.

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  50. Audrea

    I’m not sure exactly why but this website is loading extremely slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.


    Some professions get highly turned off by the use of the wrong etiquette; as with most areas of life, especially in Britain, we judge someone within a few seconds of seeing their email – a truth that will get the naive decorum detractors piping up.

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  54. Josh Lee

    Great tips. Thanks for the post.
    One thing that I always wondered about though is what to do with the business cards that I received.
    When do you put the received card away and where? In a meeting it is easy. I put it in my notepad for reference to ask questions or make comments to the person as I forget the names all the time… but it’s always really awkward when I receive one standing up. Any thoughts?

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  63. Elizabeth H. Cottrell

    This is a tough one, Lydia. My father taught all five of his children how to do a firm (but not crushing) handshake, and to look people in the eye when greeting them. I would miss the handshake if it were discouraged for public health reasons, but desperate times may call for desperate measures. Without the handshake, we would need to become even better at delivering and reading body language or making sure that we had words to accompany the hand bump to warm up its meaning.

  64. Lydia Ramsey

    Thank you, Greg. I always appreciate your comments and unique perspective. I am currently watching the PBS series on the Roosevelt family and trying to picture FDR and Winston Churchill doing the fist pump.

  65. Greg Tamblyn

    I’m anxiously waiting for the “Lydia Ramsey Guide to the Good Manners Business Fist-Bump.” I think it’s America’s next great cultural / healthcare export. And only YOU, Lydia, can show us the way. I’m seeing a DVD product with multiple clips of high-powered executives, politicians, and entertainers demonstrating the non-awkward, friendly-but-firm, put-’em-at-ease, high and low, knuckle-to-knuckle interactions, with running commentary by the esteemed Lydia Ramsey.

    Or we could just bring back gloves.

    Good article – thanks!

  66. Mary Saunders

    I am so proud of you Lydia. I still use your book as a reference and gift.
    Like you, I will work until I take my last breath. I found retirement very boring. As a Nurse I see people die earlier because they have stopped. Scary, when you rest you rust!
    Cone see us!
    Mary and Jim

  67. Stephanie


    Enjoy reading your great articles each month.
    Can you share some advice on office gossipers and how to avoid their deceitful gossip? I work in a setting (this bugs me) whereby a person will come to me and badly gossip about someone and later that day you will see them laughing and talking with the individual they just put down.
    How can you deal with a gossiper even though you have to work in close proximity with him/her? HELP! (Sometimes telling them you’re busy doesn’t help – they just push themselves on you).

    Thank you for your help.

    1. Lydia Ramsey

      Stephanie, I know this kind of situation is difficult to handle. I suggest being direct with this person and telling him or her that you don’t have time to talk about your co-worker. A simple reply that says, “I don’t have the time and don’t care to talk about someone behind their back. If you will excuse me, I have work to do.” Being direct is the only way to get your point across.

  68. Greg Tamblyn

    Wow! With house guests like that, who needs family? Those are some sweet friends you have, Lydia.
    I too just had a house guest for 4 days – a friend of a friend in town for a conference. Very nice gal (from Georgia!), but except for the linens, she did none of the things you listed. Oh well, she’s still young.
    On another note, every time I stay in someone’s home, I can’t help but think about the Guy Endore-Kaiser quote: “What’s the deal with the monogrammed towels? We KNOW they’re your towels.”


  69. Mary Enright-Olson

    Dear Lydia.
    Very nicely said.
    Every house/home is different. I believe that courtesy and consideration, communication and clarity, are essential to everyone enjoying the time and space shared.
    I admit to having a flaw – I would never wrestle anyone for a pooper scooper.
    Your mantra “It’s not about the rules—it’s about the relationships” set the stage for this wonderful visit.
    May the group gather again.

  70. Kathy

    This is so true! Our daughter got married last year and I was shocked at the people that didn’t bother to return a self addressed/stamped envelope… for a wedding! Then again, the mother of the groom would casually invite people from the office that never even received an invitation. She told me to stop worrying and if we ran out of shrimp, so what! Can you say nightmare? Courtesy in general has become a lost art. I’m glad my mother raised me to know better. 🙂

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  72. Julia Su

    Dear Lydia, Thank you for your Holiday wishes and I wish you the same.

    I have been following your newsletter closely and I appreciate your useful and important tips for etiquette in different situations.

    Also, I like Maya Angelou’s words, which are thought provoking.

    Thank you for your hard work. I will continue to read them.

    Julia Su

  73. Linda Jo Ayers


    As always I so enjoy your newsletter and I love to share it with my co-workers.

    Thank you so much for this article about LinkedIn, another article that will benefit my company.

    Hope you are doing well.

    Linda Jo- Ayers CAP-OM

  74. Karen Hickman

    Great advice, as always, Lydia.
    I’d like to add the importance of businesses empowering their staff to make on the spot decisions and use their best judgment in handling a customer. As a former retail store owner, where we prided ourselves on our exceptional service, we always empowered our staff to make those decisions… to offer a discount or make an adjustment on the price of something if they thought it would serve our customers. And we told them we would trust and back up their decision. The only thing we would not back up was rudeness to our customers.
    Our staff never abused that trust. We had a great team.

    1. Lydia Ramsey

      Thank you, Karen, for your comment. If everyone ran their business the way you ran yours, all would thrive and prosper. Customers would be happy and business owners would see the benefit in the bottomline.

  75. Julia Su

    Nowadays people email, rather than talk face to face, even though their offices or even cubicles are just next to each other. It’s sad but it seems to be a trend that human relationship has been decreasing in the world we live in and there is no way to reverse. Thank you for keeping on educating the public the need to maintain proper etiquette in a civilized society. I enjoy reading all the articles you have been sending me.

  76. Mary Johnson

    I am one of three church organists. When the pastor complimented me in front of the congregation, it sounded like a complaint about the others. It has bothered me ever since!

  77. John Murn

    I was surprised by the “thank you note” advice after an interview. I’ve done a lot of recruiting over many years. The odd occasions I’ve received a follow up note after an interview have been from candidates who are pushing quite hard and have already presented their case more than adequately. My response has either been neutral or a little negative – feeling the person is on my back.
    It could be a cultural difference in Australia but I would advise candidates to definitely thank the interviewer(s) verbally at the conclusion of the interview but to be cautious about sending follow up material unless it has been requested.
    I do look upon enquiries and research done about the organisation and the role etc prior to interview as showing real interest and a positive, likewise for a well prepared application.
    Kind regards,
    John Murn.

    1. Lydia Ramsey

      John, thank you for taking the time to share your perspective. I agree that the note should not come across as overly aggressive. Many of the recruiters with whom I have spoken do appreciate that short note of gratitude and say that it makes the candidiate stand out positively for them. It seems to come down to knowing the culture and the interviewer.

  78. Denise Wakeman

    I agree with both you and Erin, Lydia. I check my email first thing in order to take care of the people who are counting on me. I’ve also had similar experiences with reporters, both with getting interviews because I replied immediately, and with missing out because I did not respond right away. Thanks for sharing your opinion.

  79. Erin

    Great points about the urgent emails! I couldn’t agree more.

    I recently received an email from a reporter that needed something right away for featured story. If I had missed it or responded after someone else that would have been a missed opportunity.

    To make my email inbox more “pleasurable” I have rules setup so all my newsletters, updates, notices, etc don’t stay in the main stream inbox. This really helps me keep my finger on the pulse of my business and respond to urgent items right away.

    Thanks so much for sharing your point of view, it’s spot on!

  80. Deborah Dickson

    Harken to the voice of reason! As always, you are so apropos to address such a commonplace behavior…while commonplace, the behavior still speaks volumes about your consideration for another.

  81. Joanne Blake

    As a fellow business etiquette trainer I agree with your sentiments. We are all guilty of inadvertently hurting others. 99.9% of negative impressions are done unintentionally. Once you apologize sincerely then it’s important to forget about it and move on.

  82. Susan Clark

    Yes, we all misstep and should acknowledge our mistakes. When we are on the receiving end we can be gracious and forgive easily – we have all found ourselves in those awkward moments. I appreciate those people who brush off the blunder and laugh along with me.

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  84. Sandra

    What are your thoughts on capri pants? The company I currently work operates under a business casual dress code but does not allow them. Most likely because too many people took them to the too casual side – shorter option (pedal pushers) Personally, I think that if they are of the appropriate length… say 5-7 inches below the knee they should be acceptable. What are your thoughts on this? And if you agree, any suggestions on how to approach this with an employer?

  85. Deborah Dickson

    Absolutely! Being gracious is always timeless. I was raised that manners make a lady or a gentleman. As a woman, I try to open the door for those approaching as I exit as common courtesy. Some smile and say thank you in response but others may not. Regardless, my face will wear the smile no matter what others do!

  86. Anonymous

    I grew up in the Western U.S., but when I went away to college in the South, I was surprised at (and truly appreciated) how so many of the male students held doors open for the women on campus. How refreshing that was. I’m glad to know there are still parents and grandparents who teach this to their sons and grandsons.

  87. Merrill Grace Cote

    love the story about teaching little boys to hold doors for ladies. I think I will give it a try in my family!

  88. Casie Smtih

    If you sell product, consider including your card with the product when it is delivered to your customer. Same goes for services. For example, if you are an auto mechanic, consider slipping your business card in your customers car visor, or create a sticker business card that will adhere to a discrete area of the customers car windsheild. If you provide regular on-site services, consider a business card magnet to be prominently placed on a refrigerator, or filing cabinet. Keep in mind, you dont need to actually sell product, or deliver service to ensure your business card gets and stays in the hands of others. Include your business card with every piece of correspondence: quotes, RFPs, letters, even photocopy your business card and include it in fax transmissions. When mailing out information, include it in the mailing by stapling your card (if possible) to the bottom or top corner of your letterhead.*

    Look at the helpful short article on our own website

  89. Greg Tamblyn

    My first impression of this article is “excellent!”

    Especially the parts about phones and laughing at yourself.

    I just witnessed my first bar mitzvah, and this very poised 13 year old young man stumbled on a couple of sections of the Torah. When he did, in front of 100+ people, he just chuckled and continued. Very charming.

    Thanks, Lydia.

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  91. Henriette Watanabe

    There are some folks who cram up their business cards with all the information it can hold. This is not done, for a business card is business card and not sales literature. Let the additional info be there on your sales literature and keep the business card as simple as possible. This will ensure that the card will be able to pass across the information it was supposed to convey immediately. Would you rather want that the CEO of a reputed company scanned all through your business card just to find your contact information? A proper business card design should have as much `white space as possible on it. People should be able to access the necessary information immediately.’

    Most up-to-date write-up on our web-site

  92. Jerrod Weitnauer

    It is a fine summer morning and you are in a happy mood. You have just returned from a long and important overseas business trip and you have attended a number of seminars and exhibitions. As you sit down with a cup of coffee your secretary enters and hands you a stiff piece of rectangular paper. She announces that a well-dressed man had come to meet you regarding an important business deal and had left behind his business card. As you glance through the card, you are impressed by the quality of the board used to make the card. What strikes you is the superb color combination the logo and the lettering of the card uses. Your eyes are riveted to the same and you just cannot take them away.;

    My very own web portal

  93. Dell

    I thoroughly enjoy the reality checks concerning
    etiquette of any description. By the way, I have really “haddit” with flip flops and “under the table and music stand texting, etc.” I think those devices should be checked at the doors of all rehearsal halls, all restaurants and some other places too numerous to mention.
    And please Lord, have people back in shoes instead of flip-flops sometime soon.

  94. Lydia Ramsey

    Arlene, thank you for sharing your story about why office friendships are not always what they seem to be. Your example is terrific. I hope you will continue to join with your expertise and insights.

  95. arlene

    As a Leadership Coach and Motivational Speaker you and I are soooo in sync!

    I tell clients: “there is a difference between being friends and being friendly”. Before she became a client of mine ‘Barbara’, under considerable personal strain shared the details with ‘Sue’. At a meeting the “friendly ear”, aka ‘Sue’ revealed to the Chief: “Barbara’ is quite fragile right now….this new assignment might just cause her excessive anxiety. Why don’t I assume the new responsibility?” Who got the company-wide visibility, the bonus, the promotion?

    Thanks to technology “Instant Intimacy” is promoted. The effects can be disastrous.

  96. Angela Yate

    Excellent post, as always. It takes into account that professionals are still human beings and that relationships can and do start at work when people of common interests start spending long hours together. This blog presents a good balance of head/heart savvy.

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  99. Greg Tamblyn


    Thanks for this helpful and most important reminder. I know it’ll come in handy if I ever learn how to text. People should understand that texting during Thanksgiving dinner is rude, and the traditional way to ignore your family on Thanksgiving is watching football.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  100. Jo Ann Lohne

    Happy Thaksgiving Lydia,

    I so look forward to your etiquette missives! You always nail the point with humor on the side…

    Thank you,
    Jo Ann Lohne, Ohio

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  104. Milka Stanojevich

    I agree wholeheartedly with this article. However, I would broaden this article to mention the fact that it is due to the general lack of civility in out society that is creating the problem. If people do not comprehend how others perceive them in general, they certainly will not make the connection to their professional lives. Bad manners start at the personal level and become a habit to continue into the work environment. Lending items to someone you work with and never getting them back is just inconsiderate, people who use “ain’t” at work should simply know better, and people who refuse to act as a team and expect others to do things for them are just some of the things that can make a workplace a comfortable environment or one that you eventually want to leave for more professional company.

  105. erp

    Your style is so unique compared to other people I’ve read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just book mark this

  106. Penelope


    I really enjoyed reading your article on the email saluations and found it a useful reminder for my colleagues.

    I tend to use good morning/afternoon as a formal greeting in place of dear. Dear does feel a bit old fashioned and better suited to handwritten letters. I also use dear for job applications.

  107. Lydia Ramsey

    Pen, you are absolutely right that the closing of the email is equally as important as the greeting. That is the subject of another post. Meanwhile I believe you should have an appropriate closing, your name and below your name a complete signature block with all your contact information.

  108. Pen

    I think the ending of the email is just as controversial. Thanks, Regards, Kind Regards….. and do you put your name or formal email signature?????

  109. Princess Hazel

    Hello Ms. Ramsey,
    I am responding to your newsletter on “Email Etiquette”, I agree with your statement as I was taught in Etiquette School the above as stated. I do use “Hi” and the person’s name when speaking to my close friends via email. And when I email clients I use Dear and Hello, and get the response I need from them in a timely manner with appreciation on my emails. Thank you for your emails and I look forward to learning more from you.
    Be Blessed

  110. Elizabeth Greenfield

    Dear Lydia:
    I agree completely with everything you wrote. The fact that written communication no longer requires finding proper paper, pen and stamp does not relieve us of our social duty to be polite and show respect. And not until your correspondent either gives you leave to address him/her informally (“Please call me Beth”) or signs correspondence informally may you use anything but proper address form. Also, I think “hey” is not only too informal for business, but too rude for almost any use. “Hey” is not a greeting; it’s what you yell at someone when you need to attract attention.

  111. Brenda

    Hello Ms. Ramsey,
    My name is xxxx and I love to receive your emails regarding Business Etiquette. I am responding to your request to give input regarding what I think about business email salutations. I do not like the term “dear” as it is too personal and very unprofessional in the work place. I personally think it is slightly “creepy” and very antiquated. As I audit computer systems, I have to send many emails to people I do not know and I have found that if I use “Hello Mr. xxxx” that I am interpeted as being formal and respectful. I immediately give them my name and reason for sending my email. I have found that everyone I have addressed this way responds very positively and normally perform the tasks I request regarding the problems that were found during my audits. This includes mangers or other employees that out-rank me. I never use “hi” or “hey”
    unless it is a close friend or work aquatance. I do often use, “Good Morning or Afternoon” to work aquaintances when I need to be more formal. With my small group, they would be insulted and think I were being snobish if I were not casual in my salutations. I hope my input is helpful. Again, thank you for your emails. I look forward to getting them. – BI (Web Consultant)

  112. Frank Murphy

    Good Morning Lydia:

    For personal contact, (face-to-face and phone), I always use Mr. or Ms. until asked to use their first name. Ditto for e-mail except when e-mail inquiries and replies start with “Frank” or Dear Frank”, then I revert to using their first name.

    For phone and e-mail, I generally open with Good Morning, Lydia, or Hello Lydia. Never “hey.” Hay is for horses ! 🙂

  113. Beatrice

    In business I use email daily to company affiliates in a global business environment. I always use Dear….
    I only use Hello or Hi for internal customers or personal. Never Hey or just their name.

  114. Greg Tamblyn

    Hey there Lydia!

    Since many people do expect a certain amount of humor and informality from me, I try to oblige without being irritatingly flip. I always like it when people take the time to amuse me in an email, even if it’s for bidness, and I try to make my own emails fun but not frivolous. I also think if you can be different – but not wacko – you get more attention. So it’s a balance. You want to be fun but still taken seriously. Is that an oxymoron?

    Great article – thanks!

  115. Anne Boyd

    Dear, Dear Lydia, Thank you so much for this clear and reasonable answer to the salutation issue. I use the “double dear ” to express just what it sounds like: Southern, a bit old-fashioned and very sincere. I wish more people read your blog and acted accordingly!

  116. Olga Hoenes

    Dear Ms. Ramsey, I agree with your article! This is a pet peeve of mine along with not cleaning up your emails that you forward on to other people. Thank you for this article.


  117. David Morgan, CCIM

    “Dear Mr Smith” is now too formal for e-mail.

    My standard greeting is now to state the person’s name, followed by “Hi” or “Hello” or “Good Morning/Afternoon”, as the situation demands. Examples, in descending order of formality:

    Mr. Smith, Hello
    Don, Good Morning
    Don, Hi

    To me, “Hey” implies a degree of informality and enthusiasm that is not common in business. I do use it, but sparingly in personal communications. For personal e-mails, my usual is, as above, “Lydia, Hi”

  118. David Morgan, CCIM

    Re: Male Business Attire
    Even back in the 1970s, when IBM had the reputation that all their salesmen wore navy suits, white shirts and ties — they allowed flexibility within local custom. Sales Reps in Miami and Honolulu wore short sleeved shirts and no ties, if that’s what the customers wore.

    For business attire, the key is to dress to a similar standard (perhaps a little higher) as the client or customer.

    When we went to “business casual” dress at a large American-owned corporation in Canada in the 1980s, the rule was simple: no jeans, and all shirts had to be collared. At first, people who wore jackets and ties got “ribbbed” with comments like “I hope you get the job…” — but soon people realized that if someone “dressed up”, it was because something on their schedule that day required a different dress standard.

  119. StaceyG

    I agree with Paul, #12 is very important and often overlooked! Even if the email is just a few lines, I feel better writing, re-reading, then adding the appropriate subject line and lastly, the recipient’s email address.

    Thank you, Lydia, for this thorough list. It seems email etiquette does sometimes fall by the wayside in both business and personal matters.

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  121. Susan

    I love your practical – easy to follow tips! Especially in the hot summers in Sacramento. Thanks Lydia! Keep your wisdom flowing!

    1. Lydia Ramsey

      If you are speaking about how to handle that issue following the meal, I recommend something as simple as breath mints or breath strips. No chewing gum! Women can even carry a small toothbrush and toothpaste in their handbag, then excuse themselves after the meal to brush their teeth.

    1. Lydia Ramsey

      In my next newsletter I plan to go into more specifics about dress for men and women in different industries. I will address summer attire in educational institutions. Thank you for asking. Let me know if I answer your question in the next post. For now I recommend a business casual attire that is comfortable but still professional.

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  123. Jill Evans Kryston

    Thank you, Lydia, for posting your timely article on graduation behavior. I just wrote an article for my local newspaper about that subject and also, have a blog started on the Defining Manners Group on LinkedIn. I appreciate having your expert opinion on graduation behavior to back up my own sentiments and those of other etiquette experts across the country.

  124. Betty Bart

    I agree that this is a time for celebrating the achievements of your child. Arresting the parent for excessive cheering is a little much. We are so proud of our children that the happiness is something that we forget to control

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  128. Rachel Wells

    I am searching for an etiquette class/camp for my two daughters (ages 9 and 13) for this summer. I didn’t see anything like that on your website, but I thought maybe you might be able to direct me to someone who may be able to help me. This seems to be a lost art!

    1. Lydia Ramsey

      Dear Ms. Wells, there are etiquette consultants who teach children’s etiquette. That is not an area I work in. I recommend that you look again online and search for “manners”. You should find several names of people who work with children there. Of course, location is probably a factor. Where are you located? If I come across any of those names I have seen, I will let you know. Best, Lydia

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  132. Mary Rose Threet


    I have used your book, “Manners That Sell,” as a valuable resource when talking to our young sales trainees about the importance of courtesy when dealing with customers. This article is so timely and is such an important topic! Thanks so much for taking the time to help all of us become better (and more successful) professionals!

    Mary Rose Threet

  133. venkatesh

    hi lydia,

    I used to get more sweat rather than normal person and i used to spray perfume which makes me more comfort when dealing with business..

    is that wrong

    1. Lydia Ramsey

      Hi Venkatesh,

      Please accept my apology for not responding to you sooner. The comment you sent to my blog site got buried in all the holiday email. I am trying to clean out my inbox today and just found it. Here is my response to your issue, if you perspire a lot and have problems with body odor, sometimes adding perfume spray only makes it more obvious. I suggest bathing twice a day. Of course, you can’t do that during work. Use a good deodorant with anti-perspirant. Always start the day with a clean shirt. You could also reapply the deodorant halfway through the day.

      I hope that is helpful,


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  135. Peter Krause

    I am confused with your email. Yes, I want to continue receiving email from you but don’t want to sign up a second time and start receiving each issue twice. I can’t seem to find the place to confirm I still want to receive email from you?


    1. Lydia Ramsey

      Hello Peter,

      I totally understand why you are confused. So am I. I apologize for all the confusion that this change has created.

      You have two choices:

      1. You can click the link in the email you received earlier to confirm that you are a legitimate subscriber and want to be on my list.
      2. You can go to my In the top right hand corner of the home page you will see the option to subscribe to the newsletter.

      The system will catch any duplications and toss one out. You will not recieve two of each newsletter from me. If you do, let me know immediately since that would be a breach on the part of email vendor I am using.

      Please advise me if you need any more help from me.

      I appreciate your being a loyal subscriber.

      All the best,


  136. Matthew Engquist

    Great tips! I always carry around my business card holder in case I met someone and I need to give them my contact details formally. My business card is very simple. It sticks to the professional theme, which is essential.

  137. Drainage surveys

    I agree on what you have share,Since Email are easy to transfer to different terminals you really need to be careful for whatever messages or documents you send because you are the one who is accountable for any problems it may take.

  138. Christina Ricci

    Saying thanks has been a lost art in business customer service. A word of gratitude is something priceless that can’t be bought by anybody. As you said, it’s like saying ‘no problem!’ People will appreciate that because no one likes problems. Thank you Lydia!

  139. Frank Murphy

    Hi Lydia:

    Once again your message is timely. Let me tell you what happened yesterday.

    I am working in OK and staying in a Holiday Inn Express. Yesterday, it was 105 and I returned to my room for a cool shower, only to find that the bed had been made and nothing else done. After my shower, I went to the front desk where the housekeeper was talking to the manager.

    When I asked if I could get some coffee, she visibly jumped and began apologizing, saying that she had the whole hotel (all 4 floors) to clean by herself because several housekeepers failed to show. She had written herself a note to return to the room to finish it, but at 6 PM, was still working feverishly to get all the rooms made up.

    I told her that we all had days like that and there was nothing to be concerned about. I was not unhappy but sympathetic. She was at the room less than a minute later to finish up.

    Today (108), I returned to the room to find a note signed by the manager and several of the front desk and housekeeping staff apologizing for any inconvenience I was caused. On the note was a basket full of bottled water, candy, snacks, nuts, and beef jerky. Now THAT’S a great way to say thanks.

    I am sending a letter to the IHG group commending the manage and staff. They know how to treat their guests. I was very encouraged by this display of concern and consideration, and I hope you are too. It fit right in with your message.


  140. Javis Lounsbury

    Both of these have an impact on how you’ll run or work for your company. Having both of these good is a rewarding gift for an individual. Although going to the beach is a pretty exciting thought, I’ll have to work first, you know. The beach will not leave me but my work can. LOL!

  141. Selene McGraw

    I disagree with you about your views on casual
    Friday. It’s there to break the rudiments of the normal work days, but I agree that “casual” gets out of hand. Employees should remember to wear their clothes FOR the company and to keep them well-pressed and clean.

  142. Joe Williams

    “The key to effective and impressive e-mail starts with your greeting”
    “The key to effective and impressive VOICEMAIL starts with your greeting”

  143. Greg

    Lydia, the LinkedIn article was excellent. I hope everybody in the online world reads it. Especially all those people I’ve never heard of who want to link to me – with no explanation who they are. Da noive of dose people!

  144. Nursing assistant classes

    Business etiquette is not something to be demonstrated on an occasional or “as-needed” basis. Adding the polish that builds profits should be a daily commitment, not a monthly or annual one.

  145. Lydia Ramsey

    You are so right. This kind of customer “service” or lack there of, is exactly what drives customers away. There is always another competitor around the corner. I did manage to keep my cool, mostly becasue I figured the agent was the one with the problem, plus an etiquette consltant is not allowed to display poor manners. I could damamge my reputation!

  146. Sonia Roody

    Wow, that’s a really difficult situation! But first off, you should be commended for not blowing off steam for such a lousy service. How were you able to control yourself? I hope the company would improve its services, because incidents like these could really drive customers away.

  147. Cora Bullock

    One of the realities behind this is that good tippers get good service, which is very important in the restaurant industry. Remember that these people are handling the food you eat! So, if you can afford to go to a restaurant, then you can also extend your wallet a bit for the waiters and service crew.

  148. Safety

    Very well said, as a business owner I need to send a copy to all employees. But some people no matter how many times you tell them will always think it’s not them.
    Thanks so much for your post

  149. Jenna Schrock

    This is very useful, especially for people who have jobs which require them to socialize very often (secretaries, receptionists… yes, it does matter even if you’re not the CEO!). It may seem weird at first because we do this sort of “grooming” at home, but you’ll get used to it in time. It also gives you a moment to refresh during a hectic day!

  150. Lydia Ramsey

    Barry, thank you for those very kind words and for sending along my blog to your friends on FaceBook. My goal is to help people be successful by providing pertinent information on business etiquette.

  151. Barry Lebow

    Lydia, I have 2,400 FB friends. Today, they got your excellent post on business cards. We teach a program in Canada, the Accredited Senior Agent designation and you won’t recall but I contacted you a few years back about using some of your material. The students love it, the Top 12. We recommend that they join your newsletter and promote you. You are a delight, love your material and writing style. Pleasure.

  152. kratom

    I am following your blog regularly and got great information. I really like the tips you have given. Thanks a lot for sharing. Will be referring a lot of friends about this. Keep blogging

  153. seo az

    Great job here. I really enjoyed what you had to say. Keep going because you definitely bring a new voice to this subject. Not many people would say what you’ve said and still make it interesting. Well, at least I’m interested. Cant wait to see more of this from you.

  154. Rosemarie Rossetti

    Thank you Lydia for bringing this salutation to my attention! I have been looking at all my incoming email and seldom see “Dear..” used. I am purposely using “Dear…” in my outgoing email now where before I used “Hi…” You are THE authority as far as I’m concerned when it comes to etiquette.
    Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D.

  155. Dale C.

    Everyone is free to use the salutation or the slang, but if we’re trying to make a good impression we’ll want to choose our words according to “their” expectations.
    I stick with Lydia’s advice and not the advice of a “former trucker” and not
    the advice of one who tells me I’ll save time by not typing “dear” … what’s
    he thinking ??? Must be a very slow one finger keyboarder!

  156. Bonnie Davis

    It seems to me that our culture has gotten too casual and the most basic manners are considered outdated. Lydia reminds us that we can impress our potential and current clients by adapting some of those more formal manners in the beginning of our relationship.

  157. Lydia Ramsey

    Janice, thank you for your support. I think you are absolutely right that some of us have been tweeting too much.


    The English language is a wonderful thing–words can have multiple or nuanced meanings. To assume that “dear” is simply a formal salutation, and an outdated one at that, tells me that some of us have been tweeting a little too much. Kudos to you, Lydia, for keeping the word in our written correspondence!

  159. Lydia Ramsey

    Thank you for your kind words. I definitely plan to continue speaking and writing on business etiquette and doing what I can to eliminate rudeness in the workplace and elsewhere.

  160. Tealia

    I would never think to see that email and voicc mail would not be so uneffective! thank you so much for sharing that

  161. merchant services

    Hey everyone. Interesting idea for a blog. I have been checking out a lot of blogs and forums recently. Some are really informative some are entertaining and some are a real crack up. I’ve got to admit it, good job on this blog, I’ll be sure to look in again real soon.

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    Hey everyone. Interesting idea for a blog. I have been checking out a lot of blogs and forums recently. Some are really informative some are entertaining and some are a real crack up. I’ve got to admit it, good job on this blog, I’ll be sure to look in again real soon.

  163. Lydia Ramsey

    Thank you, Maxwell, for taking the time to comment. You are right that business etiquette is the key to success. Using the right manners in business can help you outclass and outlast your competition. Happy Holidays!

  164. Maxwell

    If you are planning to make a good impression for your business with those you work with. Then it is must to focus on business etiquettes. These etiquettes will help to boost your potential for success and also help to build your personal networking abilities.

  165. Lydia Ramsey

    Namitha, thank you for raising this question. It is a challenging one since as you say, formal dressing in India is different from that of the rest of the world. This is not as much of an issue for men as it is for women. I am working on an article that will address the topic. Please send me any comments you have regarding professional dress for women in India. Best to you.

  166. Lydia Ramsey

    Namitha, thank you for your comment on my post. I always appreciate hearing from my readers and am eager to provide them with useful and practical information. Please let me know of future needs.

  167. Info Etiquettepage

    One of the most important part of business etiquette is punctuality. Thank you for explaining what punctuality really means and how much does it really matter in the growth of an individual and as well as growth of business. It is really the true heart and soul of a good business.

  168. aarne

    Try living in New York City – a veritable cesspool!
    Everytime I descend into the subway, I make a prayer:
    Dear Lord, PLEASE, let me emerge as clean as when I entered. let no one spill their Starbucks on me this morning. Thank You. Amen.
    A dean up at Columbia University – $50,000 per annum- told me: “Daily I receive emails from students addressed: “YO, Dean…”
    I too wax ecstatic when a phone is answered by a smiling, enunciating person.
    Ah, well….
    A Coach and kindred spirit

  169. Lydia Ramsey

    I recommend that you leave off your contact information other than company name and your name. Adding e-mail address and phone number makes your holiday greeting too commercial. You would obviously include that information with your future marketing materials and other communications.
    Happy Holidays!

  170. craig

    is it proper to include phone and email to holiday postcard if sending to a monthly list? client know sender and get offers all year long? anybody thoughts?