Your Business Etiquette IQ: Are You Hireable? Referable? Promotable?

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I recently received a newsletter from my friend and colleague Mark LeBlanc of Small Business Success. The title “Are You Referable” immediately caught my eye.  Mark  began his article by telling about a conference that he had attended and where he noted that most of the attendees were not referable.  He gave three reasons why he said he would not refer any of these people to anyone else he cared about.

  1. Poor dress
  2. Poor communication skills
  3. Poor behavior

Mark’s observations struck a chord with me.  As a business etiquette trainer, these are exactly the issues I address in my keynotes and seminars delivered to business people at all levels from new hires to experienced executives, from large corporations to small businesses.  Mark makes the point that most of these individuals knew better when they started out in their careers, but somewhere along the way they became complacent. They lost sight of the importance of good manners and basic etiquette skills in the workplace.. I have to agree.

In many of my business etiquette presentations, I find that those people who have achieved a certain level of success, decide that the soft skills aren’t so important after all. They believe that because of their expertise and experience that they can dress as they please, communicate as they please and behave as they please. And it is not only those who have made it, so to speak, but the newest generation entering the workplace has a “whatever” attitude.

In today’s tough economic times, that is dangerous thinking.There is too much competition to overlook the importance of professional appearance and conduct.So think about it. Are you hireable, referable and promotable? Do you look, speak and act like someone who deserves to be hired for the job, referred to other clients and promoted to the next level? If others are getting hired instead of you, if they are getting more new client referrals  or if you are being passed over for promotions, it is time to assess how you look and sound to other people.

It is all in perception. It is not how we see ourselves; it is how others see us.It is not how we feel about ourselves; it is how others feel about us. Basic business etiquette skills and good manners matter.

So what can you do about it?  Look into my business etiquette training courses, executive etiquette coaching and the many resources available on my website Manners That Sell.. From the way you dress, speak, write and eat (yes, I said eat), every detail counts. Now may be the time for you or your organization to consider adding the polish that builds profits.

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website,

5 thoughts on “Your Business Etiquette IQ: Are You Hireable? Referable? Promotable?

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  2. 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.


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