Foreword Reviews

Excuse Me

The Survival Guide to Modern Business Etiquette

In many modern-day workplaces, good manners are lacking, even nonexistent. There are numerous reasons for this harsh reality, but they are less important than the sensible solutions offered by business etiquette specialist Rosanne Thomas in her highly useful book.

Rather than adopting a preachy approach, Excuse Me is filled with workplace vignettes that feature multigenerational workers and illustrate both good and bad behavior. These examples, in addition to advice conveyed in a helpful, positive way by the author, elevate the book to the status of a “survival guide,” as the subtitle claims.

Throughout the book appear bullet-point lists that enhance the text, such as “Business Attire Rules,” “Cell Phone Self-Intervention,” and “Texting Tips.” At the end of each chapter, Thomas reinforces the key points in a section entitled “Remember.”

Excuse Me does an admirable job of touching on key areas of concern so employees can prevent typical gaffes. A chapter on “Business Behavior,” for example, makes no assumptions about “everyday manners” and provides some excellent pointers on holding productive meetings and working with teams.

Not surprisingly, several chapters concentrate on electronic communication and social media; here, Thomas offers sobering counsel: “Online, mistakes live forever.” Just as essential, though, is a chapter on business dining with smart advice about tables, toasting, and tipping.

Both novice and experienced workers will find a wealth of business etiquette in a book that, instead of excusing bad behavior, could help prevent it from happening in the first place.

Reviewed by Barry Silverstein

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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