LMA Communication

The Etiquette Edge:
Your Essential Etiquette Book for Business Success

The Etiquette Edge - Modern Manners for Business Success

The Etiquette Edge – Modern Manners for Business Success, was published in August 2016, by the American Management Association. This new version provides current updates that will enhance working relationships to build career advantage! Orders can be placed on Amazon.com.

Business Etiquette: Today’s Competitive Edge

You’ve got the education, the experience, and the skills for the job. But so do the other five top candidates. What will give you the competitive edge to hear those magical words you’ve got the job? Time after time, the person with the “it” factor comes out ahead. Sometimes people don’t even realize why they find someone so appealing, but it comes down to interpersonal know-how and effective communication. Whether you call it etiquette, social graces, or savoir-faire, these essential people skills have the power to make or break careers. Successful business men and women around the world are using this secret weapon to advance their careers and grow their businesses, and with The Etiquette Edge: Modern Manners for Business Success, you can, too.

The Finesse to Seal the Deal

Business etiquette goes far deeper than simple politeness and modern manners. Times have changed, and to harness the power of etiquette in today’s business world, you must offer more than the basics. Once you begin to apply the principles found in this book, you’ll quickly find that it’s really the fine details that separate mediocrity from wild success.

In this easy-to-read guide with actionable tips, The Etiquette Edge offers a comprehensive breakdown of everyday situations in which both employees and managers often find themselves. How confident are you in tense situations like workplace conflict, interviews, running a meeting, or pitching an idea to your boss? Are your habits, body language, social media use, and credibility serving you or subtly damaging your reputation? What is your personal brand saying about you to managers, clients, and coworkers? We live in times where relationship capital is king, and if you want a strong and healthy career, your human connections must also be in top condition.

Let The Etiquette Edge give you the edge you need to succeed. Order today.

Well Said: Reviews for The Etiquette Edge

Everyday Courtesy for Extraordinary Success

From day-to-day interactions in general society to thriving in the workplace to dealing with sensitive situations, you’ll find all the answers you need in The Etiquette Edge. Broken up into three sections to do a deep dive into each topic, this etiquette book will truly answer your questions and clear up confusion as to what is the best way to approach all types of circumstances. Because The Etiquette Edge is specifically targeted for work life, this guide will meet the needs of career-minded men and woman far better than other standard etiquette books.

Did you know that rude behavior isn’t just hurting people’s feelings – there is an actual financial price tag associated with incivility? The price of a society casting off courtesy is found in higher stress (and its associated health costs), financial losses, and can even go so far as putting our safety at risk. Fortunately, we can choose to make a difference with each human interaction we have every day and reap the benefits personally and as a community. You can experience greater success in all areas of life – including your bank account – with better etiquette and manners suited for modern society. Part One of The Etiquette Edge introduces the concept of courtesy, how it impacts individuals and businesses, and ways to cultivate a more congenial (and more successful) you. Topics include credibility, gratitude, non-verbal communication, what type of speech and information you should banish from your communication, the power of authenticity, listening as a life skill, the smart use of smart phones and social media post wisdom, and travel etiquette. At the end of this section, you won’t just be convinced that smart etiquette will give you a professional and personal edge in life – you’ll know how to lay the foundation for it.


Anyone who has said the wrong thing in a meeting understands how much it can impact your career. From failing to get a promotion to being outright fired, your mouth can get you into a lot of trouble. However, the opposite is also true. With a little priming and foresight, your words can boost your position, making your life (and the lives of everyone you interact with) that much more pleasant! In Part Two of this etiquette book, you’ll get into all things work-related and learn how a few tweaks in your behavior and word choice can deliver dramatic positive results. You’ll get the inside scoop on topics like interviewing, setting yourself up for success when starting a new job, good citizenship in the office, getting along with and communicating with your manager, e-mail etiquette, putting your cell phone to good use, dressing for success, making meetings matter (even virtual ones), and how to gracefully leave a job without damaging your reputation – even if you’ve been fired. You’ll also learn about best practices for business socializing, getting noticed for the right reasons, bridging the gender gap, and communicating in a global world (even if that diversity is within your own local office).


We all know someone who always seems to know the right thing to say – and someone who can’t keep their foot out of their mouth. When it comes to sensitive situations, the skill of choosing the right words and the right approach can make the difference between strengthening relationships and destroying them. Part Three of The Etiquette Edge will help give you the tools, techniques, and tactics to navigate manners and finesse through sticky and emotional situations and help ensure that both parties come out on the winning side. Chapters in this section cover managing resentment and jealousy from others when you’ve reached greater success, dealing with bosses that are your friends and those that push you around, dealing with negative coworkers, voicing complaints in a way that gets you heard, the art of apologizing (both giving and receiving), the best way to deliver bad news, bringing courtesy into conflict, and handling tragedy. The final chapter in this essential etiquette book covers your personal brand and how you develop your reputation as both a business asset and an authentic human being.


An Etiquette Book That Covers All the Bases

When it comes to communication, there is an unlimited range of situations, scenarios, and circumstances that a businessperson can find themselves in. Fortunately, The Etiquette Edge covers a breadth of topics, delivering useable, real-world advice on how to conduct yourself for the greatest benefit of everyone involved. From everyday manners to social media post do’s and don’ts and a full range of business scenarios, other business etiquette books can’t compete with the wealth of wisdom found in The Etiquette Edge.

The Case for Courtesy

We clearly don’t live in the world of Emily Post anymore. How much do courtesy and manners matter in modern society? In this etiquette book introduction, you’ll learn the value of civility to your career and test your CQ (Courtesy Quotient) with a quiz. Could you have written this book, do you need to do some damage control, or are you somewhere in between? Don’t skip this intro! Find out where you are and where you’re going in order to get started on the right foot.

Manners in the Twenty-First Century

What constitutes courtesy has clearly changed from centuries and even decades past. But have we regressed in the manners department in today’s world? How is this trend impacting businesses and individuals? Learn about the high price tag of lack of civility including employee-generated lawsuits, absenteeism, and poor customer service. Then, start to turn things around by using uncommon courtesy as a strategic advantage. You and everyone you come into contact with will reap the rewards instead of paying the price!

Credibility: Creating It and Keeping It

Do you keep your word or do others take what you say with a grain of salt? Do your coworkers see you as a trustworthy straight-talker or are you paying the social price for leaving them confused? Credibility comes from a blend of character and competence, and it can be demolished in a single moment. Learn how to build your credibility in this chapter and show others that you can be a trusted team member or manager.

Develop Your Gratitude Attitude: Say “Thank You” and Mean It

In an age of abundance – and entitlement – has proper gratitude become a rarity? Have we become too busy to show thankfulness? In today’s world people notice and appreciate genuine gratitude. But “thank you” shouldn’t go on thoughtless autopilot. Learn the do’s and don’ts of saying “thank you” and how to give your gratitude the greatest impact. It’s a small price to pay, and you’ll thank yourself for it later! So please, show your gratitude!

Are Your Nonverbal Messages Telling on You?

Are your actions speaking louder than your words? With non-verbal communication, also called body language, our gestures, facial expressions, body position, and more can be sending a conflicting message to those we’re speaking to. Learn what makes up body language that is defensive, reflective, suspicious, insecure, or open and cooperative. You’ve got less than a minute to make a first impression – make sure your body is sending the same message as your words!

What the $%#*!& is Going on Here?

Is profanity okay? What about sexual references? Are the rules different between the workplace and public places? What’s the worst way to use offensive speech? In this chapter of the book, you’ll learn the answers to these questions and more, as well as gauge the professional price of potentially offensive communication. You’ll discover how playing it safe with four-letter words and more could make or break your position at your company.

Tell Me Less: Some Things are Better Left Unsaid

Do you need to show some restraint? Besides profanity, what other types of speech should you avoid? Are you guilty of “oversharing” at work? What is the balance between building bridges and “TMI”? Setting proper boundaries about what you do and don’t talk about with coworkers or managers keeps you – and them – from myriad awkward situations later. Learn how to create rules for career-safe and work-safe topics in this chapter and how to respond when you’re the recipient of unwanted information.

Giving Genuine Compliments That Count

Show some appreciation! Human beings have a deep need to feel appreciated and recognized for their achievements and talents. But what is the difference between praise and flattery or manipulation? In this chapter of the book, you’ll read how to motivate and build up those around you – whether that’s coworkers or employees – with genuine compliments. You’ll also learn how to give praise as feedback and find out when not to deliver a compliment, genuine or not.

Improving Your Listening Skills

Everyone knows how it feels when the person we’re talking to is not listening to us. It’s frustrating, even when they aren’t trying to be disrespectful. Listening makes up 45% of our overall communication, yet we receive little to no actual training in the essential life skill of good listening. This chapter brings the art of listening out of the dark with tips and techniques to not just listen more attentively, but give others the respect they deserve and show them that you’re listening, too.

Being Smart About Smartphones and Other Devices

From sending emails to ordering groceries to scheduling appointments, what can’t you do with your cell phone these days? When it comes to etiquette and communication, it’s more about what you shouldn’t do than what you can or can’t do. Cell phones have become a wall between people in many ways, shutting down the very communication they also promote. In this chapter, you’ll find a guide covering the basics of being smart (and polite) about your smart phone use.

Using Social Media to Make – Not Break – Your Career

With the vast majority of people joining in on at least one form of social media, our feeds are flooded with post after post of updates, photos, inspirational thoughts and more. While many times this constant connection and ability to post in an instant can be a wonderful way to enrich our relationships, we all know the downside. An ill-advised or poorly thought-out post, photo, or tweet can come back and bite us. This chapter will help you think through and use your social media presence to post for the best instead of being stuck paying the price for a post made with bad judgement.

Travel Courtesy: Don’t Leave Home Without it

Any type of travel can make us tired, hungry, intolerant, and downright crabby. Delays, detours, and other irritated or rude travelers can turn an easy trip into massive headache. The sound travel advice – including tips on international travel - and an inside scoop on tipping found in this chapter of the book will help you make your next trip a little less bumpy. When you show a little understanding, it can go a long way in creating smooth sailing for you and your travel companions.

Terror on Both Sides of the Desk: Relieving Interview Stress

Interviewing can be one of the most stressful experiences out there – for both the interviewee and the interviewer. Both want to make a good impression, either to land the job or to ensure that the best candidate says “yes.” This chapter covers in detail ways to prepare for an interview so that both parties get the best out of it. Complete with a checklist of best practices for both sides, you’ll be all set for your next interview.

The New Job: Getting Started on the Right Foot

Once you’ve landed that new position, how do you create a successful start for yourself (beyond minding your good manners)? With turnover at an all-time high, chances are good that you’ll end up doing this several times (or more) over your career. Learn the do’s and don’ts of getting started at a new company in this chapter, including a guide on how to fit in with the corporate culture and building your own support network. Show up with confidence thanks to The Etiquette Edge!

Office Space: Make Working Together More Enjoyable and Productive

Few things are bigger productivity killers than hard-to-handle coworkers. If you feel like you’re working at Dilbert’s company, you can be part of the solution. Cubicles may have cut costs and made better use of space, but working in close quarters with others has its own price and challenges as well. This chapter covers the do’s and don’ts and best practices for making the most of your workplace environment. Companies may want to order books for all their employees just for this section alone!

Getting Along with Your Manager: Spotting and Solving Personality Problems

Clashing with your boss? Employees who can’t make it work with their manager sooner or later end up packing up their cubicle. Especially if you haven’t been with the company long, brief stints at jobs can hurt your credibility. This chapter will cover how to look for cues during your initial interview that you may not be a good match and what to do to try to fix the issues if you’re already in a problematic situation.

How to Speak So Your Boss Will Listen

Understanding your manager’s instructions is essential for delivering top performance. But if you want to contribute to your department’s overall success and advance your own career, you also need to be able to get your boss to listen to you. Reading this chapter will arm you with how to prepare, deliver, and respond when pitching ideas to your boss. Bonus: learn what not to do and avoid these communication pitfalls. Consider ordering books for every employee for better employee-to-boss communication!

E-mail: Think Before You Send

Email is an indisputable time saver, but it can also be the cause of confusion, misunderstanding, and even job-jeopardizing bungles. In this essential etiquette book chapter, clear the air on e-mail. Learn when and how to use e-mail most effectively, what features to use with caution, and what behaviors to avoid all together. With just a little extra effort, your emails can be clear, concise, and more effective once you’ve read this guide. It’s a small price to pay for the benefits that will come your way.

Using Your Phone Most Productively

Even with the internet’s email and virtual meetings, your phone still remains an essential business staple. You’ve been using a phone your whole life, but how are your business phone etiquette skills? Are you impressing or annoying the person on the other end? The modern telephone rules in this chapter of the book can help you come off more polished, professional, and of course communicate more effectively over this media.

Dress Code Confusion

For many people, gone are the days of having to wear a suit to work every day. Business casual has become the norm for many companies, but how casual is too casual? Regardless of company rules, what sort of dress code should you personally follow? Learn some tips and tricks that just might save your day – and boost your credibility – when you read this chapter’s thoughtful approach to dressing for modern times at the office.

Mastering the Art of Meetings

Meetings, when properly executed, can be powerful tools for productivity and success. But ineffective meetings with improper planning can cost companies precious time and money. Learn how to plan for and structure meetings for maximum value in this chapter, as well as how to think ahead to avoid common meeting pitfalls and time-wasting distractions. Establish yourself as an effective meeting leader and keep participants awake and engaged.

When Meetings Go Virtual

Virtual meetings, once restricted to long-distance parties, have become a business mainstay in the post Covid era. How to conduct ourselves and communicate effectively on virtual meetings has become an absolutely essential business skill. The do’s and don’ts of virtual meetings found in this chapter can mean the difference between boosting your reputation or hurting it. In post covid times, virtual etiquette is not optional anymore. It’s critical to nail this skill down.

How to Leave a Job: Making a Graceful Exit

Gone are the days of working for one company for decades being the norm. Today even the best, most dedicated employees find themselves changing jobs more often. Whether you’re departing on your own terms or not, how you leave a job leaves a lasting impression that can come back to haunt you – or give you a boost in the right direction. This chapter’s tips on how to leave the right way can increase your chances of a successful transition.

Refuse to Schmooze and You Lose: Cultivating the Social Side of Business

In today’s competitive business climate, it’s not enough to be good at your job. You also need to deliver the whole package, and that means being part of the team socially as well. Doing this can be a challenge, especially if you struggle with small talk or casual interpersonal skills, or feel drained by too much socializing. Get the insider scoop on mastering – and balancing – workplace social interaction when you read this guide.

Let’s Do Lunch: Dining Your Way to Success

Dining out is an excellent way to improve rapport in your working relationships. But how, when, and where you do it makes a difference. Is the reason for your meeting even suited for a dining environment, or should it really be in a meeting room? From time and place to dining etiquette to how to cancel a lunch, details matter! Before you set up your next working lunch, be sure to read this chapter.

Getting Noticed – Without Becoming Notorious

It’s hard to get promoted or get new clients without getting noticed. Making a lasting impression is critical to business success, but making that impression the right way is just as important. Learn how to plan ahead to make yourself look (and sound) good to open doors and impress decision-makers. Also, you’ll learn which mistakes and pitfalls in self-promotion to avoid in this modern guide to getting noticed.

He Said, She Said: When the Gender Gap Seems as Wide as the Grand Canyon

Regardless of all the theories and ideas and reasons why men and women are different, we just know that we are different. While ability to do a job has generally been (finally) recognized as being equal, men and women often have different styles of communication and take different approaches to problem solving. In this chapter of the book, you’ll find tips, do’s, and don’ts for both genders to help facilitate good communication and productivity.

Citizenship in the Global Village

The rapidly vanishing boundaries between countries offers exciting opportunities for businesses, both large and small. However, successful international dealings also require a bit of added finesse. Cultural differences, language barriers, and time zones all provide a jungle of potential pitfalls that international businesspeople must navigate. Find your international grounding in this chapter to make your country-to-country deals more successful.

Loving Your Enemies: Coping with the Price of Success

You’ve made it to the next level of your career – congratulations! Unfortunately, not everyone is as excited about your promotion as you are. The price of success often includes having made enemies, from the coworker who didn’t get the promotion you got to simple jealousy. Business books often don’t cover this topic, but you’ll get a solid guide here. Learn how to handle these tense situations and cope with the price of success like a pro in this chapter.

When Your Best Friend Becomes Your Boss: Balancing the Professional and the Personal

When your workplace partner in crime gets promoted, you’re excited for them! But suddenly you find yourself in the awkward situation of having your friend also being your boss (or vice versa). Overnight, things have changed. How do you balance the personal and professional? This is another topic seldom covered by business books, but it is a common situation. With tips for both the new boss and the one reporting to them, this chapter will help you set healthy boundaries for your new roles.

Dealing with a Bully Boss

When you’ve just taken a new job or find yourself with a new manager in your current position, you run the risk of encountering a bully boss. These managers might tear you down in front of other employees, become verbally abuse, withhold necessary resources, or refuse to ever acknowledge wrongdoing. This unfortunate situation must be dealt with carefully. In this chapter of the book you’ll discover some of your options if you want to stay put, and recognize when it’s time to move on.

Dealing with Negative Coworkers

A single source of negativity can turn an otherwise productive work environment into a toxic swamp. Negative mindsets carry a hefty price. They are success killers, and unfortunately can also be contagious, spreading from society at large to one person who eventually impacts a whole department. This chapter covers the impact of office negativity, ways to find the cause of this attitude and how to counteract it, and what to do when all else fails.

Silence is Not a Virtue: How to Complain Without Carping

That same mistake has reared its ugly head for the third time this week. No one wants to be the office complainer, but sometimes staying quiet is not serving you – or anyone else. Silently tolerating a bad situation rarely results in a correction, but how do you post your complaints without coming off like a whiner? You’ll find some key points in this chapter of the book to help avoid your comments falling on deaf ears.

An Apology is in Order: Repairing the Damage with a Sincere Response

We all makes mistakes. But often a mistake is followed by another error if we fail to make an appropriate apology. Learn to deal with the vulnerability apologizing brings, as well as how to make an effective one. Done right, sincere apologies can be a relationship saver inside or outside the workplace. Bonus tip: learn how to accept an apology with grace for those times when you’ve been wronged.

Delivering Unwelcome Information Without Damaging Relationships

The phrase “don’t shoot the messenger” exists for a reason. No one likes to receive bad news, but the way that information is delivered can serve to soften the blow (or result in a hard landing). When you’re in the unenviable position of having to tell someone their position has been eliminated, they won’t be getting a Christmas bonus, or other unwelcome news, be sure to read this chapter first and learn how to plan ahead for the best outcome.

Confronting with Courtesy: Preserving Relationships While Resolving Differences

Even for the most congenial among us, working with others will inevitably eventually lead to times involving some type of conflict. There are ways to go about conflict resolution that improve your chances of coming out ahead and preserving working relationships at the same time. While whole books can be written on this topic, you can uncover the best ways to handle conflict and be tough on life problems while being respectful to the people involved in this chapter.

When the Worst Happens: Dealing with Tragedy, Illness, and Death

During the darkest of times, we learn how valuable our human support network really is. Knowing ahead of time what to do and what not to do will help prepare you for pulling through the very worst together. Whether you have personally experienced the life tragedy or are closely working with someone who has, you’ll find great value in the wisdom of this chapter and learn the best ways to show others that you care.

Putting it All Together: Creating and Maintaining Your Personal Brand

When a company has a strong brand, everyone knows it. But what does it mean to have a personal brand? If you don’t want others deciding what you’re all about, you’d better show them. How do you go about creating and strengthening a good personal brand that reflects your values? This final chapter demonstrates how to create, grow, and modify the factors of your authentic personal brand as a business (and life) success strategy.
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Don’t sabotage yourself (or others) with easy to correct social missteps. Build your career and your relationships with The Etiquette Edge. Order your book now.

Empowerment for New Hires, Managers, Entrepreneurs and More

The Etiquette Edge is an etiquette book that can benefit anyone, from students to the individual employee to serving whole organizations. When you consider all the benefits that fine-tuning your human interaction can deliver, you’ll understand why all the following groups have found greater success by implementing better etiquette. For the low price of a book, your career can be transformed.

If your organization is suffering from a lack of decorum, you’re not alone. By making helpful books, including The Etiquette Edge, available to every employee and promoting a culture of courtesy, you can improve your company culture, productivity, employee retention, and your bottom line. From small businesses to large corporations to non-profit organizations, there’s no group that won’t benefit from the communication and relationship secrets found in The Etiquette Edge. Order books for each department today.


Is it time to level up? Individual employees who invest time and energy into their personal development on their own, including reading professional books, demonstrate a commitment to themselves that managers appreciate. That translates into more perks, better working relationships, and greater long-term career satisfaction. Whether you’re looking for a new job or well-established in your current role, this etiquette book can be your secret weapon of life and business success.


Ask any successful business owner how important communication skills are to their business and you’ll understand how powerful The Etiquette Edge can be for your venture. Attracting (and keeping) the best employees, getting customers and ensuring their satisfaction, and negotiating deals are all made easier when you know how to best approach each situation. Leave people with the sense that you’re the best one for the job and watch your business prosper by reading transformational books like The Etiquette Edge.


It’s been said that people don’t leave companies, they leave managers. When an employee doesn’t feel recognized, appreciated, or respected by their manager, it’s only a matter of time before they put in their two weeks notice. Books that teach leadership and soft skills are great tools to combat this trend. The Etiquette Edge is an exceptional etiquette book for all kinds of managers to read, whether you’re navigating your first managerial role or an experienced supervisor looking to improve your department’s results.


Good students know that success isn’t just book learning. And in today’s competitive job market job seekers need those soft skills that put hiring decision makers at ease. No manager wants to risk bringing in a new employee who will inadvertently sabotage the department with distracting, destructive, or demoralizing behavior. Make yourself stand out from the crowd among professors, employers, and your fellow coworkers with career-boosting books including The Etiquette Edge. For the low price of a book, you can give yourself a competitive advantage.


A Demonstrated History of Excellence

For more than 20 years, Beverly Y. Langford, Ph.D. has been working tirelessly to make exceptional business communication the rule instead of the exception. She blends her real-world business experience with the analytical eye of an academic in order to teach these essentials to business owners, managers, and employees. With an intense focus on strategic and interpersonal communication, team building, and leadership skills, Dr. Langford has channeled her decades of expertise into The Etiquette Edge and LMA Communication’s online courses to make this information available to a wider audience.

Dr. Langford has taught leadership and communication to MBA students at Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business for many years. She has also directed the school’s marketing department program for business communication and the Women’s Leadership Forum held in conjunction with the Atlanta Business Journal. She has received 11 Top Professor awards for Outstanding Teaching and is the 2010 recipient of Robinson College’s Business Teaching Award.


As a popular voice in the business world, Dr. Langford has been quoted in a number of published works including The New York Times, Forbes, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Glamour, Men’s Health, the Atlanta Business Chronicle, The International Herald Tribune, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Investor’s Business Daily. Atlanta Woman magazine and Womenetics, an Atlanta-based online magazine, have regularly published articles by Dr. Langford. She has served on the board of directors for the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce (including serving as the chairman of the board), Heritage Sandy Springs, and the Dunwoody Rotary Club.
In addition to her BA from the University of Mississippi, MA from Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), and Ph.D. from Georgia State University, Dr. Langford is certified in the Personal DISCernment Inventory (DISC) and EQ-i 2.0 (Emotional Intelligence). She is a Certified Instructor/Facilitator and Certified Course Designer/Developer. Continually expanding her circle of influence and honing her skills, Dr. Langford is also a member of the Association for Business Communicators and the Association of Professional Communication Consultants. She is a regular speaker for both corporate and community-based groups.

The Etiquette Edge: The Unspoken Rules for Business Success was originally published in 2005. An updated edition entitled The Etiquette Edge: Modern Manners for Business Success was published in 2016. In addition to being published in paperback, an electronic edition and an audiobook edition are also available. You can find the current paperback edition (as well as the e-book edition and audiobook edition) and the best price on Amazon.

Give Yourself the Keys to Communication Confidence

Everyone wants that edge over the competition, whether you’re a job candidate or an entrepreneur trying to close a deal. Even if you’re not the competitive type, you still need to compete against yourself in order to continue growing. The Etiquette Edge can truly be your biggest asset in the business world and beyond. Once you’ve cleared the confusion about what etiquette means in today’s world and harnessed the power of courtesy, you’ll find doors opening – maybe even those doors you didn’t even know existed. Give yourself the keys to open those doors (or windows!) with confident communication and the finesse it takes to take your career to the top with The Etiquette Edge. Order your copy today!