Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Role of Titles

Because so much of the corporate culture is based on rank and status, titles are vitally important. You can’t refer to a senior vice president as a vice president or to the chief operating officer as the chief executive officer.
In the company of others, especially with people outside your firm, show your boss respect by addressing him or her formally as Mr. or Ms. Smith. Ms. is the appropriate address for a woman in business regardless of what she calls herself in her private life. Mrs. and Miss imply social, marital, and sexual distinctions that have no place in the business arena.
Of course, if a woman tells you directly that she wants to be addressed as Mrs. or Miss, it is best to comply. However, when using Mrs. in a business context, use the woman’s first name rather than her husband’s—for example, Mrs. Sally Kelly.
Career-conscious people entering the business world must be aware of more rules of behavior than they could expect to encounter in most social situations. You need to be aware of the sort of behavior that is expected in the world of work so that you can move within that world with confidence and ease.

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