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Tweak your personal habits to get ahead in business

By Wendy Leung from Tuesday’s Globe and Mail:

Author Frances Cole Jones says your business-lunch habits, the state of your desk and grammatical miscues could be holding you back

If you want to get ahead at the office, shaking some salt on your pappardelle may be hurting you more than you think.

According to Frances Cole Jones, it’s little details like your business-lunch habits, the state of your desk and grammatical miscues – and what those things say about you – that could be holding you back.

The New York-based communication consultant and principal of Cole Media Management wrote her recent book The Wow Factor: The 33 Things You Must (And Must Not) Do to Guarantee Your Edge in Today’s Business World as a manual for executives looking to reinvent themselves, job seekers looking for a leg up and anyone reeling from the recession.

“It’s so inadvertently easy to make people feel like you’re not listening to them or you don’t respect their opinion.”

Ms. Jones explained to The Globe and Mail why you should always accept a glass of water, change your homepage every week and mention your Ultimate team on your CV.

A great deal of your book focuses on etiquette. How much does having an edge in business mean having good manners?

It’s more than good manners. It’s just being able to read people and know how you’re going to make them comfortable. It’s so inadvertently easy to make people feel like you’re not listening to them or you don’t respect their opinion. So it’s just about those really small courtesies.

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