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Daily Journal

Business Etiquette for the Win

As legend goes, Ray Kroc of McDonald's could not decide between two executives for a high-powered position so he took them both to lunch. When the food arrived, one executive immediately salted his food while the other, tasted it first. Kroc decided the executive who first assessed the situation rather than assumed it would be the better candidate and gave him the job. Just how important are your manners when it comes to winning over a general counsel? Plenty. Manners are a good indicator as to how you will act once hired. Etiquette is the hinge factor that can swing clients in your favor even if your qualifications are less than your competitors. According to Mark LeHocky, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Ross Stores, Inc., in Pleasanton, "Manners and etiquette are one measure of a person's effectiveness."

Etiquette also reveals your sense of judgment. William Scarff, Jr., Vice President, Assistant General Counsel and Chief Litigation Counsel at Allergan, Inc. in Irvine says this about etiquette: "It is very useful to observe how people treat others when they think no one is looking. How careful are they? Are they the kind of people who talk about business in elevators or in the hallway? If they are careless in those situations, it often means that they will be careless in others."

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