Buss Stop: The Business Kiss on the Cheek

Posted by Dave Allen on June 19, 2011
Buss Stop: The Business Kiss on the Cheek
In The Devil Wears Prada, Meryl Streep's Miranda Priestley projects icy authority, but at parties she delivers carefully planned pecks on the cheek. It's a power move-and an effective one-but will it work for every businesswoman?

Not necessarily. While in the media world, kisses are common, remember that banking, business, and law are more buttoned-down: The standard greeting is a handshake. "It avoids any confusion, and it keeps the interaction comparable to man-to-man," says Donna Gerson, a lawyer and author of The Modern Guide to Business Etiquette. One definite taboo: An entry-level female employee should never initiate a kiss with a male superior. Body language is key: Watch for a leanin, but always keep your arm ready for a kiss-canceling shake. And kissing is best reserved for business relationships of several months' standing.

Still, some women in business find kissing indispensable-such as Barbara Corcoran, the high-powered founder of the Corcoran Group. "I use kisses as much as I can in business," she says. " But always on the cheek!"

MBA Jungle, Winter 2008-2009

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