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Manners go high-tech

You're at a business luncheon and the person you're meeting with suddenly answers her cell phone and starts gabbing away.

Annoying? Yes. Rude? Absolutely.

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Such behavior can be a deal-breaker, says Marjorie Brody an executive coach and trainer with Brody Communications Ltd. of Elkins Park, Pa.

Technology-related etiquette skills, she adds, are crucial for keeping clients and maintaining accounts.

Some of her high-tech manners:

Don't use cell phones in public places. They disturb others.

During conference calls, identify yourself when speaking.

Don't use a speaker phone to retrieve your voice mail if others can overhear it.

Change your outgoing message regularly so people know when and how to reach you.

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Don't use antagonistic words or critical comments in e-mails. They are easily misconstrued and may cause awkward situations.

Avoid sending "spam" - junk e-mail that is unsolicited.

Keep e-mail attachments to a minimum. They take time and memory to download.

Speak and write carefully. Most technology-based communication isn't private.

Don't assume everyone knows Internet jargon, such as LOL (laughing out loud).

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