DRS Etiquette Quiz Answers: Is Kissing OK in the Business Arena?


Last week, I asked the question below.

“Is it ever OK to kiss when greeting in the business arena? If so, when? If not, why?

Here’s my answer:

As a business person, cease from hugging or kissing colleagues on the cheeks in the business settings unless you’re close or kissing and hugging is a form of greeting in your company. That being said, when you attend business social events such as conferences and meetings together or host a company function, use common sense and refrain from the kissing and hugging greeting as this form of greeting can be awkwardly displayed in the public, and show lots of negative aspects. In such a case like this, good business manners suggest that both men and women should shake hands. But post Covid-19, no handshake, no fist bumps, and no elbow shakes, etc. I suggest you replace the business handshake greeting with a hand-on-heart-greeting until the pandemic completely pass. Generally, stop kissing in the workplace and use the appropriate business greeting.

I’m not suggesting, you embarrass anyone who may use this social kissing and hugging greeting to salute you because it could be their traditional greeting. Especially, when you're dealing with expatriates. My advice, courtly participate in the greeting should this ever happen to you.

What if I’m a lady, can I kiss a fellow lady on both cheeks in the business environment?

Interesting one! This is my favourite way of greeting a fellow bossy lady. But, my answer to your question is unequivocal “NO!” Until some level of familiarity is established and you’ve made an acquaintance of a lady or a woman in business, refrain from this form of greeting. Otherwise, you’d come across as somewhat weird, and social clueless!

I hope that was helpful. Thank you for participating! For your expert business etiquette questions, requests and training we can help you with, email us at drsetiquetteconsulting@gmail.com.  Also, a reminder that we are on Instagram @drsconsulting and on Facebook @drsconsulting. Feel free to follow us.

All good success,

Damilola, Business Coach & Etiquette Consultant

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