Latest "business etiquette" Posts
At a recent business conference, I had the good fortune to meet many speakers whom I’d admired for a long time. There was one woman in particular that I was eager to chat with — I’d read two of her books, followed her blog and was fascinated by her career and accomplishments.
A mutual friend made an introduction in between workshops.
Within seconds, we were chatting about our respective client experiences in the healthcare and life sciences industries. Except, within moments I noticed something odd. I wasn’t chatting at all.
I couldn’t get a word in edgewise.
This woman took eye contact to new heights, with a laser focus that made me uncomfortable. I took an involuntary step back. She took a step forward, and leaned in even closer.
At a recent networking event, a young man named Tony told me he edged out the competition to land a plum job at a Fortune 100 firm.
He’d interviewed first with an executive recruiter, who told Tony he only had one other candidate in mind to recommend for the position. Tony knew the other candidate and thought for sure he was outmatched. The other guy had the impressive resume, the connections, the experience, and some important technical skills that Tony did not have. And yet, Tony won the position.
“How did you beat out the other candidate?” I asked.
“Table manners,” he answered.
It turns out that the recruiter always takes serious candidates out for a meal at an upscale restaurant nearby. Tony’s competition might have had the technical skills and the experience, but he made a series of etiquette gaffes that told the recruiter he was not ready for such a high-profile job.
The other day I was in the kitchen making lunch, when the building shook. I immediately asked my colleagues in the back office if they were OK – as the accompanying loud “thud” I heard sounded like it came from their offices.
They were both OK but looking out the windows.
I joined them in time to see a truck slowly moving forward, away from the lower ledge of our building that it had just backed into – pieces of our building’s white ledge crumbling down on his truck, which now had a huge gash on its top.
Wow. He had just hit our building hard enough to make it shake, rip up his roof, and make plaster crumble down on his truck. Surely he would park and enter the building, to call the landlord — taking responsibility for his accident, right?
Are courtesy and professionalism just facades that you show in the office, or a true reflection of the authentic you? Let me share a true story …
An embarrassed coaching client, a top sales representative at her firm, once told me that she’d learned an important lesson about professionalism the hard way.
She was running late for a lunch meeting with a potential new account — someone she’d carefully wooed via phone and e-mail. The account, if she landed it, would be the most lucrative one she’d ever had … and it would put her in line for a much-coveted promotion.
The restaurant my client had picked was in one of Chicago’s busiest, trendiest neighborhoods. She circled the block four times, looking for parking. The time grew later and her temper grew shorter.
By one statistic I found, every single day there are 144.8 billion business-related e-mails sent.
E-mail can be an effective tool for business, networking, relationship building, sales, and interoffice communications. But, like all communication skills, your e-mails can brand you either as a lax amateur, or the consummate professional.
Do you know proper e-mail etiquette?
It’s not that hard to learn the skills for professional business correspondence in our digital age. My new “mini” book Write It Right: Business Writing for Results delves into this topic — how to craft more impactful business correspondence.
Writing an effective business e-mail, however, is not the same thing as a proposal or client letter.
Whether it’s an e-mail cover letter for a job, a pitch to a new client, an interoffice memo, a correspondence with a vendor, or any other business e-mail, the guidelines are common sense, straightforward, and simple.