The following are 7 essentials in the “State of Etiquette.”
Happy Birthday to you!
What to do when this message appears in your inbox from LinkedIn and Facebook “Congratulations on a work anniversary or Happy Birthday”. You have no idea who these people are and you wonder who knows your birth date?
BETTER IDEA: Go to your settings and remove your birth date.
Civility is on Rocky Ground:
Everyone has an opinion! That is a good thing. However, when someone doesn’t agree with your opinion, be okay with that…this is a free country! No matter who is in power, Democrats or Republicans (religion and politics are off limits in conversation to begin with) you may not agree with a particular issue. Where does it state that you have to agree with everything that one party has to offer? That is the beauty of democracy!
BETTER IDEA: HAVE your opinion, KNOW WHEN and WHERE to share it and if someone has another opinion, that’s entirely their business!
Cancelling a Meeting: Your breakfast meeting was cancelled at short notice because the “meetee” decided you’re just not that important.
Receiving a text message at 8 am from a business contact you were supposed to have breakfast with at 9:30 am, stating “I have a fever and cannot meet you this morning.” This sounds more like they don’t feel like it (which is all too common in an individualistic society) or who did not get enough sleep the night before.
BETTER IDEA: It is fine to cancel a meeting if it is necessary and unavoidable. If you must cancel, call, text or e-mail that person the night before. Most importantly, set up a time to meet later on in the week or as soon as possible. Otherwise, it will seem like something more important came up. That behavior may come back to haunt you when you need to contact that very person for a reference or to help you out in a particular situation.
Networking: “Your achievements are outstanding, I will email you with ideas and introduce you to people to contact.”
The joys of networking! I’ve had a colleague look at me with “Why would you want to do that look”, on overhearing me in conversation with a recent graduate where I offered to send her resume to people who may be in a position to interview her.”
BETTER IDEA: Ask yourself “Why not?” When you meet someone who is in process of changing their careers or just starting out, consider how can you help them? The payoff is that you feel good about helping someone out and who knows, “what goes ‘round, comes ‘round.”
You’re shy when meeting people:
Networking is work…netWORKING! Who feels like it? I don’t, but it is necessary. There are numerous studies proving how advantageous it is to meet someone in person as opposed to throwing Resumes into the job-website-ozone.
BETTER IDEA: Change your attitude from “Must I go to another event this evening?” to “What is this meeting about. Who will be there and how can I perhaps be of help to someone else?” It all depends on attitude adjustment. Secondly, when you meet people, REALLY LISTEN to what they have to say…be more interested in them than yourself. Finally, the “coup de grace”…introduce those people you’ve met to new people you meet and act as HOST…you will be star of the show!
Standard procedure is for interviewers to ask “Do you have any questions for me? Research the industry thoroughly, formulate questions leaving some for the end of the interview.
BETTER IDEA: Even if all your questions were answered, pull out your pad from your quality Portfolio (where you’ve written down your questions) and go through them saying “Looking through my research and the questions I had for you, seems you’ve covered them all.” Makes you look prepared, intelligent and interested.
I Phone Basics:
Please, please pay attention to one another. It is never okay to take out your IPhone (unless in an emergency, where you forewarn the person you are with, that you will be checking your IPhone periodically as you are expecting a call) in any situation where the intent is get to know someone and to foster a relationship.
BETTER IDEA: Just don’t do it!
CIVILITY IS NOT DEAD…IT’S JUST GOOD BUSINESS!