Archives For April 2012

I have a little quiz for you. It might be a revealing way to determine whether or not you need to upgrade your wardrobe for business. Ready? OK. Answer this question and if your answer is “yes” then you need a clothing intervention.

Did you spend more time picking out the skin for your iPhone, iPad or Android than you did picking out what you wore to your last business meeting?

Don’t get the wrong impression; I appreciate the appearance of a sharply dressed smart phone just as much as the next person. But unless you intend to hold your phone or tablet in front of you all day, it is not likely going to be the first thing people will see. It also has very little to do with the first impression you make on a client.

How you present yourself at work should be given as much thought as how you would present yourself if everyone you will encounter today were to be rounded up and sat in an auditorium to hear a presentation from – YOU!

Judge Not!

I know what some of you are thinking. You want to point out that we are not supposed to judge people by what they wear. You are absolutely correct.

Meanwhile the rest of humanity will continue to judge you; if you do not pass the standards they are looking for, you will be passed over for someone who does.

Do not judge others, but do not be shocked that others are judging you. It’s going to happen.

Do you suppose you will have any luck transforming the world from being judgmental by dressing in a manner that is too casual or “original” when you go to work?

Choose Wisely . . .

Only you can make the right decisions and improve your personal presentation, and the presentation of your iPad case.

Adding Etiquette to Employee Expectations

Everything Speaks!

It does not matter what kind of work you do, where you graduated from, or what training and experience may have accumulated; finding and keeping a job is challenging in 2012. I want to share with you how to increase your chances by keeping one thing in mind: everything speaks.

Obviously we speak with our words and body language; we speak through our resume and cover letter. But we also speak through other things that we may or may not be fully aware. For instance, we speak through our attire – what we wear at work every day or when we actually get that job interview speaks volumes.

Dressing too casually does not project a professional image. It can send the unintentional message that we do not take the job seriously.

We speak through our attitudes and actions. The following list of etiquette mistakes were put together by the Protocol School of Washington .

Top 5 Business Etiquette mistakes and how to correct them

  1. Unprofessional office attire (dress two levels above your position)
  2. Improper handshake (use a firm, web-to-web handshake)
  3. Poor eye contact (make eye contact 40% – 60% of the time in between the eyebrows)
  4. Poor dining skills (when in doubt watch the host)
  5. Cell phone rudeness (keep phones on vibrate and use your library voice)

85% of job success is connected with social skills

Social skills are no longer an option. Developing personal awareness of what we say through our attitudes and actions is a life-skill we can all develop and continuously improve. It is the little things that ‘speak’ – the little things we are constantly ‘saying’ with our actions that will either speak for us or against us at work.

Everything speaks – be aware of what you say!

Are You A Courteous Person?

The one thing courteous people understand is that courtesy means being willing to adjust your behavior to the needs and feelings of other people.

Courteous people understand that their fellow human beings are not perfect. They would never embarrass or degrade anyone – but rather do what is necessary to put everyone at ease. This is not to say that courteous people are spineless but that they operate from principles and know how to react in advance, when someone’s behavior or speech becomes inappropriate.

The most courteous people understand more than just the basics of the rules of etiquette. Some may not even know it by that name, but they live by it anyway. Etiquette is grounded in timeless principles; it never goes out of style. In our ever-changing world of codes and behaviors and new customs, etiquette prepares those who face and engage our others to be prepared and interact and behave with courtesy and respect for all.

Civilization would not be civilized if it were not held together by this glue of civility. Just think about places in the world that lack the value of civility and courtesy – human life and property are things that can be used to intimidate or manipulate other people. But in civilized cultures, we do not allow the threat of destruction of human life and property to be used in such a manner. To violate that code of conduct is to break civil law.

If Emily Post was right, and civility is the glue that holds our society together, imagine the bonding power it can have in our place of business, in our schools, and in our families. Whereas some adhesives do not hold as well when used excessively, this is one glue that we want to be used as much as possible.

Know someone who has made an impression on you with their courtesy? Let them know it. Or let them know it and tweet about it.

… it’s time to start over!


“Can I come down now?” my son asked from the rock wall.  We were at a carnival in downtown Dublin, Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day a few years ago.  My son wanted to come down because he wasn’t making progress.  He understood the idea that if you are not advancing, you are moving backward.

I felt this way about my blog.  I remembered the rock wall and decided to apply the learning here.

Therefore, I’m starting over – clean slate – new start – time to get down to business.

I learned a lesson: if something is not working for you, do not try and force it!

Thank you for visiting, I plan on making a lot of noise this week with new posts.  Please come back soon!