Mind Your Business Manners!

Mind Your Business Manners!

Occasionally, someone’s obnoxious actions remind me that just because he is a “professional” or is in a “profession” doesn’t necessarily mean he knows how to act professionally.  Thus, I believe it’s useful to be reminded of what we already know but often forget; the importance of exhibiting common sense business manners that can greatly impact others’ opinion of us. I understand that a couple of these are my personal peeves, but I believe that if something grinds one person, it is likely to do the same to many. Don’t be surprised if, while reading through the following five infractions, you are afflicted by the “cringe factor” as images of people that offended you pop into your mind and cause you to wince at their recollection. Being more cognizant of these offenses will help you ensure that you avoid them and are not the subject of someone else’s cringe as they recall an encounter with you.

  1. Taking phone calls when you are with someone else.
    This practice is as rude as it is stupid. The person you are getting ready to disrespect may shrug off your behavior as no big deal, but don’t count on them really feeling that way. In fact, I can think of little more that says to the person in front of you, “I don’t know who this person is or what the call concerns. All I know is that they must be more important than you, so excuse me while I render you to cellophane status and give my attention to them.”
  2. Giving your attention to technology when you should be focused on people.
     This expands point one to include reading or sending text messages while you are having a conversation with someone else. It’s bad enough when only you and the person you’re diminishing is in the room, but when play with your gadget in a meeting, you distract and disregard even more people. Unless your wife is expecting to give birth or someone dear to you is on life support, leave your gizmo out of sight until you’re finished with the matter at hand.
  3. Sloppy, unfocused handshakes.
     If you don’t have the decency to look someone in the eye when you shake their hand, your ignorance and indifference renders you hopeless. Avoiding eye contact, glancing past the person or down at your shoes makes you appear shady, arrogant or disingenuous. It also helps if you can put a little firmness in your grip so the recipient of your handshake doesn’t mistake your hand for a dead carp.
  4. Filling every silent space with trivial conversation.
    Speaking too much makes you appear common and self-centered. Don’t feel the need to fill each quiet moment or pause in a conversation with trivial banter. Incessant babbling is both boring and bad manners. I am acquainted with a total imbecile that fools others into believing he is wise by remaining silent and appearing thoughtful throughout much of a conversation. Many people would make more sales and friends by imitating this imbecile.
  5. Blowing your nose when you’re at the breakfast/lunch/dinner/meeting table.
    Is it just me, or does the sound of mucus rumbling around in someone’s head make you want to lose your lunch? To make matters worse, some morons insist on examining their haul, gazing intently into the torn and tattered tissue! Please understand that this behavior isn’t likely to impress clients or co-workers! How can anyone, in their right mind, believe that someone won’t care as they blow their brains out while they attempt to either converse or eat? This is what restrooms are for! If it’s inconvenient for you to leave the table to tend to your nasal drainage behind closed doors then please consider the wretched inconvenience others must endure as they witness the trombone section in the middle of your face transform into Mt. Vesuvius as they try to enjoy their oysters-on-a-half-shell.

I recentlly had dinner with a fellow that committed numbers 1, 4 and 5 before the appetizers even arrived. I knew at that moment that if ignorance were truly bliss, that I was in the presence of the happiest man on earth. 

 If you’re guilty of these bad business manners or others like them, try to become more aware of how they negatively impact your image, your influence and the regard others have for you. Sometimes people have such a difficult time getting past “who you are” that they are unable to focus on what you’re saying or selling. In other words, an offensive messenger destroys the message.  

Contact info: dave@learntolead.com www.learntolead.com