Tag Archives: business etiquette expert

Wearing White After Labor Day–Yes or No

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White after Labor Day

Labor Day was early this year, falling on September 2nd. On that day, no one in Savannah, Georgia, where I live, was talking about the usual holiday celebrations like barbeques and picnics. The topic of the day was Hurricane Dorian. The question of the day was “Are you going to evacuate?” Now that Dorian is history and has passed safely off the coast of Georgia, mercifully sparing those of us in the Coastal Empire, the question of the day has become “Can I wear white after Labor Day?

The simple answer to that query is “Yes, you can.” In spite of what your mother and grandmother told you, it is perfectly acceptable to do so in 2019. Like so many other aspects of modern manners, the rules have changed. There is no need to rush to your closet and put away all things white until Memorial Day.

The old rule was never white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day. So where did that directive originate? Who said we couldn’t show up wearing white after Labor Day? The answer seems to be shrouded in mystery.

Before you let those who are adamant about the rule intimidate you, you should learn why “don’t wear white after Labor Day” became one of the fashion commandments in the first place—and why it might no longer make sense to follow the rule. It had to do with the rich and famous or, at least, the wealthy urbanites of the Northeast in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s who abandoned their homes in the city and took to the comfort of their summer dwellings. At that time white signified a casual and cooler life. After Labor Day the elites returned to the city and donned their darker  more business-like attire, signifying that summer was over and it was time to get back to work.

A second and more practical reason for wearing white in the summer months is that it is cooler. It has nothing to do with affluence or class. In the era before air conditioning, people would wear white or light-colored clothing to prevent heat stroke. Sounds reasonable to me and still works.

Here are a few incentives, or maybe permissions, for wearing white after Labor Day.

  • White is a great neutral. It gives you countless outfit opportunities since it goes with practically everything.
  • It makes for an easier transition to the fall season if you don’t have to put up all of your summer pieces.
  • White is a classic in the fashion world. Coco Chanel is said to have worn white all year. You might say that it was part of her signature.
  • No one is actually going to judge you or we certainly hope not. Who knows, you might even inspire someone else.

Aren’t we just beyond the whole idea that there are hard and fast rules that you are not allowed to break even when it comes to etiquette and manners? Common sense, good judgment and universal courtesy should be your guide. Plus, September in the South is really hot, and why should white jeans be allowed on August 31 but not allowed on September 1st? We’re smarter than that.

Finally consider this—in the South, the season doesn’t actually change after Labor Day. It simply becomes summer with pumpkins.

Lydia Ramsey is a Savannah-based business etiquette expert, keynote speaker, trainer and author. Contact her at 912-604-0080 or visit her website: LydiaRamsey.com. Find out how her presentations and workshops can help you and your employees add the polish that builds profits.

Doing Business Internationally – Show Respect

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Doing business internationally is often like treading on dangerous and unfamiliar ground. If you have ever been to Disney World, you are probably acquainted with the attraction, “It’s a Small World.” In the event that you have taken that short musical boat ride, you can no doubt recall the words and hum the melody.

If you do business internationally, you know firsthand that it’s a small, small world. Business people are flying across the globe on a regular basis, meeting themselves coming and going in airports, hotels and worksites worldwide. They are hosting international visitors in their home offices.  Knowing, understanding and practicing global etiquette is essential for those doing business internationally. It is critical to  recognize, respect and appreciate the differences you encounter and to be knowledgeable about the customs of your clients and contacts.

No matter the quality of your product or level of your expertise, if you are unaware of the business practices and social customs of others, your business will suffer. One small misstep such as using first names inappropriately, ignoring the rules of timing or sending the wrong color flower to your client, can cost you the relationship, the deal or the sale. Conversely, being knowledgeable about international customs can improve your business relations and boost your bottom line.

In the 1970’s when Nissan was looking for the site for their first plant in the U.S., competition among the states was fierce. In the end, Tennessee won. It wasn’t just the location, the labor force, and the special incentives. The negotiating teams from Tennessee took the time to study the Japanese culture. They sent their top people, including the Governor of the state, to the discussions. By doing so, they showed honor and respect, which are highly valued by the Japanese. They matched the naturally slower pace and personal touch of the Japanese, and abandoned the American way of “Let’s get down to business, skip the small talk and close this deal.”

Business Blunders That Can Cost You

1.     Immediately using first names with people from another country

2.     Ignoring the dietary restrictions of Hindus, Muslims or other religious groups

3.     Flashing the “OK” sign to someone from South America

4.     Giving a clock to a person from China

5.     Slapping a Japanese businessman on the back.

6.     Skipping small talk in Latin America.

7.     Not using both hands when exchanging business cards in China and Japan.

Learn all you can about doing business with people from other cultures. Do the research. Start by focusing on greetings and introductions, handshakes, business dress, gift-giving, appropriate conversation, gestures, body language, punctuality and styles of negotiating.

There is an old Japanese saying, “The protruding nail gets hammered down.” Don’t be the protruding nail that gets hammered down because you didn’t take the time to learn the customs, traditions and business styles of your international clients.

Photo from Savanah magazine

Lydia Ramsey is a Savannah-based business etiquette expert, keynote speaker, trainer and author. Contact her at 912-604-0080 or visit her website: LydiaRamsey.com to find out how her presentations and workshops can help you or your employees add the polish that builds profits. Lydia believes that etiquette and good manners are not about the rules but about relationships.

 

 

 

 

The Etiquette of Cold and Flu Season

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etiquette expertTis the season to be jolly, but tis also the season for colds and flu. That makes it the season to practice the etiquette of cold and flu for your sake and that of others.

While you are spreading joy and goodwill, be careful that you are not spreading germs as well.

At this time of the year, we are most likely to find ourselves celebrating in large groups or traveling in close quarters as on planes, trains and buses. Now is when good manners and good health go hand in hand.

Here are twelve tips to keep yourself and others healthy and flu-free during the holidays and over the next few months.

  1. Get your flu shot. You are not only protecting yourself by doing so; you are also being considerate of others and sparing them the misery of this inevitable winter illness.
  2. Avoid the holiday party if you are sick. Staying at home is your seasonal gift. It’s one excuse the boss and co-workers will appreciate.
  3. Don’t prepare food for a party. If you are asked to bring a dish of some sort, buy one that is already prepared or store bought. Your flu germs should not be the secret ingredient.
  4. Double-dipping is a no-no under the best of circumstances but especially if you don’t feel well.
  5. Cough or sneeze into your elbow, awkward as it may seem. You will spread fewer germs that way. Coughing or sneezing into your hand offers a whole host of ways to pass on germs.
  6. Carry a supply of tissues with you. Carefully discard used ones and wash your hands.
  7. Wash your hands often. You can’t do it too many times all year long but particularly during flu season. Wash them before you eat or drink. Do it before and after you shake hands.
  8. Have hand sanitizer with you at all times. It is a quick and convenient way to prevent the spread of germs.
  9. Use your hand sanitizer to wipe off any work surfaces you touch to keep yourself and others safe.
  10. Don’t even think of shaking hands if you don’t feel well. Others will appreciate your saying, “Please forgive me for not shaking your hand, but I haven’t been feeling well.”
  11. Excuse yourself from the room or the table if you are having a coughing or sneezing fit. No one else needs to be subjected to your performance.
  12. Call in sick when you have a cold or the flu. You may not want to use up your paid time off or you may need to work on an important project, but you are not doing yourself or anyone else a favor by showing up ill.

Back to # 1: This tip cannot be over-emphasized. Get your flu shot so that you and those around you are protected from the miseries of the flu. The holidays and winter months should be enjoyed, not endured.

Who would have thought that there was indeed etiquette of cold and flu season?

You can find more helpful tips for the season in my ebook on holiday etiquette.

lydia_sm-e1393277822156Lydia Ramsey is business etiquette and modern manners expert, keynote speaker, seminar leader and author of Manners That Sell-Adding the Polish That Builds Profits. Based in Savannah, Georgia, she travels across the US and as far away as India and Dubai to work with clients that include universities, corporations, small businesses, associations and non-profit organizations. Her topics range from flip-flops to forks. Visit her website www.lydiaramsey.com for more information about her services and resources.

Office Romance -Danger and Opportunity

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box of chocolate truffles with red rosesIt’s not exactly spring yet when a young man’s (or young woman’s) fancy turns to love, but it is the month of romance. There is Valentine’s Day. And bonus! This is also Leap Year when traditionally a woman can propose to a man—a custom that goes back to the 5th century. Perhaps your fancy is turning to romance and an office romance to boot.

Is the girl or guy in the next cubicle beginning to look awfully attractive? Maybe you’d like to strike up more than the usual office friendship, If so, what should you do and how should you go about it?

It is not unusual for people in today’s workplace to find their spouse or partner in the workplace. According to the American Management Association, almost one-half—49% to be exact—of office romances result in marriage or a significant long-term relationship. After all, most people spend more time in the workplace than anywhere else. If you choose to make a romantic move, be smart and know the rules.

Know the company policy. Some companies have strict policies against dating coworkers; others don’t address it at all. Although most organizations don’t want to intrude on their employees’ private lives, the shadow of sexual harassment looms large. It is never wise to date someone who is your supervisor or someone who reports to you.

Set the ground rules early. Discuss how you plan to handle the relationship around the office, and what you will do if things don’t work out. That requires a level of maturity and discipline which  is often hard to come by, but do it if you both want to keep your job. Don’t put your career on the line for the sake of a romance that might not work out.

Consider the effect on your job performance. Being in love can be distracting. If your focus at work is on the object of your affection and not on your job, you are putting your career at risk. On the other hand, job performance could improve when you are trying to impress that other person.

Be discreet and professional. It is never a good idea to discuss your romantic relationships with coworkers so keep the details to yourself. People will talk. There is no subject more fascinating than office gossip.

A few extra words of caution about romance in the office:

Observe the one year rule of dating in the workplace. Gradually become close friends with a co-worker. Start by keeping your interaction casual. This is definitely not the time to go head over heels right off the bat.

Be especially cautious if you are new on the job, whether you are pursuing or being pursued. Because you are a new hire, you will be under extra scrutiny. Your boss and co-workers will be watching your closely and observing your professional behavior.

Be wary of email. Don’t use the office email to correspond with the object of your affection. Remember that email is like the newspaper. Anyone can read it. Before you hit “send,” make sure that what you are sending is purely professional.

Steer clear of Facebook and other social media sites to post the details of your new-found love. That’s where people go first when they want to pry and spy.

Never ever ever get involved with someone who is married. When word gets out—and it will—that is the surest way to lose your job.

Office romance can be fun and successful. Take the proper steps to ensure that the relationship will not interfere with your job and career. The wise couple is careful that any interaction in the office is purely professional. It’s a matter of having your career and dating it, too.

Here’s to finding love in all the right places!

Photo from Savannah magazine

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com

Are You The Good House Guest Or The Nightmare In The House?

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???????House guests come in all shapes and sizes, personalities of every type and with a variety of manners from the sublime to the ridiculous. They may be friends, relatives or business associates. They could be invited for their friendship, relationship or out of obligation.

I just had the pleasure of having several guests in my home. They were new friends that I had met at a writers’ retreat in Arizona. I live in Savannah. It’s a beautiful city that 99.9% of the people I meet either want to visit for the first time or make a return trip. I would like to think that these women came to see me, but secretly, I think they wanted a taste of Savannah.

I have written on the topic of being the good house guest before. After this experience, I was compelled to return to the topic just as visitors return to Savannah.  These ladies were the epitome of the ideal house guests.

What did they do that made them stand out and cause me to write about them? Just about everything right and many things that were above and beyond the usual acts of courtesy and consideration.

I’ll list as many as there is time and space for:

  1. They honored my expectation of arrival time.  As someone who works from home and maintains a busy schedule, I appreciated their sensitivity to my time constraints. Getting ready for house guests is not always an easy task unless you have the staff of Downton Abbey.
  2. Since they were traveling by car from a good distance away, they kept me informed of their whereabouts along the way and any changes to arrival time. The Polar Vortex was once again having its way with people’s travel plans.
  3. When I asked about food issues or special needs, they were quick to say that they would bring anything they needed or wanted that was out of the ordinary. Most of our meals were planned out since Savannah has more than its share of wonderful restaurants, but it’s nice to wake up in the morning to your own quirky breakfast food or beverage. They relieved me of the burden of finding their special cereal, coffee or tea. I suppose when I mentioned that I had plenty of those little cereal boxes of Fruit Loops, Cocoa Krispies and “Yucky” Charms (my children’s name for their favorite cereal) left over from my grandchildren’s Christmas visit, they knew  they should bring their own.
  4. When they walked in the door, they were bearing gifts of food, wine and flowers. What an entrance!
  5. While they were here, they were like the Downton Abbey staff. Every time I thought I should wash or rinse a few dishes, I found that magically, it had been taken care of. My dishwasher was on vacation.
  6. When we went out for meals, I rarely had to pay for my own. They had a well-planned and well-executed scheme for grabbing the check. They were generous almost to a fault.
  7. When I stopped to buy gas during one of our outings, these two were out of the car as fast as any pit crew from the Daytona 500 to pump and pay.
  8. Once when I was discovered cleaning out the litter pan, one of them tried to wrestle me for the pooper scooper. Now there’s a thoughtful guest. Talk about above and beyond.
  9. When it came time for them to leave, beds were stripped and used sheets and towels magically appeared in the laundry room. If they had not had to make an early departure for their long haul across country, I am convinced the beds would have been remade with fresh linens.
  10. No sooner had they left when an SUV pulled into my driveway. For one brief moment I thought they had returned. Instead it was someone making a floral delivery. My thoughtful friends had sent a gorgeous arrangement of flowers to keep the memories of our time together alive a little longer.

Does this give you any ideas for what you need to do to be rated as the good house guest? There were many other displays of consideration shown by my guests. This is as much as I can list now.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what makes the good house guest vs. the nightmare in the house from your own experience.

Here’s to your being remembered as the good house guest or perhaps the perfect house guest. You will be welcome anytime!

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

The Top Twelve Business Etiquette Tips for Social Media

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Woman sitting at an office deskThere is no doubt about it—social networking, or social media, is all the buzz. A report by Forrester’s Research indicates that 51% of online Americans have joined a social network.  Another 73% are consuming some form of social content on a regular basis.  People are connecting with, listening to, following and collaborating with each other online at an amazing rate.

Some people use it for personal reasons.  They share their recipes, their photos and their ideas to stay up to date with friends and family. Business people use social networking to build their careers, promote their business and grow their reputations.

The most popular social networking sites are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Each one of those is uniquely positioned and serves a particular population or purpose.  There are other online networking sites, numbering in the thousands.

The purpose of this article is not to suggest which sites you should choose, but to offer you tips on the etiquette of social networking.  As with e-mail, cell phones, smart phones and other technological devices or technologically driven communication, we got the technology first, and we have backed into the rules for using it with courtesy and consideration.  In many cases we simply learned the rules the hard way, by making mistakes, embarrassing ourselves and offending others.

Currently I have my top twelve business etiquette tips for social media for the polished professional.  This list will, no doubt, grow with time.

#1. Fill out your online profiles completely with information about you and your business.  Use your real name and your own photo.  Your cat may be adorable, but unless you are a veterinarian specializing in the care of felines, don’t get cute.

#2. Use a different profile or account for your personal connections. Business and pleasure do not mix in this medium.

#3. Create a section on your main profile detailing who you are seeking to befriend. Everyone need not apply.

#4. Offer information of value. Don’t talk just about yourself and your company.

#5. Don’t approach strangers and ask them to be friends just so you can try to sell them on your products or services. You will quickly lose credibility and friends.

#6. Pick a screen name that represents you and your company well.  Don’t call yourself “Loser1” unless you want to be known by that.

#7. Don’t send out invitations to play games or other timewasters for those using the site.

#8. Don’t put anything on the Internet that you don’t want your future boss, current or potential clients to read.

#9. Check out the people who want to follow you or be your friend.  Your mother was right when she said that people will judge you by the company you keep.

#10. If someone does not want to be your friend, accept their decision gracefully.

#11. Never post when you’re overly-tired, jet lagged, intoxicated, angry or upset.

#12. Compose your posts, updates or tweets in a word processing document so you can check grammar and spelling before you send.

The world of online networking is new to most of us, but there is little difference in connecting with people online and offline.  The same basic tenets hold true. Trust and authenticity remain high on the list.

Happy Networking!

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

So What If You Blow That First Impression?

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Everyone knows, or thinks they know, that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. I don’t completely believe that. Many times you do get a second chance. You may have the opportunity to meet another time with that interviewer, your new supervisor or the prospective client. Of course, the goal is to make your first impression the best that you can. Why blow it to start out?

We all also know that things don’t always go well or as planned so if you make a faux pas during that initial encounter, don’t despair. You can make it right the next time or subsequent times that you meet. Just think about what you can do to right the situation immediately and grow that relationship.

  • Apologize. When ever you can, offer an apology. Perhaps you forgot the person’s name or you arrived late for your appointment. Say that you are sorry.
  • Don’t over apologize. Going on too long leads to groveling and begging. This will do nothing to enhance your image.
  • Laugh at yourself. If you do something foolish, like the new salesman who got up to leave the meeting and walked into the closet, use your humor. Laugh at yourself. It shows a human side and puts others at ease.
  • Don’t get flustered. Show your professionalism by keeping your cool. We all make mistakes such as thinking that cell phone was turned off when it was not. A bit of poise can go a long way.
  • Learn from your mistakes. Make a note to self that says, “I will never do that again.” Look twice before you pick which knob to turn. Leave your cell phone in the car (shocking thought).

You will have more opportunities to blow that first impression, but don’t make the same mistake twice.

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

Holiday Tipping – Who and How Much

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Do you sometimes feel tipsy during the holidays?   Most of us do, and not from all the holiday parties—it’s from all the holiday tipping.  This is another seasonal tradition that seems to have taken on new life. Tipping those people who serve us in a regular basis throughout the year has become customary during the holidays.  While it is not necessary to tip everyone who provides service to you, it is important to show appreciation for those people who make your life easier on a regular basis.

Here are a few tips on tipping during the holiday season:      

  • Tip according to the quality and frequency of the service rendered.
  • Consider your own budget in determining the amount.
  • Present your monetary tip in a card or a small gift box..
  • Give it personally whenever possible.
  • Do it within the week of the holiday or shortly before.
  • Offer it joyously.

Now that we’ve established the process, let’s consider who and how much.  The following general guidelines should help eliminate some of the confusion as well as the stress of holiday tipping.

  • Housekeeper – one week’s pay for someone you employ personally
  • Gardner – $20-$50
  • USPS mail carrier – cash gifts are not acceptable so give a small $15-20 gift
  • Newspaper carrier – daily $25; weekend $10
  • Teachers, tutors, coaches and trainers for your children – an inexpensive gift from your child
  • Baby sitter – one night’s pay plus small gift from your child
  • Full-time nanny – one week’s or one month’s pay depending on length of employment plus small gift from your child
  • Dog groomer – one half the cost of a session
  • Dog walker or sitter – one day to one week’s pay
  • Nail technician- cost of one session
  • Massage therapist – cost of one session
  • Hairdresser – cost of one session
  • Personal trainer – cost of one session

Note: If you regularly tip any of these service providers, you can reduce the amount of your holiday tip.

Good judgment and an attitude of gratitude should be your guide.

If you still have questions about tipping or other etiquette issues at this time of year, send them to me or consider purchasing a copy of my eBook, Business Etiquette For The Holidays. It is available as a download from my website or The Kindle Store on Amazon.

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

Mobile Devices vs. Email Business Etiquette

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Have mobile devices struck one more blow to email business etiquette? Do you know that smart phones and tablets make up more than half of all mobile devices and that 90 percent of those with these latest devices use them to check their email before checking their computers? At least that is what Dave Tedlock of NetOutcomes reports. Based on personal experience, I don’t doubt him for a second.

Everywhere you go, you see people on their mobile device, whatever type it is, but something has changed. They are no longer using them for live conversation. This is obvious because their lips aren’t moving and they are operating the device with their thumbs.  What effect has this had on email etiquette? For one thing it has caused a rise of ATS or “Alone Together Syndrome.” ( Look for more about ATS in a future article.)

You know what I mean. You go out to eat as I did yesterday and observe two or more people seated at the same table, totally unaware of each other while they run their thumbs over the minuscule keyboards on their mobile device. You have to wonder why they decided to go out together when they show no interest in each other.

It happens everywhere, not just restaurants. You see this behavior at meetings, conferences, concerts, weddings and even funerals. There is currently a TV ad featuring a man checking his email during a wedding and  getting so excited at the message he just received  that he blurts out, “I do” while the couple is making their vows. It is definitely a sign of the times.

If you are going to check and respond to email whenever and wherever you are, be sure that your email is as professional as if you were sitting in front of your desktop or laptop writing it.. Too many business people send email from their mobile device the same way that they would text.

In creating tips that will help you come across as a polished professional, whether you are sitting at your desk sending email or waiting in your doctor’s office, I realized that one of the most important considerations is having a complete and consistent email signature.

For more on this topic, I interviewed technology expert, Jerry Gitchel to get his advice about what to consider when setting up a Mobile Device Email Signature. Here is what Jerry had to say to the many business pros who are migrating their primary email tasks from desktop or notebook computers to mobile devices. “Since the startup configuration is often handled by telecom techs or IT staff, an important email account configuration step is missing. The missing step is the setup of a personalized email signature. It contains the important contact information recipients use to connect by phone.”

He went on to say that “the result is individual clients receiving multiple branding and contact info from each mobile device. It’s not the device that matters, it’s the sender. The elements of contact info, logos and links should match across all phones, tablets and computers. The only difference to be considered is layout. Using a larger font size to create a smartphone sig is just good sense.”

Jerry’s Tips

– Develop a single sig that includes everything you want to see across all platforms. Use this master template to setup an email sig for each device.

– Keep a list handy of all the devices and platforms (web-based email) to make sure updated information is fully distributed.

– Put your customer hat on and experience your email sig on different devices and displays.”

I added these tips for consideration when sending email in this multiple device world:

The rules of  business etiquette apply to any and all devices that send and receive email. As usual we get the technology before we get the rules for how to use it professionally and before we consider how to follow proper business etiquette.

Typos are not acceptable even if you are using an iPhone or an iPad. Proof your message and be sure every word is spelled correctly.

Abbreviations and acronyms should not be used when you are responding to business email.  It feels like texting, but it is not.Use acronyms only if you are certain that the recipient is familiar with them as well.

Keep your subject line short and to the point. The person to whom you are writing may be reading it on one of the latest mobile devices.

Keep your message brief.  If others are receiving your email on a smart phone or other device, they won’t be happy about a lengthy message.

Most importantly, consider where you are and with whom before checking your email. Few messages are so important that they can’t wait while you engage with your lunch partner or with your client and colleague during a meeting. It is an insult when you place more value on your email than the people around you and the business at hand.

Just because the majority of people are now using mobile devices for their business communication does not mean that they can ignore the rules of email business etiquette.

What is your thoughts about sending email from mobile devices? What other rules woud you add?

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

Your Business Etiquette IQ: Are You Hireable? Referable? Promotable?

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I recently received a newsletter from my friend and colleague Mark LeBlanc of Small Business Success. The title “Are You Referable” immediately caught my eye.  Mark  began his article by telling about a conference that he had attended and where he noted that most of the attendees were not referable.  He gave three reasons why he said he would not refer any of these people to anyone else he cared about.

  1. Poor dress
  2. Poor communication skills
  3. Poor behavior

Mark’s observations struck a chord with me.  As a business etiquette trainer, these are exactly the issues I address in my keynotes and seminars delivered to business people at all levels from new hires to experienced executives, from large corporations to small businesses.  Mark makes the point that most of these individuals knew better when they started out in their careers, but somewhere along the way they became complacent. They lost sight of the importance of good manners and basic etiquette skills in the workplace.. I have to agree.

In many of my business etiquette presentations, I find that those people who have achieved a certain level of success, decide that the soft skills aren’t so important after all. They believe that because of their expertise and experience that they can dress as they please, communicate as they please and behave as they please. And it is not only those who have made it, so to speak, but the newest generation entering the workplace has a “whatever” attitude.

In today’s tough economic times, that is dangerous thinking.There is too much competition to overlook the importance of professional appearance and conduct.So think about it. Are you hireable, referable and promotable? Do you look, speak and act like someone who deserves to be hired for the job, referred to other clients and promoted to the next level? If others are getting hired instead of you, if they are getting more new client referrals  or if you are being passed over for promotions, it is time to assess how you look and sound to other people.

It is all in perception. It is not how we see ourselves; it is how others see us.It is not how we feel about ourselves; it is how others feel about us. Basic business etiquette skills and good manners matter.

So what can you do about it?  Look into my business etiquette training courses, executive etiquette coaching and the many resources available on my website Manners That Sell.. From the way you dress, speak, write and eat (yes, I said eat), every detail counts. Now may be the time for you or your organization to consider adding the polish that builds profits.

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.