Tag Archives: business etiquette

Choosing Your Most Effective Email Closing

Posted on by

You’ve worked hard crafting your email so that your message is clear, your tone is correct, your format is inviting, and you have eliminated all errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Now it’s time to decide on an email closing, and you’re stuck. All else being perfect, the way you sign off requires more than a little thought and finesse. It may only be a word or a phrase, but it needs to be well-chosen.

If you are struggling to find the most effective email closing, you are far from alone. Extensive research on this topic—and yes, I did the research—revealed that opinions on this topic are all over the map. In one article three email etiquette experts were asked their stance on a long list of email closings. The end result turned up little agreement among the three. No wonder you find this subject challenging.

Before you decide how to sign-off, you should consider your relationship to the recipient and the context of the email. What works for a good friend or close colleague most likely will not work for a business contact. What is appropriate for an initial email may come across as too formal as your connection develops.

Here are my suggestions on choosing your most effective email closing.

    1. Always use one. Not signing off is like walking out the door without saying good-bye. Too abrupt.
    2. Match your email closing to your salutation. This column devoted time some months ago to using effective and appropriate email salutations. A formal salutation requires a formal closing. An informal salutation should be followed by an informal closing.
    3. Consider using a closing statement in lieu of a closing word or two. Email tends to be more relaxed so once you have established a relationship with the recipient, you might end your email with something like, “Have a nice day”, “See you on Friday” or “Enjoy your vacation”.
    4. Be respectful but avoid “Respectfully/Respectfully yours”. According to Business Insider those closings are too formal and are to be reserved for government officials and clergy.
    5. Proceed gingerly when expressing thanks. Both “Thanks” and “Thank you” get high marks when used in the right circumstances. The Boomerang study found emails that convey appreciation receive the highest response rate. However, there are some people who think that writing “Thank you in advance” comes across as demanding and should be used with caution.
    6. Keep anything with religious overtones out of your professional correspondence. Avoid wishing someone a blessed day.
    7. Following your closing, let people know how you want to be addressed. If you want to be addressed by your first name, use only that in closing. If you prefer to keep things formal, sign off with your first and last name. If you are “Bill” and not “William”, now’s your chance to let that be known.

As always the goal is to be courteous, kind and respectful. Let your good sense and good judgment be your guide.

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.

Phone Courtesy – Winning Customers Instantly

Posted on by

Phone courtesy needs to be rule # 1. Often the first contact you and others  in your company have with a client or customer is over the phone. Whoever answers your phone represents the entire organization and its philosophy about customer service.Impress your callers when you practice these phone courtesy tips.

Answer the phone promptly.

We live in a world of instant expectations. If you don’t answer the phone immediately, people assume that you are either closed for the day, gone out of business or simply provide poor customer service. Answer the phone as soon as it rings and grab that customer before your competition does.

Always identify yourself .

One of the top complaints about phone manners is that people fail to give their name.  People want to know to whom they are speaking.

Be prepared with pen and paper.

Don’t make callers wait while you search for pencil and paper. If you aren’t prepared to take information, perhaps you aren’t prepared to do business.

Take accurate messages.

With voice mail, we don’t have to take messages as often as we once did, but it happens. If the caller asks you to take a message rather than being transferred to voice mail, check that you have written all the information correctly. Double check the spelling of the caller’s name and repeat the phone number as well as the wording of the message.

Transfer calls smoothly.

Most of us cringe at the words “Let me transfer your call.”  Avoid “blind transfers”. Ask the caller to hold while you confirm that you are sending the call to the right person and that the person is indeed available.

Manage the hold key with care.

Surveys on phone courtesy reveal that people rank being put on hold as their biggest frustration. Ask your callers’ permission before placing them on hold and wait to hear their reply. Not waiting for permission will gain you nothing but an annoyed caller.

Put a smile on your face when you answer the phone.

You may not feel cheery, but  your callers don’t need to know. Smiles change the tone of your voice and can actually be heard over the phone. Fake it if you have to. Fake smiles over the phone are just as good as the real ones.

At the end of the day, ask yourself what kind of impression you made with callers. Was it your best?  Remind yourself that there is no such thing as an unimportant phone call and that you are the voice of the business.

For more tips on, invest in Lydia’s easy-to read book, Business Etiquette 101 – Telephone Courtesy. It’s a quick download for your Kindle.

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, workshops and resources can help you and your employees add the polish that builds profits.

Wearing White After Labor Day–Yes or No

Posted on by

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.

The State of the Email Salutation

Posted on by

It’s possible that you are not aware of a raging debate online and in print regarding the proper email salutation. The controversy is not quite on the same level as the political debates, thank goodness;  but like those hurricanes some of us dread all summer long, it is growing in intensity and covering an ever-widening area.

A while ago I was contacted by the Wall Street Journal for an article titled “Hey, Folks: Here’s a Digital Requiem for a Dearly Departed Salutation”. That was followed by a call from a reporter at Forbes.com seeking my opinion on the use of “hi” vs. “dear” as an email salutation or greeting.  From the comments and responses in those articles, this topic stirred up quite a controversy. And it continues.

Opinions on the proper email salutation:

Those who were either interviewed or quoted in were adamant about their stance.  Some felt the word “dear” was old-fashioned and out-of-date.  One person said it was too “girlie” while another stated that it was extremely intimate. Yet another replied that using any salutation at all takes too much time to type. I’m no speed typist, but really? How long does it take to type two letters?

Opinions were all over the map. Many people who preferred “hello” over “hi.”  “Hey” did not seem to get any votes.  Maybe all those interviewed had a mother like mine who drilled into me that “hey” was not an appropriate greeting in any situation. “Hay is for horses” was her response to anyone saying “hey”.  As a Southerner, I have to admit that I use the word frequently as a verbal greeting with friends.  It’s as common as grits here in the Georgia.

My stance on the email salutation:

  1. One size does not fit all. Use the email salutation appropriate to the situation and the person to whom you are addressing your email. Context and familiarity dictate the salutation.
  2. Use “dear” in your initial correspondence with someone whom you have never met and with whom you are trying to establish a professional relationship. When in doubt, “dear” is always safe and should be the default greeting for any first communication
  3. Use “hi” or “hello” once you have established a comfortable relationship. “Hi” is viewed as relaxing and welcoming.
  4. Follow the lead of your client or customer. If the other person always uses “dear”, then so do you. If they begin their correspondence with you by saying “hi,” follow suit. As in all business situations, mimic your client.
  5. Use a salutation of some form. There is always enough time to be courteous. Launching your conversation without a greeting is the same online as it is in person. It’s abrupt.
  6. Along with your chose email salutation include the person’s name. However, never use anyone’s first name in business until and unless they give you permission. When people sign their email reply to you using their first name, that is a signal that you no longer need to use “Mr.” or Ms.”
  7. With friends you may be as informal as you like. If you frequently exchange email with certain friends and colleagues, there is no need to be formal. Nevertheless, I am a fan of a greeting of some sort even if it is simply starting off with your friend’s or co-worker’s first name.

Still confused? Let me summarize:

  • Although “Dear” is viewed as outmoded by some, it is a failsafe fall-back.
  • “Hello” followed by the person’s name, is also acceptable.
  • “Hi”, plus the name, has been on the rise for some time, and is considered standard in many situations.

At this point, I leave the email salutation to your good judgment. I feel confident that “dear” is not dead.  But I believe that we are going to see a lot more “hi” in our in-boxes.

Lydia Ramsey is a Savannah-based business etiquette expert, keynote speaker and trainer. She is the author of Manners That Sell – Adding the Polish That Builds Profits and Lydia Ramsey’s Little Book of Table Manners. Contact her at 912-604-0080 or visit her website: LydiaRamsey.com to find out how her presentations and workshops can help you and your employees add the polish that builds profits.

Barbeque Etiquette – It’s Time to Revisit the Rules

Posted on by

It’s  time to brush up on your barbeque etiquette. Memorial Day is upon us, marking the official start of the summer barbeque season. This is the time of the year when the grill is hauled out, cleaned off, the required cooking utensils inventoried, lawn furniture hosed down, and barbeque sauces and rubs added to the grocery list.

If barbeque etiquette sounds like an oxymoron, it isn’t. There are rules for how to conduct yourself whether you are the host or the guest. Just because these events are held outdoors and are casual in nature does not mean that anything goes. Whether it’s a business occasion like the company picnic or a gathering of family and friends, there are required behaviors.

Etiquette Tips for the Host:

  1. Be prepared. Make sure you have enough of everything from charcoal or propane to food and beverages. Don’t forget an ample supply of plastic cups, paper plates, napkins and disposable cutlery. Grandma’s china and crystal are not the best substitutes if you run out of serving items.
  2. Have a rain plan. While rain should be forbidden during outdoor events, it happens. Arrange for tents if the crowd is large or know how you will manage when your guests gather indoors.
  3. Provide all the food and beverage. Unless you are hosting a family reunion or the traditional neighborhood party, don’t ask people to bring the food. If someone insists on bringing a dish; be gracious and accept, but don’t make it a requirement.
  4. Have plenty of bug spray and insect repellent. Your guests should eat, not be eaten. If you live in a “buggy” environment, it’s a good idea to have food domes on hand, not only to keep certain foods warm, but also to keep pests out of your culinary delights.

Etiquette Tips for the Guest:

  1. Keep your grilling advice to yourself. Your host is in charge of the grill. You may have what you consider to be a better way of doing of things, but unless you realize the host is about to set the house on fire, keep your mouth shut. Open it only for conversation and food.
  2. Leave your legendary potato salad at home. Unless you are asked to bring a dish, don’t. It would be an insult to your host who already has a carefully planned menu. It is certainly nice to offer to bring something, but ask first to be sure it is welcome.
  3. Volunteer to help. These events can get hectic so offer your assistance especially when it comes to cleaning up.
  4. Use your napkin to clean off your sticky fingers. Tempting as it may be to lick your fingers, it is simply not good manners even at a picnic. Neither is using your finger nail or toothpick to pluck the corn silk from between your teeth. Be sure to have dental floss on hand, but excuse yourself before you pull it out.

Etiquette Tips Specifically for the Company Barbecue

  1. Maintain your professionalism. While you are there to have fun, be mindful of your actions and your words.
  2. Dress like a professional. Business attire is not expected, but your casual dress should be conservative. Avoid anything that is sloppy, shabby, sexy or revealing.
  3. Hold back when serving yourself. Piling on as much food as your plate will hold makes you look like you only came to eat. You can go back for seconds once everyone has been served.
  4. Play it safe with the drinks. If alcohol is being served, limit your intake. Warm weather, alcoholic beverages and a company barbecue can be a dangerous combination.

Barbecue picnics are a relaxed way for family, friends and co-workers to come together to socialize and build relationships. Enjoy yourself, but be mindful of your manners. Demonstrate your best barbecue etiquette so you will be invited back and, in case of the company picnic, to insure that you will still have a job on the next working day.

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 and your employees add the polish that builds profits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Medical Manners Equal High Patient Satisfaction

Posted on by

Medical manners

Declining reimbursements, increased overhead, patient overload and the rush to litigation are but a few of the reasons to “sweat the small stuff” in the medical arena. If you don’t think you need to pay attention to the details when it comes to making your patients happy as well as healthy, think again. If ever there was a time to mind your medical manners, it’s now.

Good medical manners and proper office etiquette can make a significant difference in how physicians and their staff are viewed by their patients. If patients feel valued by their physicians and have positive interactions with staff, they are more likely to become longtime loyal customers. Yes, patients are customers. If your patients don’t return, it may not be because they have recovered. It may be they went somewhere else where they are treated with consideration.

It stands to reason that a happy patient is a healthier patient. If everyone in a physician’s practice takes the time to make patients feel appreciated, those people on whom you rely to build your practice will come back time and again and will refer others. Kindness, courtesy and respect are the right treatment for all patients. No one is allergic.

Let me suggest ten basic rules of etiquette that can have a positive effect on patient satisfaction and outcomes:

  1. Stop, look and listen. This rule does not simply apply to railroad crossings. While doctors can rarely spare as much time with patients as they once did, the people they treat need not wonder if their doctor is wearing a stop watch or has set an alarm on his Apple watch.
  2. Make eye contact with patients. It is sometimes hard to give the patient your direct attention while managing the requirements of the practice technology. Look at your patients, not the computer. Pay attention to their body language as well as their vital signs. If your computer is positioned so that you have to turn away from the patient, reconfigure its’ placement.
  3. When you ask critical questions, pay attention to the answers. Practice good listening skills like nodding at the person, repeating what you heard and paraphrasing what was said. Don’t interrupt or try to finish someone’s sentence. You might miss valuable information
  4. Practice professional meeting and greeting. From your initial encounter with patients, show warmth and friendliness. Honor people by shaking their hand.
  5. Use the patient’s name immediately. Address people by their title and last name until you receive permission to call them by their first name. While some people prefer informality, others may be offended.
  6. Introduce yourself. That may sound silly, but people shouldn’t have to guess if you are the doctor or  another member of the staff.
  7. Let patients know what to expect after you leave the room. What is going to happen next? Who will give follow up instructions?
  8. Pay your attire is important. If you choose to ditch the white coat, your appearance should still be impeccable—neat, clean and pressed.
  9. Know what goes on in your office at all levels. You may not think it is your job to know what your patients experience from the time they walk into your office, but it is. This is no time to make assumptions. Ask for feedback from patients and staff.
  10. Invest time and money in training your employees in the importance of soft skills and customer service. While interpersonal skills may not seem as critical as clinical skills in a physician’s practice, without them there soon may be no patients to treat.

People have choices about where they go for their medical care; you want that to be your office.

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 and your employees add the polish that builds profits.

 

How Much is Rudeness Costing Your Business?

Posted on by

Business Etiquette - The Key to SuccessHave you ever thought about how much rudeness may be affecting your bottom line? What is the cost to your company when the people who represent you lack proper manners?

Do you know how many clients are turned off by employees who would rather carry on a conversation with each other than with the client? Can you count the number of people who hang up and call someone else because the person who answered your phone put them on hold without asking permission?

How does the client rate your professionalism when the employee who welcomes him to your office looks as if she is dressed for a day at the beach? Are your employees treating each other with courtesy and respect? Do they work as a team and help each other out or do they act like cast members on Survivor?

Try taking this quick true/false quiz to test your own business etiquette expertise. Then run it by your employees to assess their rudeness quotient.

    1. Business etiquette is based on rank and hierarchy.
    2. If the information on your business card is incorrect, draw a line through it and write the correct information on the card.
    3. Business casual means dressing down one notch from business professional.
    4. In today’s relaxed business environment, it is not necessary to ask your clients’ permission before using their first names.
    5. Callers do not mind holding for information as much as holding for a person.
    6. Handwritten notes are out of place in the business world.
    7. A man should wait for a woman to put out her hand in business before offering his.
    8. When composing an e-mail message, complete the “To” line last.
    9. Small talk around the office is a waste of time.
    10. If you receive a call on your cell phone when you are with a client, it’s fine to check to see who’s calling, but don’t answer.

Answers:

    1. In business, you defer to the senior or highest ranking person, regardless of age or gender.
    2. Handing out business cards with information that is outdated is unprofessional. Have new cards printed immediately.
    3. Business casual is not an excuse to wear your favorite old clothes to the office. It’s business. Look professional.
    4. Don’t assume you can call clients by their first name. Use titles and last names until asked to do otherwise.
    5. Clients will wait patiently while you search for information on their behalf.
    6. Handwritten notes have become as rare as the typewriter. Stand out from your competition by sending your clients handwritten notes.
    7. In business it is off-putting when a man hesitates to extend his hand to a woman.
    8. If you wait until you have carefully proofed your message before you hit “send”, you will never be embarrassed or have to apologize for your email errors.
    9. Small talk in the office is a great way to build relationships among co-workers.
    10. It is just as rude to check your phone to see who called as it is to take a call in front of a client. Turn your phone off and check your messages later.

If you had trouble with any of these questions, your employees will, too. If you want your employees to be at ease in business situations, to represent you well and help build your business, give them the information they need. If you haven’t engaged in business etiquette skills training lately, do it now. Don’t let rudeness cost you business.

No one is born with good manners. People have to be taught, and from time to time, they need to be reminded of what they already know.

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 and your employees add the polish that builds profits.

 

Are You Among Email Users or Email Abusers?

Posted on by

Did you know that 205 billion email messages are sent every day? That’s 2.4 million every second and some 74 trillion per year. I am sure that there are days when you feel that they all landed in your inbox. Studies show that  the average office worker receives 121 emails every day and sends 40.

When you consider that in a recent poll, white-collar adult workers confessed that 6.3 hours of their day is spent on email, the numbers are even more shocking. And don’t even think of a world without email. It is and will remain the cornerstone of our workplace.

While it is time-consuming and frequently annoying, there are steps that can be taken to cut down on the time spent on email, but what about the annoying part? Much of what causes email grief is the fault of the sender. The explosion of electronic messaging has created as many problems among co-workers as it has solved. Email abusers are ruffling feathers. You may recognize some of them and their irritating habits.

The most egregious email abusers are those who wait until the last minute. An hour before the meeting or  teleconference, they send a list of ten issues you need to be prepared to discuss. They would have you believe that they are so busy and important that they couldn’t get word to you sooner. Truth is that they procrastinated. Now their problem becomes your problem.

These same people also wait until the eleventh hour to let you know that they won’t be at the meeting. They wouldn’t dare pick up the phone and tell you personally so they hide behind e-mail. When you don’t get the message because you were on your way to the meeting, they act surprised and totally innocent, saying, “But I sent an e-mail.”

Another group of email abusers tends to send out emergency notices. Mid-morning you get the message that your proposal needs to be ready for presentation to the client at 2 PM. Not only that, the boss needs to approve it first. They don’t have the courage to call you or come to your office and risk experiencing your reaction to their lack of consideration in person. Worst of all, when the deadline is missed, they are quick to tell everyone, “I don’t understand. I sent that information to her earlier.”

Then there are the email abusers who never respond to email. You know who they are. You can e-mail them till the cows come home, and they won’t answer. When you confront them, they swear they didn’t get your message. They blame it on their server or the latest virus.

E-mail is only as good as the people who use it.

Be considerate of recipients. Chances are they are not sitting at their desk with nothing else to do but check email. Furthermore, they may not even be at their desk. If you have waited until the last minute, don’t put your message in an email. Pick up the phone or walk to your co-worker’s office to break the news.

When it comes to email, remember these five points:

    1. It is not the instantaneous communication it was once considered.
    2. In fact, email is the new snail mail.
    3. It is slow. People read it infrequently.
    4. If you want something done quickly, don’t send an email.

Use the Internet to build relationships, not destroy them. Email is a valuable tool only when it is used correctly.

Lydia Ramsey is a Savannah-based business etiquette expert, keynote speaker, trainer and author. Her quick wit, southern charm and extensive knowledge of business etiquette make her a sought-after speaker. 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.

 

 

Telephone Etiquette is Crucial to Customer Service

Posted on by

Telephone etiquette is a critical ingredient to making a positive first impression.  Make sure that you and everyone else who has access to your clients by phone know and practice professional courtesy. A training session on telephone etiquette is one way to insure consistency and professionalism.

Make no assumptions—not everyone has appropriate manners. Whoever answers your phone represents the entire organization and its philosophy about customer service.

Here are some suggestions for what your employees need to know.

Answer the phone promptly. Every call should be answered between the first and third ring. In many instances the caller hears a preliminary ring that you may not. What you think is the first ring may in fact be the second. We live in a world of instant expectations. If you don’t answer the phone immediately, people assume that you are either closed for the day, out of business or simply provide poor service. Answer the phone as soon as it rings, and grab that customer before your competition does.

Identify yourself immediately. One of the top complaints about telephone etiquette is that people fail to give their name. Whether you are placing or receiving a call, identify yourself right away. No one wants to guess who you are or be put in the awkward position of having to ask.

Be prepared with pen and paper. People are not impressed when you have to search for pencil and paper. If you aren’t prepared to take information, perhaps you aren’t prepared to do business.

Take accurate messages. Because of voice mail we don’t take messages as often as we used to, and we fail to mention this vital step in our telephone etiquette training. If you need to do so, check that you have written the information correctly. Repeat the spelling of the caller’s name. Double check the phone number as well as the wording of the message.

Transfer calls smoothly. Most of us cringe when someone says, “Let me transfer your call.” We have visions of being passed around from person to person and telling our story over and over again before finding someone who can help. If you need to transfer a call, ask the caller to hold while you confirm that you are sending the call to the right person and that that person is indeed available.

Manage the hold key with courtesy. In most telephone surveys, people rank being put on hold as their biggest frustration. Ask your callers’ permission before placing them on hold and wait to hear their reply. Answering the phone with a “hold, please” and immediately hitting the hold key will gain you nothing but an annoyed caller.

Put a smile on your face when you answer the phone. Even if you aren’t feeling cheery, your callers don’t need to know. A smile changes the entire tone of your voice and is audible over the phone. You would smile if the customer was standing in front of you—or I hope you would—so smile on the phone. Fake it if you have to, but do it.

At the end of the day, ask yourself what kind of impression you gave your callers. Was it your best and your company’s best? Did you treat every caller as valuable? If not, remind yourself that there is no such thing as an unimportant phone call and that you are the voice of the business.

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 and your employees add the polish that builds profits.

On the Job Tips for the New Hire

Posted on by

Make a good first impression on the job

Tips for the new hire. Why? Because starting a new job can be exciting and scary. The good news is that you have one. The goal is to keep it. Getting off on the right foot is often the challenge.

Whether you are going to work for the first time, taking a different position in the same organization or joining a new company, the role of the new hire isn’t easy. To begin with, you may encounter some unexpected attitudes from your coworkers. Some may be delighted with the choice to hire you while others may have wanted your new position for themselves. Following these simple rules of behavior when you start to work will help things go smoothly.

Listen more than you talk.

Don’t try to impress everyone with who you are and what you know. Ask smart questions, and then let others do the speaking. You will learn more this way about what you need to know to get along with others and to do your job well.

Treat everyone with the same courtesy and respect.

Don’t assume that you know who the most important people are. Everyone is of value to you because you are all part of a team. Keep an open mind about the people in the office. It takes a while on the job to figure out the critical alliances so go slowly in establishing relationships.

Steer clear of the office gossip.

This is a good rule to follow no matter how long you are on the job. Don’t even listen to the negative stories, let alone spread them. While you are gathering information about the organization and the personnel, be careful that the questions you ask are not perceived as personal. Showing an interest in your colleagues is different from prying into their private lives.

Be careful what you reveal about yourself. 

Some of your new co-workers will be curious about you and want to get to know you better right off the bat. If people are asking questions that go beyond your qualifications for or interest in your job, be thoughtful with your responses. When you reveal personal information about yourself to your co-workers, you are treading on dangerous turf.

 Ask for help when you need it.

No one expects you to know everything. If you try to act like you do, you are most likely to turn people off rather than impress them. People like to be needed so asking for assistance in the beginning is a positive way of building relationships. Even the office grump may feel flattered.

It takes time to assess a new workplace and to make appropriate decisions. If you proceed with caution, your judgments will be solid, your relationships positive and your career long.

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.