Dear Carnegie Coach:
My role within my company has recently changed. In the past I have spent most of my time working from my desk or in our conference room. In my new job I am going to need to spend more time outside of the office meeting and dealing with clients. I want to make sure that I can handle this role in the most professional way. Do you have any tips for how I should handle myself in these situations?
Everyone wants to project a professional image when starting out in a new job. People want to conduct business with people who are socially and professionally accomplished. To avoid the mess that always accompanies inappropriate behavior, cultivate a professional image that allows you to navigate the professional environment with ease and comfort. Here are some tips that will allow you to demonstrate positive etiquette and strengthen your professional standing in the group
- Promptness – Develop a reputation for being on time and you will earn the respect of other organized professionals. Nothing is more frustrating to a team than constantly waiting for a tardy participant.
- Greetings – Take the time to greet everyone with a friendly, personal greeting. You will have the time to do this properly if you arrive a little early to meetings so that you can greet others as they arrive.
- Look the part – If professional attire is expected, you should wear it; if you are coming in from a job site, take a few moments to dust off and look presentable. If you wear one, it is appropriate to remove your hat during an inside meeting.
- Listen – In meetings, you should listen at least twice as much as you talk. Keep your eyes and attention focused on the speaker.
- Leaving the meeting – Don’t rush out in a hurry; it will seem like you are eager to get away as fast as possible. Stay behind for an appropriate length of time to help straighten up the meeting room, talk informally with other participants, and ask the facilitator any relevant questions.
- Follow up – Be clear on assignments given during the meeting and be prompt in completing your assignment by following up with any requested information.
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