You don’t need to be a former royal butler to the late Princess Diana (aka Paul Butler pictured), to portray personal brand presence of grace, charm and courteousness. When dealing with others I believe we could all use a little charm in our interactions with other people. After all everything you do creates impressions in the minds of others.
I was reminded of this when dealing with two Telstra stores this week. The contrast between attentive, gracious customer service – and none was astounding.
The request to both stores via phone was the same – to see if they could fulfill an order and solve an issue. First call resulted in an emphatic no without really listening, the second listened, asked the manager and said yes, come in in one hour – I’ll book you in and I’m sure we can help.
When I arrived at the appointed time, I was greeted politely, received efficient service and my problem was solved with an air of friendliness.
Whether you are giving service or receiving, online or in person, your business manners and the way you interact with other people need to be considered. It is your personal brand that is on show. Now some people might think it doesn’t matter or perhaps it’s a bit old-fashioned. We all know of rude people who are business leaders and seemingly successful. I know who I’d rather deal with.
Even in these disruptive, diverse times where some people say, tweet and do what they like, I believe it pays to be a class act in all situations.
Inspired by the book Choosing Civility: The 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct by Dr. P. M. Forni, I reveal a number of considerate behaviours that can have an effect on your personal brand particularly in a workplace or career environment.
- Respect other people’s time. We’re all busy. It’s not all about you. Being constantly late for meetings or even social occasions is disrespectful.
- Listen and pay attention. People like to be heard and have their opinion considered. People are peeved when they are interrupted mid-sentence. If you really listen and let the other person do most of the talking they’ll think you are a wonderful conversationalist.
- Keep it down and rediscover silence. In this instance I’m going to refer to the mobile phone. Common complaints are talking too loud, annoying ring tones, interrupting meetings, lunches etc. by talking to the caller. Doesn’t hurt to turn it off occasionally.
- Respect other people’s space. Particularly in a co-work or open office environment. Are you the one eating smelly food at your desk? Hot desk left neat and tidy? What’s the state of the fridge or kitchen area? Does your desk or place of work say organised professional?
- Business class at business events. Learn how to make introductions properly, try to remember names and do display impeccable table manners.
- Speak kindly. Good manners are simply kindness and care. It is a bit like the word thank you. I am sure you always do say thank you, but many others don’t. According to one of my readers, she was surprised to receive no acknowledgement from students when she wrote glowing references for them and one which helped a girl get the job of her dreams. Not a word. It is also rude not to acknowledge a gift that has been given. Do email or send thank you notes often.
- Accept and give praise . A reader said, “I have just come away from my local Woolies where I encountered a really courteous and charming young man. I complimented him on his manners and told his boss too. I left several smiling faces.” This is one tip I followed by leaving a positive online review about my Telstra store experience. Often we readily criticise and complain rather than compliment.
There’s a host of other points I could make but I’m sure you get my drift, it’s the “little things” that count.
What do you think?
You can learn more about your personal brand with my video series: NOOK, LOOK, HOOK, 3 Ways to Build a Stand Out Personal Brand.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is passionate about helping business executives and entrepreneurial professionals elevate their personal brand, image and professional presence through Appearance, Brand and Communication. Sue’s suite of services delivered through workshops, consulting, coaching and keynote presentations provides a multi-faceted approach to gain high transformation for her clients.