Does your conduct misrepresent, undermine or corrupt your company’s image and mission?
Have you ever heard a great idea, but found that it was lost in translation because of the messenger? If so, you’re not alone. It happens frequently in business.
Let’s be honest. It’s okay to be your unique, undeniable self. But if you find that it takes a special kind of person to relate to you then it’s perfectly okay to send your representative. Because at the end of the day, like it or not, professionalism helps others to relate to your ideas and increase your bottom line.
If you want to instantly improve your company’s image here are five unprofessional habits to break immediately when it comes to business.
1. If You’re Not Early, You’re Late.
We can all improve our time management skills – especially when we’re conducting business. It’s one thing not to value your own time, but when you’re looking to close a deal, establish new partnerships or simply grow your business excessive tardiness can quickly halt your plans.
If you’re repeatedly late, it signals that you don’t respect another person’s time. And while life happens to us all, strive to be early and you’ll be right on time.
2. Speak up. Was that English?
Slang may be appropriate when you’re with friends, but table it when you’re doing business. I’m glad that you’re compelled to take an active part in the development of language but don’t forget to “assess your audience.” You may think, “Oh, they don’t mind!” And while your prospective client may smile, nod and grin … they may quietly think to themselves, “Where’s the closest exit because this person can’t possibly represent my business interests.”
When in doubt, err on the side of casual professionalism and make others feel comfortable in your presence. Unique is great, until it starts creatively killing your bottom line.
3. 99 Problems? Leave them all at the door.
Your small business should never become a breeding ground for psychotherapy sessions. Sharing your personal problems on a regular basis can hinder productivity, team morale and negate confidence in your ability as a leader.
Harsh? Probably. But leave the “buddy-buddy” talk for people that are truly invested enough to care and contribute to a solution.
4. Move away from the open bar. Quickly!
Everyone enjoys great networking events. It helps to establish rapport and build relationships. But, don’t get too comfortable and take like a fish to water once the first bottle of Chteau Margaux is opened. You definitely don’t want to be remembered as, “The girl that …”
Leave the keg stands for a more appropriate venue and let your business pitch become more memorable than your vices.
5. Would you like a Percaset?
Uncontrolled bouts of anger have no place in your business. If you find it increasingly hard to control your temper in stressful situations, seek professional help. Sure! It’s hard to navigate emotionally-charged situations, especially if you’re a “passionate” person. But there is a fine line between passion and professionalism. Not only can you alienate your team and make others uncomfortable, but you may find certain areas of your business are suffering because of it.
Keep cool. Things happen. Assess your perspective, get objective and find common ground.
Still not sure where to draw the line when it comes to business? Take a tip from the99percent.com and maintain your daily routine with an adequate and appropriate level of decorum, self-presentation and professionalism to ensure your work, relationships and business continue to thrive in the way they deserve to do so.
Photo Credit: Eniko Mihalik in Mango