You Are the Message

You would be amazed at the number of professional gaffes you unknowingly make in your business dealings on a given day. As a business professional everything you say, do, and wear is a representation of your level of professionalism. This applies to everyone in your company—particularly those who interact directly with your customers.

The day-to-day interactions (both internally and externally) that you and your company’s staff engage in each day is an on-going public relations campaign. Every type of communication (emails, blogs, tweets, memos, press releases, product literature) that is sent out or posted from your place of business represents your company as a whole.

This is particularly critical when it comes to social media. With the Web 2.0 tools, writing often tends to be abbreviated and lack proper punctuation. This might be okay on your personal social media accounts to close acquaintances, but it’s still not recommended.

When you allow yourself to get lax in your personal communication, you risk it becoming a standard for all of your communication. It’s best to invest the time necessary to make all of your interactions be professional and relevant.

This goes for how you present yourself in terms of your attire, personal grooming, posture, and handshake. Give each of these areas the proper amount of attention. When you focus on the details, the bigger picture will take care of itself.

“In a technically sophisticated, performance driven and bottom line oriented society, success in business today still depends on the mastery of soft skills,” says Ellen Reddick, Managing Partner of the Utah-based Impact Factory. “How you present yourself, your grooming, your body language, and your business and social etiquette skills speak volumes about your credibility.”

As a business professional, you work hard to position yourself and your company in your industry and marketplace. Don’t let minor oversights in your professional demeanor undermine your efforts and the progress you worked hard to establish. Invest in your professionalism by taking the time to develop proper social etiquette.

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