September 11, 2017

Survival tips for modern business etiquette

"Excuse Me — The Survival Guide to Modern Business Etiquette" by Rosanne J. Thomas (AMACOM, $21.95).

While much of the book provides a "how-to" for those entering the business world, Chapter 3 on "Personal Presence" stands out because it deals with personal branding — a career-maker or career-breaker. "Brand You" begins with personal appearance because it makes the first impression, which, if poor, can be hard to overcome. While dressing professionally differs by industry and corporate culture, people assume that those who aren't well-groomed do sloppy work.

Also, build your brand by dressing for the job you want, not the job you have. As I walked down the halls when I visited a friend at a Fortune 50 company, I could easily tell the managers and executives from the workers by their attire. Those higher up will notice.

Thomas points out that personal appearance extends to your social media presence as well. People will check your LinkedIn profile for number of contacts, endorsements and recommendations. Based upon what's there or not there, people form an impression of your brand. They do the same evaluation when they look at postings and comments on your Facebook page.

Your attitude speaks volumes to others, too. By treating others as important, they respond in-kind. A positive attitude creates a brand that shows you're open to the perspective of others, which means you're willing to learn. The persons with whom you associate reflects your attitude, too. Those who succeed align with others who have positive outlooks.

Self-management wraps "Personal Presence" into the "Total Package" because it shows that you not only look the part, you play the part. Excelling at planning, priority juggling and execution separates stars from those who do a good job. "Good is the enemy of great," says Jim Collins, author of the book "Good to Great.

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