Although there is no truth to the rumor that I have a pair of wing tip boat shoes, I do try to dress well for our meetings here in Connecticut as well as to any other networking event I attend.
I suppose since the meeting of the Westport Chapter is near where I live, at the end of day, and since I work out of the house, I’m sure no one would think it odd if I was wearing old ratty jeans and a sweatshirt. I could always tell them I was fixing something around the house or make up some other lame excuse.
The truth is that I don’t get many opportunities to wear my “grown up” clothes. Just kidding.
The real story is that in this world of infrequent face to face get-togethers you only get one chance to make a good first impression and I choose not to miss ANY opportunity. You can be dumb as a box of rocks, but if you are well dressed, those around you will ASSUME you are successful.
What is often forgotten in this world is how little most of us know about each other. If you consider every communication to another person as adding to the “base of knowledge” they have about you, perhaps I can get each of you to stop and think and change your behaviors.
In addition to your personal appearance, give great thought to how you might be perceived every time you reach out and touch someone.
Are your phone calls and messages left when you don’t reach the other party professional? Do you repeat your name and spell it if it is unusual? What about your phone number? Do you slow down and repeat it twice so that folks can easily return your calls? By the way, have you called yourself recently and listened to your message? Yes, I know we are all concerned about identity theft and privacy these days, but phone messages that just repeat the number I dialed without telling me who I reached leaving me feeling uncomfortable.
With respect to your email communications, although I know we won’t win all of you over unless I beat you over the head night after night (and I am prepared to do that), many members seem to be unaware of how unintelligent they appear by not writing a proper cover note when responding to one of the opportunities being managed by The FECG. Simple things like following all the requirements would go a long way toward us sensing your true nature.
Perhaps a few examples would help. I ask that those submitting their credentials for our assignments rename their files: LastNameFirstName.doc. (Not everyone does.) So, let me ask you, does budmatthewr.doc look as nice as BudMatthewR.doc? (If you voted for BudMatthewR.doc, you are correct. Sometimes it comes out as Budmatthew.doc, which I think is really sloppy.
Dare I beat the drum about outgoing signatures again? Okay, glad you asked. When I provide my contact information it appears in part as follows:
(203) 227-8965 Office Phone
(203) 820-4667 Cell
If I was less precise or concerned I suppose it might appear as:
office (203) 227-8965
cell (203) 820-4667
fax (203) 227-8984
Which do you think is better? (Hopefully you picked the first version.) Does it matter? Could you still reach me? Sure, but which one appears to be more professional?
I know that there are many of you who try to set the right example for your fellow members by always being the consummate professional. I would ask those of you who are, to be patient with everyone else. If we constantly try to help those around us to “be all they can be,” long term it will happen.
And, no, it isn’t “cool” to type all in upper case or lower case. It is simply unprofessional.