It’s this new thing called Facebook – ever heard of it? Boasting two billion members, Facebook has become a staple in everyday social life. As the social world expands into the professional world, it’s time to use this social tool to boost your professional life. Continue reading
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you will have meetings. Although sometimes inconvenient, they are a valuable and effective tool that can also serve as a measure of your professional-ness. This is a time when your team or greater organization comes together to get everyone on the same page, exchange ideas, promote teamwork, and demonstrate culture. Although all meetings may not feel important, your composure and presentation show indication of your entire professional self. No matter the meeting, you must bring your A-game.
Here are a few tips on how to be your best meeting self:
1. Come Prepared
Good meeting etiquette begins before the meeting does. Meeting prep goes beyond simply having materials ready, you must be mentally ready as well. If your mind is elsewhere during a meeting, chances are you won’t deliver your best self. Find a natural stopping point in your projects so you can be totally present in each meeting.
2. Preparation, Part 2
Before the meeting begins, be sure to familiarize yourself with the agenda and be prepared to ask and answer questions and provide support. You should have materials ready for not only yourself, but others as well. Technology can be fussy and distracting, so print items out to share your insights.
3. Arrive Promptly
This should go without saying, but always arrive on time. You don’t want that awkward hustling in and missing information.
4. Actively Participate
This also sounds obvious, but it’s true. It can feel easy to zone out, but practicing active listening and asking questions demonstrates your investment.
5. Take Notes
Writing physical notes is a great way to actively participate and remember what happened. A lot goes on in these meetings, it’s impossible to remember everything. Jot down your post-meeting action items, next steps, project notes, important reminders, even write down your questions to ask later in the meeting when they are appropriate.
6. Leave the Tech Outside
Bringing in a laptop, phone, or tablet can feel tempting, but it’s just too distracting. While you might have quick access to information, it might be too much information. Emails and texts come in, news updates, it’s just not worth splitting your attention. If you absolutely must, put your phone on silent and keep your laptop in its case until necessary.
7. Nervous Habits and Body Language
Be aware of your nervous habits: leg bouncing, hair twirling, finger tapping, pen clicking… Those can all be major distractions and annoyances for others. If you have nervous energy, take a moment to analyze why. Are you presenting a big project? Are you bored? Simply being aware of why you have this nervous energy can help diminish it.
While you’re taking inventory of yourself, take a look at your posture. No slouching or boxing out coworkers. Sit up straight and look confident and invested.
Again, meeting etiquette doesn’t end when the meeting does. Follow up with meeting members, provide requested materials, and meet all meeting points with action.
Your preparedness and action will only serve you in these meetings. Absorb information and actively participate and you’ll be sure to deliver your best work and wow your boss.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and with it comes the ever-popular office holiday party. It’s a fun year-end celebration that brings coworkers together in a much more casual fashion. But make no mistake – professional guidelines still apply.
This is very much a work event like any other. You will be socializing with your coworkers and superiors, and you will have to see them on Monday.
The festivity can be a holly jolly good time, if you conduct yourself in a way that’s both fun and professional.
Here are a few tips:
1. Don’t not go
The holiday party is an important element of your workplace’s culture, and it’s important that you don’t miss it. Your absence will most definitely be noticed, as will a quick visit. Arrive in a timely fashion, work the room, and don’t be the first to leave.
2. Be wary of invite etiquette
Some parties will have a plus one, some won’t, some will allow kids, some won’t. It’s best to be sure that you know who you can and cannot bring, and to RSVP appropriately. If you are bringing guests with you, be sure to prepare them in who’s who, manners and etiquette, and dress. Your guests are a reflection of you.
3. Dress appropriately
Don’t wear anything you wouldn’t wear to the office. Some offices will elevate the dress code (black tie, cocktail, business casual, etc.), so be sure you wear proper attire while maintaining your professional standards.
4. Drink responsibly
Booze can make you do some regrettable things. It’s best to limit yourself and do not get drunk.
5. Have your party face on
It will be easy to hide in a corner with your +1 or your work BFF, but it’s important that you branch out, socialize, and work the room. Enthusiastically spend time with people outside your department and outside of your tier. Avoid gossip, flirting, or controversial topics (think politics, religion, etc.). And most importantly, do not talk about work stuff.
6. Accept toasts and praise
It’s not uncommon for toasts to be included in the festivities. If you are recognized with a toast or a round of applause, graciously accept it – even if you are uncomfortable. Your denial or downplay of the celebration will dampen the mood. Later in the workweek (after the party), you can pull the toaster aside and thank them for the recognition and politely let them know that you prefer private recognition.
7. Thank yous and thank you cards
Before you leave, be sure to verbally thank the organizers. They put a lot of hard work into making the party happen. Follow it up with a nice thank you card, it will go farther than you think.
8. Post-event social media behavior
It’s okay to post photos from the event – you want to show off your workplace! But don’t talk about “how lame the party was” or post photos of your coworkers that could get them in trouble. Again, if you wouldn’t say it or show it directly to your CEO, it’s best not to post it at all.
The party is supposed to be fun. A little bit of self-restraint can help you make sure that it stays fun. Happy Holidays!