Are you Professional at what you do? Really? Better yet – can you be personable and professional at the same time? If you can’t, trouble is surely looming just around the corner.
Now don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having small talk about family, hobbies, likes and dislikes, because “it can be a large component in your overall business bonds. Obviously, you don’t want to be too controversial (the rule about avoiding politics and religion is truer than ever) and you want to watch just what you reveal about yourself (Arrested with a hooker? Maybe keep that under your hat).”
Yes – sharing small personal details as part of your business conversion tends to make you human.
Indeed, “professional relationships should be personable but they must be guided by decorum and specific boundaries. Abandoning parameters can create conflict, loss of respect and even embarrassment.”
Below are some fundamental steps to establishing and maintaining personable yet professional business relationships.
Step 1 – Formalize your business relationship by having all parties involved sign a contract that clearly outlines each party’s responsibilities.
Step 2 – Set the right example by addressing others with a respectful-polite tone and good attitude, even under stress. Use proper language and avoid using lingo, slang or swear words.
Step 3 – Write professional correspondence by addressing the addressee with the proper salutation. For example, write or type “Mr. Smith” unless the person is commonly addressed as John or Johnny. And, spell out words instead of using acronyms to avoid any confusion or miscommunication.
Step 4 – Answer phone calls using your first and last name. Don’t chit-chat excessively. Politely get to the point. Also, use your first and last name when making outbound calls.
Step 5 – Avoid talking about passionate off-work subjects like religion, politics or personal relationships. Avoid touching or patting business associates inappropriately when interacting with them.
Step 6 – Conduct professional workshops that address excellence in customer care and art of developing professionally rewarding business relationships.
Step 7 – Always maintain the professional high ground; others could be watching.
Remember – “Business is Business,” don’t get too personal, and “Keep it Professional.”