Anna Soo Wildermuth

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Here I'll give you up to date tips on developing your personal and professional image to ensure your first impression will be your best impression. Also I will blog about current image and communication blunders. Feel free to join the discussion by leaving comments, and stay updated by subscribing to the RSS feed. Thanks for visiting my blog. – Anna

Change One Thing is a superb book that gives excellent advice to help jumpstart your engine." Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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Archive: Business Social Etiquette

Be a master host

entertaining-foodist-484Entertaining a client is a good way to continue to build a relationship. However, if not handled appropriately, the relationship may get damaged. To ensure it is an impactful and enjoyable event, follow these tips:

• Be respectful of the client’s time, let them choose a convenient time and date.
• Pick a dining location that is easy to get to.
• When extending the invite, share the purpose – a thank you or a catch up on a project.

These are guidelines I have used that have helped make entertaining a success for the client and myself.

Who pays for the meal?

conflict_resolution250WThe question comes up about who pays when dining together. A client never really pays. For friends and colleagues, the key is in the invite. The expectation is that the person who extends the invitation pays. However, if some says let’s meet for lunch, it is a shared expense.

Political correctness

A key laying on a piece of paper with the word "leadership" on it.

Lately, we have been hit by the media that political correctness doesn’t matter…that saying what you think is the best approach. I agree with ignoring rudeness from rude folks because taking the high road not to engage seems to be the right thing to do at times. I often wonder, though, if with that approach, we send the message that we are tacitly agreeable. Perhaps, a facial expression showing distaste may send the most appropriate message that we disagree with rudeness, arrogance and untruths.

Holiday Parties- Part Two

holidayWhat you wear to holiday parties depends on the event itself. For holiday weeknight evening parties it is generally acceptable to go directly from work in business dress. You change an item of clothing to give it a fresh look and feeling.

Weekend evening holiday parties tend to be more formal depending on the location of the event. Women wear cocktail length dresses and men a suit or jacket combination with or without a tie.

Open houses at the home or office of a business associate or a senior leader depends on the hosts. Take direction from their typical clothing styles. If they tend to be more formal, use that as an indicator on clothing choice, do the same if they seem to prefer the casual look. Use these guidelines to help make it easier to decide what to wear for those holiday work-related events!

Holiday Parties- Part One

holidayHoliday parties can be landmines for careers sometimes even resulting in party situations being taken to senior leaders. On the other hand, holiday work gatherings can enhance your employment capital by giving others an opportunity to know you even if it is only to say hello and introduce yourself.

Definitely stay away from controversial subjects like politics, money and religion. Many relationships rupture because of differences in these areas.  Holiday parties can also be events where you can begin to mend some broken fences.

Getting ready to mix and mingle

Clipart Illustration of a Bunch Of Floating Party Balloons WithHow do you get ready to mix and mingle especially if you are the shy type? The first rule, before you even step into the event, is to warm up your mouth along with your voice. Wear something you absolutely love, maybe a necklace or for a man, a favorite shirt.  Pick an event that has a fun happening, such as the opening of art gallery or art fair or an interactive cooking demonstration. Talk to the friendliest person in a group of three.

Networking tips

networking-pic-gifToday, most of our networking seems to be done via social media. This is due to a lack of time and the ease of posting on the web. However, nothing beats face to face events.

Companies are beginning to see the value in the face to face and try to get their folks to at least some events a year. For those have not been networking recently, here are some tips to remember:

1. Have a plan – Know who is attending and what success would look like after attending the event
2. Prepare a personal introduction including who you are, what you do and the benefits you bring customers
3. Bring plenty of business cards
4. Plan an ice breaker – an easy way to start a conversation – sports, movies or talk about a place you would like to know more about
5. Have fun
6. Bring a partner – a wing person – and take turns starting the conversation
7. Continue the relationship with those you like by following up soon after the event.

Political chatter etiquette

ElephangAt a recent family event, several members sported political badges of the two opposing party nominees. It caused spirited conversations but many uncomfortable moments. This event was supposed to celebrate a milestone event bringing two families together!

A recent NYT article talks about folks going to therapists because of the presidential campaign. Folks are worried and anxious about this election. While I understand we all have the right to express our viewpoints, it would be nice to attend a joyous occasion and leave the politics at home. Remember the long standing etiquette rule: Never discuss politics or religion at an event!

Anatomy of an apology

voiceAn apology for a transgression in a business situation can be a complicated thing, and it is so organically linked to the context that generalized protocols can be treacherous. Let’s start with this one: you aren’t ready to make an apology until you really mean it. The person to whom you are apologizing will have an acute ability to sense whether you are just going through the motions or are sincere. That person will also know if your transgression is a one-off, or whether it fits a pattern. If the latter, you will have much more work to do. And people can always tell whether you are apologizing for your deed, or only for having been caught. Many missteps are possible when making an apology. On the other hand, if you do it thoughtfully and meaningfully, you may do more than repair the damage – you may strengthen an important collegial bond.


coaching 2A common courtesy is accepting or not accepting an invitation. However, this little nicety appears to have gone by the wayside. Is not responding a response? It is not. When is the appropriate time frame to respond? As soon you know if you are able to attend or not, respond so you don’t forget it.
If there is a respond-by date, use that as a guideline to answer the invitation. Responding to an invitation is being respectful to the party throwers. If you don’t know whether you can attend, at least let them know you received the invitation.