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: Social Etiquette

Holiday career destroyers

voiceA potential landmine during the season of cheer is the company or client holiday party. This is a time meant to build relationships not destroy or put them on life support.

It is a time not to drink or talk too much. Always remember to smile and refrain from discussing politics or religion. Avoid pouring your heart out or telling secrets to your boss or a colleague. Just build relationships.

Being an etiquette scold is not good etiquette.

24Let’s face it: when it comes to etiquette – which usually means simply exhibiting good manners in public – most of us are victims of a double standard. There is the standard to which you and I hold ourselves; and then there is the substantially lower standard which we and most of society find minimally acceptable. And we have learned over time that trying to help others move up to a higher standard is a losing proposition. The reason is a particular Catch-22 in the etiquette rulebook which dictates that calling someone out on a breach of etiquette is itself a breach of etiquette. Even if you attempt to delicately point out to your friend in private his opportunity for improvement, don’t count on any gratitude in return. Your best bet will be to make your point as best you can through the example you quietly project, recognizing that the only benefit, in all likelihood, will be the personal satisfaction you can take from at least attempting to raise the bar for civilized behavior.

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!

Not everyone is going to like you

handshakeIt would be great if everyone you met liked you. Our hope is that we are engaging enough that folks want to have a cup of coffee with us. The truth though, is that not everyone will be warm and friendly. Maybe they don’t really like you or could it be they don’t like anyone?

I remember many years ago I would be in situations with a group of people who had powerful positions in the business community who would never say hello or even start a casual conversation with me. I was always feeling dejected whenever in their company. Later, I found myself with well-known, successful business people at a social event and saw these folks act the same way with them! It then hit me like a light bulb that they may not like anyone. Now, I know not everyone will like me but they may not really like anyone. They are just not people oriented.

The invisible to visible

lipsHow many times have you not been introduced when in a group? To overcome that and become visible is to introduce yourself. This helps the person who might have forgotten a name or two while simultaneously getting make you noticed. This is also how you become visible in a networking situation when meeting with new folks. Remember to add a smile before you even open your mouth, especially when riding on an elevator!

First impressions are critical

a winnerLesa Frances Kennedy, CEO of the International Speedway Corporation and Vice Chairwoman of NASCAR, answered the question: How do you hire?

“First impressions are so important in terms of fitting in on the team. The moment you walk in the door; you’re being observed. You may not know that, and it’s not anything formal, but I’ll get feedback. You read the body language of some of the people they’ve met, like a receptionist, and you can pick up very subtle cues about how they felt about that person. Was the person respectful?”

As you read this quote from the NYT Corner Office, Sunday, October 25th, consider the first impressions you create no matter who you meet. Does your first impression project confidence and approachability? Are you someone they want work with in the best of times as well as when problems arise?

Conference calls – the cultural challenge

telephoneConference calls are a way of life in business, especially when dealing with global partners. Currently, many of my clients have clients who are not English speaking. We have developed a list of key points for English speaking folks to use when talking with those for whom English is not the native language, always:

1. Speak slowly.

2. Ask if he/she is the person handling this project.

3. Display patience on the conference call.

4. Repeat if there is silence after a question. (You may not have been understood.)

5. Be formal.

6. Use simple words.

7. Suggest you are following up instead of saying “We did not receive the papers.”

If possible, try to have at least one face to face meeting to get to know overseas clients. Establishing relationships is a very important lubricator for smooth business dealings, especially in the Asian culture.



Clipart Illustration of a Bunch Of Floating Party Balloons WithRecently, my sister celebrated 15 plus years in remission. We had more 100 people for the open house. However, we neglected to make a toast to her before we cut the cake. It is always better to make a toast in the beginning and in our case, when most of the group had arrived. We could have also made another toast later, celebrating her health and thanking the guests for sharing this very special time with us.

When toasting while in other countries, it is very special if you can make a toast in that country’s language:

China: Wàn shòu wú jiang (longevity and health)

Spain: Saluda (health)

Russia: Za vas (here’s to you)