December 2008 Monthly Tips

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is not happiness without action. Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), British Prime Minister and writer

Tips For Communication & Image Success

Tip for Organizations:

Question:
Is it appropriate for our employees to make a thank you toast when a guest at a client’s company party? If so, when?

Answer:
Making a toast is an elegant way to thank the host. It is usually made after the host makes a toast. If more than one employee is in attendance, the toast should be made by either the most senior company member or the employee directly responsible for the client.

Tip for a Man:

Question:
When entertaining a client for the holidays, should I invite him or her to bring their spouse or a guest?

Answer:
When entertaining on a weekend, you are expected to include your client’s spouse or ask him or her to bring a guest. You would have your spouse or a guest accompany you. This is not necessary on a weekday, unless you know the client’s spouse.

Tip for Women:

Question:
I am allergic to fish. How do I handle this when served fish at a client’s holiday party?

Answer:
Wait until everyone has been served and discreetly request a substitute entrée. If one is not available, eat only the salad and vegetables, etc.

The Art of Business and Social Interaction®

Question:
What can I do to remember names at large holiday parties?”

Answer:
It helps to remember a person’s name if you repeat it when introduced. If you still forget the person’s name, say, “I always remember a great face, but have a hard time remembering names; please tell me your name again.

Professional Insight – The Art of Business and Social Interaction® Add a personal touch to your imprinted business holiday cards by signing them yourself.

Personal Images in the News

Anna addressed “The Art of Business and Social Interaction®” at Corporate Bridges, sponsored by Minority Business Opportunity Center (MBOC) and Northern Trust on November 18, 2008.

November 2008 Monthly Tips

Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one’s level of aspiration and expectation. ~ Jack Nicklaus, b. 1940

November Tips For Communication & Image Success

Tip for Organizations:

Question:
We want to establish some business social etiquette guidelines for our account managers in attending client holiday parties. What are three main things we should highlight for them?

Answer:
Three main things to remember at client holiday parties, one it is to socialize and build relationships, when liquor is served, no more than two drinks or glasses of wine and no controversial subjects in making small talks.

Communication Question:

Question:
How should I handle a client when they want to discuss a business problem during a holiday party?

Answer:
Ask to continue the conversation either on the phone or set up a meeting at the office. Do not dismissed the client ask to discuss it at another time.

Tip for Women:

Question:
In accepting an invitation to a holiday gala, may I bring my sister if I do not have male friend to bring or should I go alone?

Answer:
It would depend on the host and the individuals you will be sitting with at the table. If the group is not of all couples but a mix and you are very familiar with them bringing your sister as your guest would be appropriate.

The Art of Business and Social Interaction®

Question:

What is a good gift to bring to host when being entertained at restaurant during the holidays?

 

Answer:
It would be best to send a thank you note and a gift after the party so the host would not have worry about transporting it home.

Professional Insight – The Art of Business and Social Interaction®

Holiday greeting on your voice mail should be kept simple example “Wishing you a safe holiday.” This may be added to your voice mail after December 5th.

Personal Images in the News

Anna spoke on “Fateful Female Faux Pas” at the W.Net Designer Boot Camp Career Development & Leadership Summit. W. Net is dedicated to empowering women in electronic transactions industry.

October 2008 Monthly Tips

Be courageous. It’s one of the only places left uncrowded. ~Anita Roddick

October  Tips For Communication & Image Success

Tip for Organizations:

Question:
What guidelines should we give our folks for participating in a meeting via conference call?

Answer:
To reduce excess noise, keep phone on mute when not speaking. Try to avoid using speaker phone; if you can’t, ask permission to use it. Never interrupt the speaker. When he or she is finished, ask for permission to speak. If the call involves more than three people, say your name before speaking and ask if everyone can hear you.

Communication Question:

Question:
Is it important to change my voicemail greeting every week?

Answer:
Yes, a voicemail greeting should inform callers about your schedule for the week. This makes them feel important and connected to you. Always provide an alternative number callers can use if they cannot reach you directly. This is critical if a client needs to get a hold of you immediately.

Communication Question:

Question:
I have a strong accent. Is it appropriate to have someone else record my voicemail greeting so it is easier to understand?

Answer:
Yes, it will have a more professional effect.

The Art of Business and Social Interaction®

Question:
name is difficult to pronounce. How can I make it easier for callers?

Answer:
Pronounce your name slowly and clearly when leaving a voice mail greeting. If this doesn’t help, you may want to consider using a nickname on your business card and in your voicemail greeting.

Professional Insight – The Art of Business and Social Interaction®

Good phone etiquette. Always ask the caller if it is a good time for them to talk before you begin your phone call.

Personal Images in the News

Anna has finalized an agreement with McGraw-Hill for her Business Image and Communication book to be published in August 2009.

September 2008 Monthly Tips

He who has done his best for his own time has lived for all times. ~ Johanna von Schiller, Playwright.

September Tips For Communication & Image Success

Tip for Organizations:

Question:
How can we help our more reserved employees enjoy greater success networking at business social events when they don’t know anyone?

Answer:
Have them ask the host if they can be of help, and let him know that participating in this type of event is new to them. The host will know which guests to introduce them to.

Tip for Man:

Question:
As a single man, is it appropriate for me to bring a guest to an event which most employees are attending with their spouses?

Answer:
Yes, but I recommend you bring someone with whom you have a fairly close relationship so you will be able to bring them up to date on events and if personal questions maybe asked to your guest.

Tip for Women:

Question:

How long should I stay at a business social client event when I go alone?

Answer:
If it is a cocktail networking event, plan to mingle for half the time specified for the event duration. For a dinner event, I recommend you stay through dinner and excuse yourself when the first couple leaves.

The Art of Business and Social Interaction®

Question:
Is it appropriate to attend a black tie event alone?

Answer:
If it is a business social event on a weekday evening it is more acceptable then on a Saturday night when it is more social. Arrange to sit at a table where there may be other singles.

Professional Insight – The Art of Business and Social Interaction®

Perle Mesta, a great Washington hostess secret of success is in the greetings and good-byes. When a guest arrives say, “At last you are here!” and when they leave, “I am sorry you have to leave so soon!” Focusing on others and not yourself is the secret.

Personal Images in the News

Anna was the image expert for an article discussing whether plastic surgery is a common practice in today’s business environment. The article appeared in the Rockford Illinois Star Register.

August 2008 Monthly Tips

August Tips For Communication & Image Success

Tip for Organizations:

Question:
Our new account managers are beginning to travel with only a carry on bag, restricting them to one set of clothes. How can they keep them stain free when they cannot have tem professionally cleaned while on the road.

Answer:
Always pack Tide to Go to treat stains like chocolate sauce, tomato juice, ketchup, grape juice, coffee, wine and tea. Also take a travel pack of Wet Ones, antibacterial hand and face wipes that can often remove sticky residue on clothing. Both items can be carried on planes without violating any security rules.

Tip for Men:

Question:
What is most effective for spot cleaning a tie on the road or is it better to leave it untreated until it can be dry cleaned?

Answer:
To absorb grease spots, sprinkle on baking powder or baby powder and let it sit for as long as you can before shaking off the excess powder. All other stains I would leave for the cleaners.

Tip for Women:

Question:
I have a formal gown that needs cleaning. Can I take it to any cleaners?

Answer:
Google to search for dry cleaners in your area that specialize in cleaning formal wear. One of the best in Chicago is Gibson’s Dry Cleaners at 3447 North Southport Avenue (phone#: 773.248.0937). They will even pickup and deliver your gown. If you have a favorite dry cleaners, ask about their formal wear service and ask to see one of the gowns they have cleaned.

The Art of Business and Social Interaction®

Question:
Should I tell someone they have a spot on their shirt right before they are about to make a presentation?

Answer:
You should only tell the person if you can help remove the spot or they can put on a new shirt. Always carry Tide to Go; it will take out most spots almost immediately.

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Professional Insight – The Art of Business and Social Interaction®

If you notice that one of your dining companions has food in his or her teeth, tell them so in a whisper so no one else can hear. If you are not sitting next to this person, you may call the waiter or waitress over and whisper in their ear the message you want them to whisper to the person.

Personal Images in the News

Anna was the image expert for an article for Star magazine on how Britney Spears can improve the way people see her and reshape her image.