In many workplaces today, “Casual Friday” has become “Casual Everyday.” Some companies have even begun a “Formal Friday” to target dressing professionally. Professional presence is vital to a company’s ability to get and keep clients. Poise, self-confidence and self-control make up professional presence. Here are tips from our “Professional Presence in a Casual World” program:
Be Positive. A positive workplace increases productivity. Everyone has bad days, but taking it out on others at the office—be it your coworker or a customer—will produce negative responses and results. The first step to having a professional presence is to be optimistic.
Be on Time. Being late sends the message that your time is more important than someone else’s. Everyone is busy. Punctuality is vital to a professional presence. And if you are late, blaming the traffic, your family, or your car is simply making an excuse. Apologize sincerely without excuses if you are late. Being professional means being on time.
Get Names Straight. If you can remember someone’s name after only meeting them once, you will make a great impression. However, few of us have that talent. It is much better to say “Please tell me your name again” than to guess and call your potential client or coworker the wrong name. Calling someone by their name is courteous and professional. When sending an email, spell the name correctly.
Make Clients Feel Valued. Having a professional presence includes developing the ability to make others feel valued. Asking your client questions communicates that you care. Everyone enjoys talking about themselves. Listen and repeat back little bits of the information they give you, and always include a smile in your conversation. When people feel valued, they are more likely to trust you and come back again.
Create Well-Written Communication. There is no excuse for sloppy emails or badly written business letters in a professional environment. Have someone edit written communication before it leaves your business. Spelling mistakes can be a strike against your professional presence. Create professional letterheads and design a standard and clean signature for office emails. An impression will be established through your written communication. It is up to you if it will be negative or positive.
Use Etiquette and Skill on Phone Calls. Speak slowly and clearly. Put energy and a smile into your voice so that the warmth of it is communicated. Be prepared by having whatever information you might need close to you. Think about what you are going to say before calling anyone. A brief and business-like phone call projects a professional presence. Finally, close your call as professionally as you began and wait until they hang up before you do.
Dress Appropriately and Groom Well. Even though many companies are much more casual than they used to be, make sure you are following the dress code appropriately. Ask the human resources team for clarification if needed. Being fashionable at work does not always make for a professional presence, but being well-groomed does. Follow the rules carefully.
A professional presence is one that exudes confidence. By following these tips, you can establish yourself as one who takes care of others in order to create a workplace environment that propels the company to success. Whether your company has Casual Friday or Formal Friday, work to make a professional presence every day.
Leaders with the most impact are those who can build and successfully manage great teams. Every day, we help our clients and colleagues achieve their highest levels of professional presence and personal effectiveness. That includes everyone on the ladder, from company presidents to project managers, to staff members. Contact us at 800-282-3374 to find out how we can help you impact your own productivity and the productivity of your entire organization.
Employee Development Systems delivers results-oriented training programs that increase productivity, effectiveness, & performance.
Photo by pjackso via Flickr
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