Browsing through the LinkedIn profiles of publishing folks I worked with back in the day, I came across a well known art director . He was such a big noise in his field. So, nothing left to it – I just had a scroll down to see what he was up to now.
Was his entry littered with tantalising tit bits about his awards? How loud was written noise about his glittering career, high achieving kids and hip hobbies.
Call me an cynic but the above is what I was expecting. The above is what I read much and often. I could almost say I am sometimes hit over the head with over enthusiastic lists of achievements.
But hell no! This wunderkind of the design world took a far more subtle and effective approach. He detailed each stage in his career factually, honestly and, really yes he did, he credited all the people that he had worked with who had mentored him, supported him along the way. What a warm glow moment.
In today’s working world and, methinks in life, generally we are only as good as the people who have taken care to look out for us. We may learn from the books, and we also learn from the people around us.
And it never helps to tell them. And indeed acknowledge them. A perfect exercise in professional charm and highly effective communication skills. One that costs nothing and makes for all the difference.
So some tips to hold in mind when making the most of everyday communication:
Do remember to acknowledge a good deed professionally with a plain, good old fashioned thank you. The cost is nothing and people always remember.
Listen and remember. Demonstrate you have taken in what you have heard in conversation. ‘How was your birthday drinks do, or “how did the holiday in France go?”
Email after a meeting not just acknowledge actions points, but state how good it was to meet up and take the time to and so on.
If the person you are talking to reveals a personal detail such as a recovery from illness, poor health of a family member, recent bereavement acknowledge with, “I am sorry to hear that.” The oft used social filler of “OK” falls rather flat in these circumstances.
And names. Remember to check out how to pronounce them. People do not like their name mispronounced or heaven forbid – forgotten. Write it down, or discreetly ask the person next to you. When you address someone by their name say it with warmth – as they sang in West Side Story – it is the most beautiful sound I ever heard.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net