These are just a few random rumblings that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time now. I know we all have different values and needs, but I find it somewhat outlandish when people just “assume” all the above and don’t consider others in the process.
- Before making an introduction between two people, ask that person who is the “helper” FIRST. This is the opt-in process. The, “Want to make sure you’re cool with this” and/or “Have the time and capacity to help this person/potentially a stranger to you?” It’s a common courtesy. It also gives them the heads up and context. A cold introduction between two people catches the “helper” off guard and obligates them or puts them in an uncomfortable place. I’m sure it happens innocently and it’s out of the goodness of wanting to help, but considering the other person’s time, bandwidth and potentially how many times a week they may get these “intros for help” is important.
- Related – When/if you are asking for help from someone and you schedule something like to meet for drinks, coffee, etc. it is thoughtful and just to offer to pay for said drink/coffee. They’re taking time out of their busy day, to speak with you and offer you guidance or help (for free). Honestly, even if it was my best friend helping me I would offer to buy her coffee because it’s a give and take mentality and especially if it were a stranger that was doing it out of the goodness of their heart. It’s the least you can do for this person. It’s just good to do.
- Be clear in what you’re asking for. This doesn’t have to do with the above mentioned, but does relate. Whether you’re pitching people, asking for help, etc. the call to action should be clear. Sometimes I find myself bumbling along and not being clear in what I need. That not only screws me, but the other person I am asking doesn’t have a clear line of action to follow. Being succinct, also helps.
- Hold the door. I don’t care how much of a rush you’re in, it simply won’t hurt you to hold back a bit and hold open the door for the person behind you. It’s such a simple gesture, but in this day and age, it doesn’t hurt to look out for one another. Start with the simple pieces, hold the door so it doesn’t slam in their face as you scurry on your way.
- Putting someone on an e-mail list they didn’t somehow opt into (there are some fine lines here in the business world) but what’s worse, is NOT having an unsubscribe button. There are a number of just straight emails where I’m BCC’d and I’m on a list. I was never asked to be on that group personal email list but it’s weird to respond to that person and ask them to remove me from their list because they are a friend, I’m just not their target or I’m trying to clean up my inbox. Nothing personal. Please have an unsubscribe or easy opt-in in all e-mail communication. It’s common courtesy and a best practice in marketing. Also, when you unsubscribe and they tell you it is “being processed” then a few days later you get another email from them, is no bueno.
- Be on time. Should I say more? Probably not. Usually a good idea to be on time for meetings or calls.
- Don’t have a meeting for the sake of meeting. I think so much can be accomplished without long, droning on meetings. They are necessary to gather the right people, but can be succinct and finalized, so everyone can actually do instead of sitting around. A day filled with meetings gets you nowhere.
I don’t mean to complain, but they’re just things I feel strongly about. Sigh.
What about you? What are your general etiquette musts?