How to Handle Difficult Colleagues

No matter where you work, it is a certainty that you will have to work with a difficult co-worker at some point in your career. In fact, you may have met him or her already: a difficult colleague can be someone who complains constantly, does not contribute equally, is always ready to start an argument, or even engages in bullying.

In many circumstances, it can be hard to know the right thing to say or do in response to someone whose behaviour is uncooperative and irrational. However, there are a few responses you can rely on that will make the situation easier to handle in many contexts.

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  • Don’t fight fire with fire.
    If someone is getting into a heated argument or accusing others without thinking, you might begin to feel yourself getting worked up and ready to fight back.

    While it takes great restraint, try not to let someone’s passion or anger influence your own behaviour. “Fighting fire with fire,” as the saying goes, will only escalate the situation. Instead, take a deep breath, try to maintain a cool head, and counter his or her irrationality with logical and measured responses. While doing so, do match their emotions. If someone is on fire and you speak in a slow and calm voice, you will only aggravate them even more. You do not have to yell and tell, simply match the passion in your voice and the cadence of your speech with theirs.

  • Don’t take it personally.
    When a colleague is acting rudely and is difficult to work with, know that this behaviour is not directed at you personally. Instead, a colleague’s challenging behaviour in the workplace is often a result of his or her own stress, whether in the office or at home. He or she also may be coping with problems that you are not aware of.

    Although it is unprofessional and unkind to be rude to others as a result of one’s own stress, keeping this idea in mind will help you to cope when faced with difficult behaviour, as well as to be empathetic to your colleague.

  • Focus on your positive professional relationships.
    While you might have one demanding co-worker who overshadows your workday, try not to focus all your attention on this single relationship. Instead, remind yourself of all the supportive, friendly, and professional relationships that you have in your network.

    When you maintain your attention on building and maintaining strong relationships with the people who are truly a joy to work with, it will help you to feel more positive and productive rather than diminished by one individual’s difficult personality.

  • Hold your ground—and pick your battles.
    You do not always need to take someone’s challenging behaviour lying down – and you must know when to fight back and when to let it go. Constantly trying to resist and argue with a difficult colleague can become extremely exhausting and stressful. Additionally, always reacting to a co-worker’s behaviour can affect your own professional image by portraying you as someone who is combative and reactive to provocation.
  • If it becomes a serious issue, involve HR.
    A difficult colleague can simply be testy or uncooperative. However, when an individual engages in sustained workplace bullying or any form of abuse, this becomes a much more serious issue. If the problem escalates to this level, it is appropriate to contact the Human Resources department within your company and report abusive behaviour. Your HR department will help to take the necessary steps to solve this critical workplace issue.

Relying on your Executive Presence can help you to navigate many challenges in the workplace, including dealing with difficult colleagues. For more on this topic, see our previous blog post, “How Executive Presence and Other Skills Can Help You Solve Issues in the Workplace.” How do you cope with challenging personalities in your working environment?

Multitasking Can Hinder Your Executive Presence

55777753In recent years, several studies have suggested that it is actually impossible for the human brain to multitask. Yet we continue to persist in our attempts: every day many of us juggle simultaneous responsibilities at work and an endless to-do list at home, all while managing alerts and messages on multiple devices.

Not only is your brain truly incapable of multitasking, but also trying to multitasking constantly can hinder your Executive Presence. In this post, I discuss how multitasking can weaken your presence and I provide some suggestions for cutting back on this habit.

First, imagine yourself working a room – you walk into a space and instantly feel confident, at ease, and ready to make a great impression. You are prepared to connect with others in a meaningful and sincere manner. With this approach and attitude, you exhibit great presence.

Now imagine yourself trying to work a room while simultaneously sending texts and emails from your smartphone. It’s impossible! Your body language will show that you are more interested in your phone than the situation at hand, and in your distraction you will remain disconnected and isolated from the individuals in the room. In other words, you will have no presence.

Constantly attempting to multitask can hinder other aspects of work life that contribute to your Executive Presence as well. For example, it can impact the effectiveness of your communication. Have you ever tried to work on a task or write an email while talking on the phone? Chances are, all results from this type of multitasking will turn out sloppily. On the phone you will sound distracted, and your task or email may contain careless mistakes. A combination of these elements over time will begin to reflect poorly on your overall presence.

If this is the case, how can you reduce multitasking to improve your Executive Presence? At the pace of today’s corporate culture, it is incredibly difficult to prevent yourself from multitasking. Our working environments and tools are designed for it. However, use this idea as motivation: you will improve your presence as well as become more productive when focusing on a single task at a time.

A few tips for staying focused and directed in your work:

  • Start your day focused. Do not wake up and immediately check your email or phone. Instead, leave enough time in the morning to have a quiet moment or a brief walk outside. This can be refreshing and help you to take on one task at a time throughout the day with renewed energy.
  • During meetings, leave technology behind. Do not try to catch up on emails when others are leading a meeting. It will show disrespect to your colleagues, and you will not retain any of the information exchanged. Additionally, you will not be able to contribute anything of value if you remain distracted throughout the meeting.
  • Allocate set amounts of time to each of your tasks. For example, if you allow yourself one hour to complete a single task, chances are you will be much more productive and efficient in that single hour than if you worked on it throughout the afternoon while getting distracted by other things.
  • What are your tactics for staying focused and dedicated to the task at hand? For more on the disadvantages of multitasking, see Time’s “Don’t Multitask: Your Brain Will Thank You” or “Why Multitasking Doesn’t Work” from Forbes.

Holiday Decorations in the Office: How Much is Too Much Cheer?

3054392608_7a41c66b3c_oEverywhere you look, holiday decorations are already appearing. Christmas trees are cropping up in stores and in city squares; wreaths are being placed on doors and walls; dazzling holiday lights are going up anywhere they can be hung.

At this time of year, many companies want to bring the holiday cheer into their offices as well. If this is the case for you and your organization, feel free to deck the halls and cubicles — but remember to keep your office looking professional throughout the festivities as well. This post outlines a few suggestions for a tasteful, efficient, and joyful season of holiday decorating at the office.

  • Simple and Tasteful Decorations
    In an office that maintains a polished and professional look throughout the year, it may be jarring for staff, clients, or visitors to meet with over-the-top Christmas decorations when they enter your lobby.

    Ensure that the holiday decorations chosen for your office reflect the image of the company and its spaces. Whether your company’s brand and aesthetics are clean and simple, colourful and creative, or neutral and natural, start with the company brand as a guideline for holiday decorations. As a rule of thumb, toned-down and natural decorations generally look more professional than bright and excessive holiday lights or oversized figurines.

  • Which Holidays to Acknowledge?
    Especially in an office that is open to the public, non-denominational winter decorations are likely your safest bet. Yet if you would like to feature decorations that are explicitly affiliated with Christmas, also consider the backgrounds and traditions of other staff members, clients, partners, or frequent visitors to your office. They might expect to see representations of winter holidays that they celebrate as well.
  • Artificial versus Natural Decorations
    Little is more festive than rich winter greenery and the sharp scent of fir or pine. However, using real plants (such as fir wreaths, garlands, and trees or potted poinsettias) can prove difficult to care for. Set-up, maintenance, and removal of natural decorations often require much more effort to keep clean and healthy than their faux counterparts.

    If you are hiring an external service to supply and manage your holiday decorations throughout the season, natural decorations are a fine option. Yet if you have to balance your full-time work with the extra task of decorating the office, stick to fake greenery.

  • Timing is Everything
    Avoid holiday spirit overload by timing decorations appropriately. If you follow the lead of many stores by bringing out Christmas cheer immediately after Halloween, colleagues may feel hesitant to embrace the season.

    Similarly, do not wait until February to take down decorations. The New Year is a time for new beginnings: signify this with a fresh, clean office free of stale decorations.

For further reading on making the most of the holiday season, see our previous blog posts “Stay Organized During the Busy Holiday Season” and “Dining Etiquette for Holiday Cocktail Parties.”

How to Motivate Colleagues for Effective and Balanced Teamwork

iStock_000002328740XSmallLeading a group project or team initiative is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your leadership and management skills. However, little is more frustrating than when team members do not contribute equally to the task at hand. Uncooperative group members may not complete their work on time, refrain from participating in group meetings, or approach work with a negative attitude.

While unequal contributions from team members make projects unnecessarily difficult, this behaviour occurs more often than you may think. Such behaviour can hinder the success of a project – both the process and the end result.

As team leader, how can you motivate all team members to be engaged and supportive during a group effort? Last week’s post discussed how to motivate yourself; this week, we focus on others around you. Here are three suggestions for managing a balanced and effective team.

  • Delegate Tasks According to the Interests of Group Members
    When employees are not pursuing tasks that they are passionate about, interested in, or skilled at, they can be far less committed to approach them with an enthusiastic outlook.

    When assigning tasks for a group initiative, pay attention to the interests and abilities of your team. If you customize your division of labour to these characteristics, your project may proceed more smoothly. Further, it will show that you are interested in the needs of each individual group member, which could boost their morale and trust in you.

  • Foster Good Communication on All Platforms
    Practically speaking, all group contributions should be readily and easily accessible for all other team members to access. If your team does not work from a shared server at the office, ensure that files are available through cloud-based sharing platforms or other formats that are easy to use for group members. This tactic, as well as setting clear goals and due dates, will help everyone to stay aware of the progress of the work as a whole and better enable others to contribute their portions on time.

    Logistical matters aside, it is also important to foster effective communication among group members and provide opportunities to discuss issues. When issues remain unaddressed for long periods of time, they can grow until they are no longer manageable and may hinder the success of the project.

  • Create a Tone of Friendliness and Respect
    You do not need to become great friends with all of the members of your team. However, it is important to generate an atmosphere of friendliness and respect among all team members. When you maintain a friendly tone (even in the face of issues!), the group dynamic will be far more pleasant and it will be easier for team members to commit themselves to their work – and remain committed throughout the process.

    Further, as team members begin to produce results, ensure that you are recognizing each colleague equally for their efforts. Imbalanced recognition can make it seem that you prioritize or favour certain individuals, which will reflect poorly on your leadership skills.

For further reading on managing effective teams and motivating team members, see our previous blog post on “Top Team Building Activities” or the Harvard Business Review’s “Make Your Good Team Great.”

Keep a Bright Outlook during Dark Winter Days

unnamedAs winter approaches, the days are getting darker – until it feels like the middle of the night when we leave the office after 5:00 pm! During these dark and cold months, many people feel less energetic and motivated, which can affect quality of work and productivity in the workplace.

Yet in business, attitude is everything. How you approach your work, how you interact with your colleagues, or how you view your own professional path: a positive attitude is important in all of these aspects of a career. How, then, can you maintain a bright and sunny attitude, even when the sun sets far earlier than the day is done?

Here are three ways to maintain a positive outlook at the workplace, no matter what season or weather.

  • Bring Levity into Your Day
    Humour and professionalism may seem like an unusual combination. However, when delivered appropriately, humour can connect people and increase effective interactions in the workplace.

    According to Marjorie Malpass, a trainer with Corporate Class Inc. and a professional comedian, actress and instructor at The Second City, bringing levity into the workplace fosters inclusion and collaborative engagement. Additionally, laughter is infectious: it can boost your attitude as well as that of everyone else around you.

    Using comedic improv training with participants, Ms. Malpass delivers Corporate Class Inc. Lunch and Learn sessions on bringing levity into the workplace and increasing effective interaction in everyday business.

  • Seek Out Light and Warmth
    Although it may be dark and cold outside, you can still find ways to keep light and warmth in your life during winter months. For example, if darkness severely affects your mood, consider investing in a light therapy box or taking regular morning walks outside after the sun has risen.

    Or, instead of heading home immediately after work, try spending an hour at your local gym. Moving around after a long day of sitting at your desk will help you to feel refreshed, accomplished and motivated. Additionally, activity will keep you warm, no matter how cold it is outside.

    If you have the opportunity to escape to a warm destination, be sure to make the most of your vacation. Unplug from technology and, if possible, leave all work at your desk until you return. Focusing on your time to recover will help you reenergize for the rest of the long winter.

  • Show Gratitude at the Office
    Just as Marjorie Malpass suggests that laughter is infectious, so too are gestures of thankfulness at the workplace. According to the Forbes article 5 Quick Ways You Can Bring Positive Psychology to Your Workplace, thanking employees can foster a positive tone and help employees to feel motivated.

    By exhibiting thankfulness, a positive attitude can endure and spread among other employees as well – especially if saying “thank you” is a regular occurrence. Read more here about how managers and supervisors can express their gratitude meaningfully and sincerely to employees.

How do you stay motivated, engaged and positive during long and dark winters?

 

Be Prepared: How Backup Plans Can Bolster Executive Presence

“Be prepared” is the official motto of the Girl Guides, but the phrase works just as well in business, too. When you are caught off-guard with an unexpected situation or a difficult task on the job, you want to be able to offer the most effective response and work efficiently through any challenge.

Having backup plans for various unforeseen situations can help you to stay calm and poised on the job, no matter what roadblocks come up in your workday. Maintaining such control in the face of the unexpected will allow your Executive Presence to shine through on a regular basis.

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Here are three backup plans you may consider adopting for those unexpected moments on the job.

  • Backup Plan #1: Make Technology Work for You
    Even as technology continues to advance and become more user-friendly, you can never fully trust that it will perform without a hitch. Whenever you need to rely on technology, ensure that you have multiple options if one method fails.

    For example, before giving a presentation, save your slideshow in multiple locations and formats. If a file is corrupted or accidentally deleted from a USB key, you can quickly refer to another version that you have saved in a cloud format, such as Dropbox or Google Drive. If you present using notes from a tablet, consider printing your notes in hard copy format alongside the digital version. This will allow for a backup plan if your tablet runs out of batteries or cannot connect to the Internet.

  • Backup Plan #2: Maintain Your Best Image
    While you can leave the house looking put-together and professional, you never know what might happen on the way to work or at the office. Poor weather, spills, or accidental rips or tears can throw a wrench into your business attire.

    To prevent one of these elements from ruining your professional image, keep an extra pressed shirt or sweater in your desk drawer at the office. It will not take up much space, and could save you a trip home or to the store during your lunch break in the face of an attire mishap.

    Also consider keeping a spare jacket or blazer in the office closet. This will allow you to quickly adopt a business formal look, in the event that a significant client or partner unexpectedly arrives at the office or an impromptu formal dinner is scheduled.

  • Backup Plan #3: Consider Multiple Options for Solving Issues
    When it comes to solving an issue with a colleague or trying to resolve a difficult negotiation, the mindset that there is only “one way out” can cause undue stress – especially when the negotiation heads in the opposite direction of your desired path.

Always approach a problem with several backup plans or multiple options to solve it. Providing various choices will help you to build a relationship with the other party, as it shows your dedication to solving an issue with the interests of both parties in mind.

Also, multiple options can relieve the pressure of working toward an ultimatum, allowing you to maintain a cool head or “grace under fire” – an example exhibiting gravitas, a key component of Executive Presence.

No matter in which industry or position you work, there is always the possibility of unexpected situations arising on the job. What kinds of backup plans do you have in place to deal with them?

Create a Workplace Culture that Fosters Executive Presence

Developing Executive Presence is a personal journey. After all, Executive Presence reflects an individual’s self-presentation, conduct, attitude and reputation.

However, environment can have a great effect on Executive Presence as well. In order to encourage your employees to recognize and improve their own Executive Presence, as a leader in your company you can aim to create a workplace culture that fosters Executive Presence.

The more that your employees are aware of and committed to developing their own Executive Presence, the better your company’s image will be. The behaviour of your employees will reflect positively on your organization, allowing it to maintain a great reputation and make excellent first impressions on outside clients and partners. This can only lead to success for your company.

How can you promote Executive Presence as part of your workplace culture?

  • If you lead, others will follow.
    Staff members often follow the lead that management-level employees establish. For example, if the boss is consistently late, certain employees may begin to believe that this is acceptable behaviour in the company.As a leader, you can inspire staff to develop their Executive Presence by exhibiting it yourself. Set positive standards by demonstrating composure under pressure, maintaining an excellent reputation, communicating effectively, keeping a polished professional image, and other qualities that are included in the three pillars of Executive Presence.
  • Be clear about dress policy.
    You do not need to be aggressive about enforcing rules, but a clear and consistent policy for the dress code will allow professional image to be the norm in your office culture.Especially for organizations that uphold a “business casual” dress code, lack of a clear policy can lead to image and attire slipping farther and farther away from professional standards. A defined policy – and adhering to that policy – will ensure that everyone is on the same page.
  • Foster good communication among employees.
    Communication is one of the key pillars of Executive Presence. Therefore it is essential that your employees can communicate well with each other and with external contacts.To ensure this in your office, it is important once again that you set the tone by demonstrating good standards. Maintain a good rapport with your employees, position yourself as friendly and approachable, and establish clear and preferred channels of communication. To encourage your staff to communicate well with one another, promote team-building activities that will establish trust among staff.
  • Invite staff to participate in Executive Presence Lunch and Learns.

There is no better way to foster Executive Presence than by providing your employees the opportunity to learn about it firsthand. A Lunch and Learn is an excellent context to do so: it is a learning opportunity that is effective and does not require staff to give up too much time out of their days.

Our Lunch and Learn series on the Executive Presence System is a series of interactive workshops formulated to develop Executive Presence. These fast-paced 60 to 90 minute sessions encourage participants to play an active role throughout the process, ensuring that participants are engaged during the entire session.

Remember that Executive Presence can benefit not only an individual, but also a company as a whole. How does your workplace culture encourage Executive Presence?

 

 

Common Email Etiquette Mistakes and the Importance of Digital Protocol

Virtual communicationsProfessionals today constantly communicate via email. In some cases, it is the primary means of contact and exchange. Yet because email facilitates both casual communications among friends and formal communications in the workplace, sometimes that distinction can become blurred – and professional communications take on a too-casual tone.

In the workplace, it is important to have clearly defined protocol that supports professional, well-crafted emails that protect the image of the sender and his or her company. To some readers this may be obvious, but the mistakes outlined in this blog still occur all the time.

Here are several common email etiquette mistakes to keep in mind as you write your own professional emails.

  • Misuse of Reply-All
    The reply-all button can cause frustration and embarrassment when it is not used properly. Be conscious of when you need to reply-all to continue an ongoing conversation. Failing to include everyone who should be on an email chain will cut others out of the loop and will create delays and confusion.That said, be very aware when you should not reply-all. Constantly replying-all when others no longer need to be part of a conversation perpetuates email overload. Also, you may share sensitive information that you do not want others to read through an accidental reply-all. However, always remember that email is not a secure communication, so never send an email that would embarrass you if shared or one that contains confidential information.
  • Overly Casual Salutations
    Have you ever opened a work-related email that began with the salutation “Hey”? Though this may be appropriate for a casual exchange among friends, it does not have a place in a professional setting.For external contacts, contacts you have never met, or to show a sign of respect to anyone, “Dear” is a reliable salutation. Once you develop a more informal rapport, “Hello” or “Hi” is an acceptable alternative.
  • Overly Casual Sign-Offs
    Like salutations, sign-offs can quickly become too informal. Again, for communications between unfamiliar or formal contacts, choose a classic sign-off such as “Best Regards” or “Sincerely.”Your level of formality in a sign-off will vary, depending on whether you are sending an initial email to an external connection or a quick response to an internal colleague. Still, know your audience: many contacts (even internal ones) will balk at a very casual sign-off such as “Cheers.” A more reliable sign-off in a more casual setting would be “Best.”For further analysis on email sign-offs, Forbes has compiled a list of 57 common – and not so common – sign-offs, along with commentary on each.
  • Vague or Absent Subject Line
    When writing an email, it is important to remember that your email will take up the recipient’s valuable time, and that your email will be one among many in an overcrowded inbox. Therefore it is important to have a clear, concise, and specific title in the subject line.Do not forget to include a subject before you send an email. A blank subject line suggests that you hastily sent a message without reviewing it first. This will reflect poorly on the rest of your communication.
  • Grammar or Spelling Mistakes
    Even though an email is not an official document, be sure to read it over before sending to make sure you do not have grammar or spelling mistakes. Consistently sending emails with typos will make you look sloppy and could reflect on your other work as well.Also, be wary of the auto-correct function on your email server or phone. Although it is meant to correct typos, it often supplies a word that you did not mean to type. This could get confusing for both sender and receiver!

Techno-communication etiquette is an indispensible component of our Business Etiquette Training Program. As technology continues to advance, this topic will become even more relevant. Make sure you are well versed in the guidelines of digital communication protocol.

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When is Punctuality Important for Business?

Question: When is punctuality important for business?
Answer: Always!

The importance of being on time is taught to us from a very young age. It should be no surprise, then, that lessons in punctuality stay relevant throughout our lives and work.

One more hour ar134383890972537Punctuality informs many aspects of Executive Presence. Being on time helps you to establish a good reputation and allows others to trust you. When you are punctual, your professional image appears polished and organized, rather than hurried and haphazard. Above all, it’s simply the professional standard to be consistently punctual. Yet many people still fail to meet this standard.

Here are a few examples of professional contexts where punctuality is key – and why being on time can be a deal breaker. If you are someone who is chronically late, let these examples inspire you to become an early bird!

First Impressions: Interviews & Initial Meetings
It should go without saying, but it is never acceptable to be late to an interview. This is such a common standard that some employers will refuse to interview a candidate if he or she is even one or two minutes late.

Other than interviews, there are many contexts where first impressions and punctuality go hand in hand. For example, consider the early stages of a partnership or a deal. If the person with whom you are negotiating walks into a meeting 10 minutes late, would you trust them to stay organized and present throughout your relationship? The answer is likely no. In this case, something as harmless as a bad habit can ruin a business relationship before it begins.

Meeting Deadlines and Completing Work on Time
When you consistently complete documents, finish projects, or produce any other kind of output on time, it reflects positively on your work ethic and your quality of work. Not only will colleagues notice your personal standards, but also they will acknowledge your commitment to your company and its success.

By contributing your own work on time, your actions show that you want your company to stay on track and meet its goals. Others in your organization will take note – and such clear demonstration of dedication to a company is a solid foundation for advancing within that organization.

Arriving on Time to Internal Meetings
For regular internal meetings, some employees may deprioritize their importance and take a casual approach – which often entails showing up late. Even though regular meetings often are not as critical as an initial meeting or a deal, do not assume that they are not “important.”

Close colleagues may understand if you occasionally are late due to bad traffic or a long appointment. However, avoid making a habit out of tardiness to internal meetings. After a while, those in your company will begin to notice your style and it will begin to hinder how they perceive you. Importantly, this could affect how you do – or do not – advance within your company.

Above we list just a few examples of the many contexts in which punctuality is key to success. After all, there is much truth to the saying, “the early bird catches the worm!”

 

How the Little Details Matter for Executive Presence

Have you ever noticed how much subtle details can make a big difference? In the content of your work, in the way you behave and present yourself, and in your image and attire – the little details matter. Even when minor details seem inconsequential, the truth is they all contribute to the whole of your success.

It is no surprise that “attention to detail” is a requirement for nearly any job and a quality of a strong candidate or employee. Here are a few of many examples of how “little details” are important, and how those in your work, behaviour, and professional image contribute to your Executive Presence.

Attention to Detail in your Work
Subtle details in how you conduct your everyday work can show massive differences in the quality of your work and can set you apart from other professionals.

  • When you write a document for your job, how many times do you proofread it before sending to others? Do you quickly review only once – or do you carefully re-read it four or five times? Though it can seem like a minor step at the end of a task, carefully reviewing completed work is a small yet important task for professionals who are always aiming to improve their output.
  • Aside from your day-to-day work, how invested are you in your field, your company, and yourself in a long-term perspective? Small initiatives along the way can help you to develop and assert yourself in your field. Get involved in your field through industry publications and conferences, and develop your industry-specific skills through the trainings they offer. Viewed alone, these can seem like small acts. Yet they will lend you a competitive advantage that can make a big difference.

Attention to Detail in your Behaviour
Whether they are aware of it or not, others rely on subtle cues in your behaviour to assess whether you are approachable, poised, and professional.

  • When meeting someone for the first time, these small cues are of utmost importance. Are you making eye contact while shaking hands? Is your handshake firm? Are you smiling? Even if you are enthusiastic about meeting a new person, they may not think so unless these qualities align with your positive attitude.
  • During a presentation, you need more than just the content of your speech and slides to make it effective. Here, small details about your behaviour and self-presentation are often as important as the material you present. Are you standing with good posture in a strong, confident position? Is your voice dynamic and clear? Are you looking at your audience and inviting them to engage with you?These small details are often forgotten when presenters get nervous and simply want to get off the stage as soon as possible. But these elements can make or break a great presentation.

Attention to Detail in your Professional Image
There are so many components that comprise a great professional image, it is no wonder that details make up a balanced whole.

  • Think a missing button is small and unnoticeable? Think again. A missing button – or a small stain, a tear, or a frayed fabric – may be physically small, but will draw much attention and dominate the entire outfit. Don’t let one tiny detail ruin your professional image.

  • When it comes to accessories, subtle differences can reflect your style as a professional. Take the example of Tom’s business cards from our Executive Presence video. Tom removes his business card from a wallet that is stuffed, messy, and overflowing. This reflects poorly on Tom as a disorganized professional. A slim, clean business card holder would suggest otherwise.

Whether in a first impression through attire or conduct, or a lasting impression with your quality of work, subtle details always matter. These details will add up to give you a competitive edge and enhance your Executive Presence.