Set Goals to Reach Executive Presence

 

Executive-PresenceAs we teach at Corporate Class Inc., Executive Presence is neither exclusive nor elusive – it can be learned. Still, a powerful presence is not something that you can acquire instantly without guidance or practice. You must take time to understand and incorporate Executive Presence into your life while building your reputation to go with it.

However, do not let this discourage you from pursuing Executive Presence. Instead, set achievable goals and identify stages on the path to developing an impressive presence – and suddenly it will seem easier than you think!

Here are a few helpful milestones on your path to Executive Presence:

  • Attend an Executive Presence Training Program or Seminar
    When you attend a half-day, one-day, or two-day intensive training program, you gain a solid foundation on which to build your Executive Presence. We provide you with knowledge of all the components of Executive Presence as well as opportunities to practice them in a small-group setting.

    With our training on all aspects of Executive Presence, including interpersonal and digital communication, non-verbal cues, executive dining, workplace best practices, professional image, and more, we set you well on your way to reaching your goal of developing Executive Presence.

  • Update your wardrobe
    Once you understand how to achieve your look of success, act upon it by updating your wardrobe, accessories, and makeup tools accordingly. For example, does your wardrobe match the workplace culture and dress code of your current position? Do your garments appropriately fit your body type and your personal style? However you answer these questions, swap out the items that do not put forth your best professional image. Even investing in 1 to 2 polished and appropriate pieces can go a long way for your image.
  • Attend networking sessions to sharpen communication skills
    Do not simply practice your interpersonal communication skills at random when the occasion arises. Instead, purposefully attend networking sessions so that you can sharpen these skills. Start by working a room – learn to enter a room while feeling at ease yet confident and strong. Also make a point to introduce yourself to several strangers and engage in small talk. The more often you do it, the more natural it will feel.
  • Practice conducting business over a meal
    Just as you can practice interpersonal skills at networking events, schedule a business meeting over lunch in order to refine your executive dining. Start by inviting a close colleague or friend to a meal, so that you can focus on best practices for business dining in a low-pressure situation. This way, when you are meeting an important client or contact over lunch or dinner, you will feel in control.

    Watch our video on 5 Business Dining Etiquette Tips to learn more.

After you develop your Executive Presence foundation at a training program or seminar and then apply your skills in real-life scenarios, your Executive Presence will become increasingly stronger over time.

Additionally, with these single initiatives working together, ultimately Executive Presence will come naturally to you and you will have built a winning reputation. Focusing on small, achievable goals makes the path to Executive Presence attainable for anyone!

 

Accessing Employee Training: The Canada-Ontario Job Grant

If you own a business or are in a high-level position at your company, providing training for your employees can often enhance their natural skills and teach them invaluable new ones that will propel them forward, which in turn will enrich and strengthen your company. Executive training can help boost networking skills, communication skills and can enhance an employee’s ability to build authentic business relationships. In addition, executive training can help keep employees and employers up-to-date on current business best practices.

Four times a ythe-importance-of-further-training-and-education-for-employees1ear, Corporate Class runs an extremely comprehensive two-day seminar on executive presence for leaders and executives. Our program covers the A to Z’s of executive presence in two very packed days. During the first day, participants will learn the ins and outs of executive presence, discover the importance and power of first impressions, enhance their communication skills (including body language and interpersonal skills) and will learn how to do business over a meal (complete with a full dining tutorial). The second day includes training on virtual presence, professional appearance, and executive best practices.

Naturally, it would be wonderful to be able to put all of your employees through the program, however the cost of the program could be perceived as a barrier. There’s good news: on March 28th, 2014, the Ontario government signed the Canada-Ontario Fund Agreement with the federal government. This agreement is a meant to help Ontario’s employers develop their workforce through employer-led training. In essence, the grant provides financial support to individual employers who are seeking to purchase training for their employees. The grant will provide up to $10,000 in support per person, and will require employers to contribute only one-third of the total costs. The only stipulation is that your company must be incorporated. The application must also meet all requirements (which are listed on the website). The highest priority will be given to the applicants in Tier 1, seeking training support for new or better job and training for employees on notice of lay-off. For applicants in Tier 2, funding consideration will be given if there is available budget (training is for incumbent employees and employers who have received prior COJG funding in the last 6 months). Finally, for applicants in Tier 3, consideration will only be given if there are no pending applications in Tier 1 and 2.

The next two-day program that Corporate Class is holding will be August 13th and 14th. Here, you’ll find the link to our site with more information about the program, as well as a brochure you can download for a more comprehensive list of what will be covered over the two days.

If you’re interested in sending your employees to our two-day program, but would like more information about the Ontario Job Grant, please click here.

 

 

Complaining with Grace

complaints-buttonIt is important to be able to voice your opinion when issues or concerns arise. The main point to consider here is how you deliver your opinion or complaint. On one hand, a complaint can be constructive and help to solve a problem. But when poorly executed, a complaint can damage relationships, create tension, and reflect negatively on the person behind the opinion.

 

Here are some points to consider before lodging a complaint of your own.

Complaining on the Internet

  • Social Media
    If you are ready to launch into a tirade on a public forum on the web through a LinkedIn post, a tweet, or a Facebook status update, consider your motives first. Will a public complaint on social media reach its intended ears and solve the issue that bothers you? Or are you simply venting frustration, sending out your woes to anyone who will listen – whether or not they are your intended audience?

    Posting general complaints on social media always have the latter effect. This approach could lead to an array of negative impacts on the individual who posts directionless and unfiltered complaints. With such a wide audience, there are bound to be users who will see such thoughtless complaining as poor form. This will hinder the reputation of the individual who launched the criticism.

    Further, venting online means that other users in the future can see this negative attitude broadcast on social media. If this happens to be a prospective client or employer who hopes to connect with a positive, constructive individual, it could damage chances of future business or employment.

  • Private Email to Appropriate Contact
    If you hope to solve an issue using the Internet, an email to the right contact – whether that is the person at the root of the problem or an appropriate intermediary, like the HR department – is the safest way to go. Keep in mind, however, that an email also is never a completely private forum, as it can be forwarded, printed, or made public. In this case, write an email using facts – not feelings – to describe the issue, and send it with a goal in mind. Problem solving, not venting, is the objective.

Complaining in the Office

  • Loud Tirades in Public Spaces
    Just like posting woes recklessly on social media, loudly expressing frustration in an open area of the office or another public space will never have a constructive effect. This is a monologue that others will inevitably overhear – whether or not a complainer can see them in the vicinity.

    Especially if a complaint is about a person or a group of people, this usually will be perceived as gossip. This type of information is much more sensitive than technical or operational issues, as others’ feelings and reputations are at stake. If you have a complaint about an individual’s conduct or behaviour, do not express it in an open space for others to hear.

  • Private Meetings
    Instead of a monologue toward anyone who will listen, opt for a dialogue. Meet privately with the individual who is at the root of the issue. It also helps to have an unbiased third party, such as an HR professional, who can mediate the conversation and ensure that it does not escalate into petty arguing.

Even if someone or something distresses you, remember that how you express your frustration always reflects back on you. Protect your reputation and complain with grace.

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?

 

 

Five Reasons Why You Need an Image Consultant

Business group portraitEvery so often, it is useful to take a good, long look in the mirror and to ask ourselves whether our image needs an update. However, this can be a daunting task to undertake all on one’s own – especially if we cannot pinpoint exactly how to go about revising a “look.”

This is a great opportunity to enlist an image consultant for assistance. An image consultant can help you to identify the elements of your image in need of improvement, and can give you the tools to care for and improve your image in the future.

Here are five issues you might identify with your image – and five great reasons why you might need to hire an image consultant.

  • My attire doesn’t feel appropriate for my workplace.
    Perhaps you have just started a new position in an office with a different corporate culture than your previous workplace. Or, you may have climbed the corporate ladder to a higher-level position. Whatever the reason, it can be uncomfortable to feel like your wardrobe does not adhere to your workplace standards.

    An image consultant can help you to find wardrobe pieces that fit within your office culture, and can also indicate for which occasions you should dress up a notch. She or he can also identify pieces that can easily transition between business casual and business attire.

  • My clothes don’t seem to fit right.
    No matter how put-together an outfit may look, if it does not fit appropriately on your body it simply will not look professional. Cut and fit matter as much as colour, style and coordination.

    An image consultant not only can help you to find pieces that fit properly, but also can identify which styles and cuts can be the most flattering for your body type. After all, feeling comfortable and confident in clothing contributes to overall presence.

  • I can’t determine which colours match or which colours go best with my skin tone.
    Clothing colour makes a huge difference in your attire. Clothing colour can project a bold or muted statement, and mismatched colours can send the wrong impression. In addition, clothing colour can be highly personalized: each skin tone matches a unique and individual colour palette.

    While it can be difficult to zero in on which colours match your skin tone and personality, the highly trained eye of an image consultant can help you to locate a palette that speaks to your personality and complements your skin and hair.

  • My hair and makeup need a retouch.
    Did you know that wearing makeup could make you appear more competent? According to a Proctor & Gamble study, makeup increases perceptions of a woman’s likability, competence and trustworthiness in the workplace. Of course, too much makeup can have the opposite effect, so there is a fine line between looking presentable and looking over-the-top.

    An image consultant can help you to locate the tools and techniques for office-ready makeup, and can also advise on grooming to ensure that you project a polished look.

  • I have trouble adjusting my wardrobe for the seasons.
    Here in Toronto, we go between extremes when the seasons change – from blazing heat in the summer to sub-zero temperatures in the winter. Of course, for each season we need an entirely different wardrobe to dress appropriately for the weather.

    An image consultant can help you find clothing choices that not only will accommodate the fluctuating temperatures, but also will look professional for work life. From finding an appropriate length and cut of dress in the summer, to finding hearty yet well-tailored winter gear, an image consultant can advise on any season.

At Corporate Class Inc., we offer Personal Image Enhancement for men and women as half-day, full-day or two-day trainings, as well as individual consultations. Contact us today to learn more about our programs.

For an inside look on the image consulting process that our clients experience, click here for the blog series A Personal Journey. In this 10-part series, we observe Liz, a young Corporate Class Inc. client, on her personal journey through our image enhancement programme to her ultimate destination: developing her own look of success.

 

Why New Hires Need Business Etiquette – and How They Can Get It

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The transition between university life and a professional workplace isn’t always seamless. Adjusting to a major shift in workplace culture, protocol and dress takes time and effort. That said, with training, seminars and resources, recent graduates and new hires can be well equipped to jump right in to a professional environment –and your company can help them to do so.


Why do new hires need business etiquette?

For those who have been working professionally for years, many aspects of professional life come as second nature. But for those just entering the workforce, certain protocol can be new territory. Notable examples:


Dining Etiquette

When dining for business, there are many more guidelines to follow that simply dining with family or friends, at home or in a restaurant.

Business dining often takes place in a more formal setting, which requires know-how of more extensive table settings and flatware as well as behaviour.

Additionally, the question of alcohol may come up, in which case it is not always obvious to a new hire that alcoholic drinks should only be ordered if the host encourages the order, and if so, no more than one alcoholic drink should be consumed in a business context.

Finally, keeping good conversation going throughout the meal is an art in and of itself. The savvy diner will not engage in controversial discussion, and will discuss business matters only when it seems appropriate to do so.


Interview Etiquette

Before a young person is even a “new hire,” they’ve got to get the job first! No matter how impressive a resume may be, poor interview etiquette may detract from a candidate’s chances of landing a job.

Punctuality is absolutely essential for a job interview – even if a candidate is only 5 minutes late, many employers will simply write off that opportunity. That said, a fine balance is necessary; in other words, getting to an interview too early can be awkward, especially in small companies. Arriving approximately 10 minutes in advance is a safe bet.

A handwritten thank-you note after an interview is indispensible. Coming prepared with other hard-copy materials is also helpful as well; for example, a copy of a resume and cover letter for each staff member conducting the interview, and a business card or reference letter if applicable.


Professional Dress
The expectation for professional dress and image, even in business casual settings, can be vastly different than on a university campus. It can help new hires immensely to have the dress code outlined right at the start of employment and to have an idea of the differences between business formal, business and business casual dress codes.

How can new hires acquire business etiquette?

New hires can learn the basics of business etiquette and professional image right in your company.

By engaging new hires in etiquette training, ranging anywhere from a full-day seminar to a one-hour Lunch and Learn session, your company will help young professionals become accustomed to new protocol. Additionally, this can help your company is well – with etiquette training as soon as they begin their positions, your newest employees will be able to represent your company’s brand well and will be trusted to interface professionally with your company’s partners and clients.

Young professionals can also acquire business etiquette training during their degrees; undergraduate commerce degrees and MBA programs now often require an etiquette component before graduation. If you work in a university or career counseling setting, consider offering business protocol training to all undergraduate students – because good business etiquette is relevant for any professional!

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For those interested in our etiquette training services, here are two testimonials that may be of interest:

#1 Dear Diane,

Thank you for sharing the link to the dining video. I find it impressive that it covers how one should behave when he is the host or the guest, as well as how to manage gratuities.

I would like to also thank you very much for yesterday’s session. It was extremely useful and I feel that I learnt many new things when it comes to business etiquette. 

I especially appreciate the information and advice you have provided on how to behave in business networking events. Again, thank you so much.”

#2 “Hi Diane,
I love my new job. People are very nice here. I’m learning a lot from my new job.

Last week my company sent me to Montreal for a conference, held by one of the leading investment systems maker in the world. All the Canadian clients of this company came to the conference. Task given to me by my manager was to make contact with everybody. There was a cocktail party, dinner and conference that took place over 2 days. 
 
What I learnt from you helped me a lot. I think I’m very fortunate to have met you. I used all the things you taught me. It was very successful. I saw lot of people who came unprepared for the event. I read the Executive Presence manual you gave me before I went and it helped me remember what you taught me. Thank you so so much again.”

 

How Business Etiquette Contributes to Engaged Workplaces

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Recently, The Globe and Mail released a report on the 50 most engaged workplaces in Canada. Engagement in the workplace, which, according to The Globe and Mail, is defined by “employees’ passion for their work and commitment to the company’s vision,” holds significant influence on a company’s success on so many levels: employee retention, customer relations and the ability to deliver on objectives, among countless others.

Business etiquette undeniably is a part of what creates an engaged workplace. The judging panel for this award evaluated companies based on the following eight elements: communication, leadership, culture, rewards and recognition, professional and personal growth, accountability and performance, vision and values, and corporate and social responsibility. How is business etiquette integral in certain elements of this criteria?

Communication
Business communication takes many forms: from internal to external, interpersonal to technological, everyday exchanges to larger issues management. For a business to be successful, all channels of communication must run smoothly, and business etiquette can facilitate this success.

  • Technological Communication ranges from email, texting, phone calls, voicemail, or conference calls – any form of communication that is not face-to-face. When you think about how often you use tech-based communication every day, mastering the nuances of these forms of communication – such as how to introduce yourself on a conference call or how to compose a respectful email in a difficult situation – becomes essential.
  •  Interpersonal Communication also can occur in various situations: casual meetings between colleagues, an important client or partner dinner, or a networking event. A gauge on properly handling communication in any one of these contexts is crucial to making professional connections.

Professional and Personal Growth
A company that provides its employees with the potential for growth and development is certainly on a path to success. Opportunities like seminars, trainings, lunch-and-learn sessions, or individual consulting can make a world of difference in an employee’s performance.

When business etiquette, professional image or executive presence are addressed in these contexts, an individual becomes more confident and self-aware, while simultaneously contributing the benefits and strengths of their newly sharpened traits to the rest of the team. Corporate Class Inc. provides a comprehensive training that can enhance professional presence in virtually every business interaction. This training, the Executive Presence System, includes six core modules: interpersonal communication skills, techno-communication skills, workplace etiquette and best practices, presentation skills, business dress and executive dining skills.
Culture
A harmonious workplace culture functions on the respect that employees have for their colleagues, their company and for themselves. This respect is made manifest through good workplace etiquette – in essence, a necessary standard for how employees treat one another.

It’s no wonder that business etiquette and professional development are key to a company’s success – simply look no further than the role of business etiquette in the elements that define Canada’s top 50 most engaged companies!

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Best Practices for the Home Office

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The home office: for independent consultants, this might be your headquarters. For those with a long commute, working from home might serve as a welcome balance between trekking to the city and staying productive in close quarters. Whatever the reason, working from home is a common practice – but one that requires practice to make perfect.

Here are few tips to make the home office work for you.

Communication is key
For those reporting back to an office base from home, availability and connectivity to your colleagues – as if you actually were in the office – is key.

  • Maintain the best possible equipment to stay connected to colleagues and clients. This includes high-speed Internet, office phone, Skype and webcam, and document and email servers consistent with those of your colleagues.
  • If you do plan to leave your desk or office for a length of time, ensure that colleagues can reach you by phone and email on a mobile device. The expectation is that you are available during business hours, just as those working in the office are.
  • Since you cannot attend in-person meetings, conference calls often take their place. Practice good conference call etiquette: first, always state your name at the beginning of the call, so participants are accounted for. Also, be sure to call from a quiet place, so any daily noises such as lawn mowers or dogs barking do not disrupt the call. If your surroundings do become noisy, mute the phone when you are not speaking so the background noises do not disrupt the conference.

Recipes for productivity
When working from home, you also need the home office to work for you. Everyone has different methods of productivity, but a consistent routine and an organized space can work wonders.

  • Schedule the right amount of work time, at the right times. Again, if you do report to an office, it’s essential to be available during its regular business hours. If you are an independent consultant, it still can be helpful to delineate regular blocks of time for work and rest – both to ensure productivity during work hours and to prevent yourself from constantly working.
  • Though you are at home, do not include domestic chores into your daily routine. You would never do laundry or clean the closet while in the actual office, so don’t do these tasks during home office hours, either.
  • Focus on the elements of your home office space. To begin, completely separate your office from other parts of the house: this will help you both physically and mentally dedicate yourself to your work. Make sure that all family members respect this space and know when they can and cannot disturb you. The décor is up to you, but maintain neatness and a professional design, should you need to host a job-related guest.

If you work from home, how do you make it work for you and your colleagues?

Share your experience, tips and advice for success in the home office!

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What’s Your Workplace Wellness Plan?

What’s your workplace wellness plan? As an individual, it’s important to balance your physical health alongside a busy work schedule. As a manager, you are accountable for providing options for your employees to maintain physical wellness inside and outside the workplace, which can fit within the schedule and demands of your company.

Physical health is directly aligned with performance in the workplace; its benefits include achieving a work-life balance, the ability to maintain stress, a healthy and composed professional image, and a means to counter-balance long hours sitting behind a computer.

Below are a few tips on how to incorporate wellness into your workday, followed by a few best practices for etiquette at the gym:

For Managers: Helping your employees stay healthy

  • Encourage your employees to get up and stretch or walk around the office every hour. Share with them the health benefits of taking short breaks during long periods of sitting.
  • Consider enrolling in a plan with a local gym that provides your employees with a corporate discount. Many gyms provide contracts for companies with the option of reduced membership rates and other benefits for employees.
  • Ensure that all of your employees are outfitted with good quality office furniture that correctly aligns posture and physical ergonomics. This includes desk chairs, elevated computer or laptop stands, and keyboard trays, depending on the layout of the desk.

 

For Individuals: Balancing work with physical health

  • In spite of a busy work schedule, it is important to make time for physical health, which directly affects your performance in the office, your stress level, and your overall well-being. Choose a gym that is near your office, so it is easily accessible to visit before work, during lunch or immediately after work. If the gym is not in a convenient location, it can seem near impossible to fit in a workout in the midst of an already hectic schedule!
  • Plan to walk to work on certain days; or, if you don’t live in walking distance, try walking on your lunch hour. Fresh air and light exercise will give you energy for the rest of the afternoon.
  • Throughout the day, drink plenty of water and remind yourself to stand up intermittently to avoid several consecutive hours of sitting. This is an easy way to stay fresh and alert.

 

Etiquette at the Gym

  • If you attend the gym during peak times when the machines are mostly occupied, do not spend more than 30 minutes on one machine; instead, rotate between different cardio machines or try lifting weights as part of your workout
  • Help to keep the gym clean and sanitary by using the towels and cleanser provided to wipe down equipment after use.
  • Leave your cell phone locked away at all times while at the gym, whether in the locker room or on the workout floor. Many gyms have a no-cell phone policy for privacy purposes, as well as out of respect to the other gym attendees. Putting your cell phone away for an hour or two also benefits you in that it allows you to unwind and focus your attention away from the stresses of the office.
  • Have fun, and enjoy maintaining a healthy work-life balance!

 

You can also read one of our previous blogs on gym etiquette

If you are interested, we also can arrange a great lunch and learn session at your place of work with our colleague Dr. Jones

 

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First Impressions with Your Office Space

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When a guest comes to your office, the first thing they encounter will not be you, but the reception space of your office. The entrance area will make the first impression on your client, partner or other guest – even before you have the opportunity! Your guest must encounter a comfortable yet professional space, and it is up to you to make the most of this underestimated but very important first impression.

Perfect your space

The elements of your reception area will not only speak for your company’s brand and character, but it can also set the tone for the visit. Pay close attention to both the overall elements and the little details.

  • Colours: The colour of the walls and other spatial qualities can instantly set a mood. This interactive colour palette by Pantone matches mood to paint tone, anywhere from “calming” to “efficient” to “sophisticated” or “successful.” What mood do you want to project in your office? Whatever you choose, be sure not to set an “aggressive” colour tone to your office! Alternatively, you may choose to colour your space according to your brand guidelines. If this is your scheme, keep consistent with colours and design on all other branded material, such as business cards or promotional material.
  • Furniture: It is essential to have at least two to three reception chairs that are both comfortable to sit in and which look professional. The receptionist’s desk and chair should also be of good quality.
  • Décor: Create a refined atmosphere with more creative design elements, such as paintings or photographs, a mirror with a decorative frame, a vase with fresh flowers or a decorative hat stand. Don’t go over-the-top, however; unless you want to create a quirky or expressive office space, stay professional with minimal and tasteful pieces.
  • Lighting: Unfortunately, few of us have control over the aggressive fluorescent lighting that comes installed in most office buildings. However, we can control the mood lighting, in spite of these overhead lights. Counter-balance flat, fluorescent light by placing low lights on and near the reception desk, creating a more welcoming and friendly mood.

 

Hire a great receptionist

Your receptionist will meet your guests before you do. So, you must hire someone whom you can trust to make a great first impression and to treat your guests with respect and care. Look for the following qualifications:

  • Friendliness: A friendly face and a pleasant demeanor will set a positive tone to any visit.
  • Proper attire: Out of anyone in your office, perhaps it is most important that your receptionist looks his or her best. As the first point of contact, they must dress up a notch even in a less formal setting. A receptionist in jeans and flip-flops, for example, will not set the right tone – even if you greet your guests in a suit.
  • Professionalism: Along the same lines as proper attire, a good receptionist must behave with professional conduct at all times.
  •  Good hosting: Make sure there is a routine in place for the receptionist to host a guest properly upon arrival: take the guest’s coat and hat, offer the guest coffee or tea, and promptly retrieve the staff member who is expecting a visitor. If there will be a large group of guests for a long meeting or series of meetings, ensure that the receptionist will arrange for catering.

With these elements in place, you can make a great first impression on your guests – before you even meet them!

 

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