We have spent a lot of time in this space talking about how you establish the brand you want. Your brand is significantly influenced by what you say and where you say it. What you also need to consider and be equally aware of is how much what you don’t say affects your brand.
For a while, I thought it was just me; it seems as though the general rules of professionalism and communication protocol have become very loose or abandoned altogether. It has become so common that we have labeled the behavior as "ghosting" or going "radio silent."
I’m guessing every one of you reading this has experienced:
- No-shows for conference calls and meetings with no prior notice.
- Promises for follow-up that never happens.
- An inability to own a decision and say "no."
When I experience these behaviors, it tells me a lot about the individual; it tells me that they are unorganized, unprofessional, and lack the confidence to own their decision. It influences the “brand” I assign to them, SIGNIFICANTLY.
I realize that most of the time, this probably isn’t a true reflection of who they are. I'm sure that in their minds, they would never behave this way when “it really matters” for them (like with clients).
However, I would caution them about the slippery slope they are on. Bad behaviors have a way of becoming bad habits, and habits become who we truly are.
But EVERYONE is doing it
Most of them also excuse their behavior because they witness it in others and believe it must be a new acceptable standard. If that's true, it's an unfortunate commentary on our general state of professionalism.
If this lack of professional courtesy in communication is the new standard, think about how strong your brand would be by comparison if you are one of the few exceptions that:
- Shows up for scheduled meetings on time,
- follows up on promises in a timely manner, and
- is confident enough to say "no.”
A little professionalism and common courtesy go a long way—especially when the professionalism bar has been lowered so much and what was once considered common courtesy is no longer common.
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