We have spent quite a bit of time in this space talking about how you establish the brand you want. A big part of the brand revolves around the things you need to be talking about and where you need to be talking about them. What you also need to consider and be equally aware of is how much what you don’t say affects your brand, as well.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems the general rules of professionalism and communication protocol have become very loose, or abandoned altogether. All too frequently, I experience the following:
- No-shows for conference calls/meetings with no prior notice
- Promises for follow-up that never happens
- An inability to just say “no”
When I experience these behaviors, it tells me a lot about the individual; it tells me that they are unorganized, less than professional, and lacking the confidence to state a position. It influences the “brand” I assign to them.
I realize that most of the time, this probably isn’t a true reflection of who they are, at least all of the time. 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 though that they are on a slippery slope. Bad behaviors have a way of becoming bad habits and habits become who we truly are.
I’m sure that most of them also excuse their own behavior because they witness it in others around them and believe, therefore, it must be a new acceptable standard. If that’s true, it’s very sad 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 could be by comparison if you are the exception who:
- shows up for scheduled meetings on time,
- follows up on promises in a timely manner, and
- is confident enough to just say “no”.
Photo by humboldthead.