“Personalized and thoughtful professional habits seem to have fallen by the wayside since the digital technology takeover. The fast-paced nature of our workplaces requires instantaneous communication that’s starting to leave us stiff. So drop your robotic ways and save your professional image with these thoughtful tips:
1. Use your phone
Email and instant messaging seem to have taken precedence over the traditional phone call. Sure, it may seem more efficient to shoot someone a quick email, but you run the risk of engaging in a long and unproductive email chain. Instead, pick up the phone and give your customer, client, or coworker a call. Not only will you be able to get to the bottom of things in a more timely manner, you’ll also initiate a more engaging and personalized approach to your communication.
2. Send thank you notes (a thank you email doesn’t count)
Break away from the robotic monotony of sending off less-than-thoughtful emails and start using thank you notes as a part of your professional routine. You’ll leave a more personalized and thoughtful impression on whomever receives them.
3. Personalize your networking endeavors
The point of networking is to build valuable professional relationships, but this can be a challenge if your approach lacks personalization. Find time to meet in person on a more regular basis, whether you catch up over coffee or take a half hour to discuss projects in the office. Facetime is far more personal than regular email and social media correspondence.
4. Lend a hand
Sometimes we end up getting too focused on managing our own work and forget to reach out to our coworkers. Boost the thoughtfulness around your office by lending a hand whenever you have a moment of downtime. Even if someone needs help with something that isn’t directly applicable to your role, you may save them a great deal of time — and learn something for yourself — in the process. They will also be more likely to return the favor in the future.
Tuning out your work environment has become a rule for reaching productivity on a daily basis. But you may actually be missing out on more than you think. Listening to what’s going on with your managers, coworkers, and your company will help you to be a more thoughtful employee and leader. For example, spending more time listening may help you to recognize someone for their work on a particular project.
6. Don’t forget to keep in touch
When the pace picks up at work, keeping in touch often falls to the wayside. Break this thoughtless habit by scheduling a time each week to touch base with the important people in your professional life. This may mean sending a note to valued customers, calling your clients to see how they’re doing, or even taking a coworker out to lunch.
7. Be courteous
Leave your mark on everyone you interact with professionally by increasing your level of courtesy. Picking up the tab, creating a calendar invite before your coworker, or offering to meet at your client’s office rather than having them travel to your own will never go out of style. It’s the little things that will send a more thoughtful and courteous message.
8. Give credit where credit is due
Have we lost the ability to give compliments? Today it seems that we’re so focused on perfecting and promoting our personal brand online that we rarely give credit to others. Step away from promoting your personal work on your social media platforms and give some credit to friends, coworkers, and even your potential competitors. For example, share an article you love and praise the author directly.
Having a professional image doesn’t mean going overboard on the stiff formalities. It’s never too late to make your professional interactions more personalized and thoughtful.”
Ilya Pozin founder of Ciplex and Open Me