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Katy Winship

13 March 2017

Are You ruining your reputation?

We've had lots of demand for our Branded Business Stationery service lately and it's got us thinking about the importance of the use of branded stationery in business. One colleague went so far as suggesting that not to use a compliment slip would make terrible business sense! Their logic actually made sense to me- imagine if you received an item through the post, some vouchers for a competition prize example; and in the envelope was just the vouchers. I suspect you'd have an idea but you wouldn't have confirmation where they came from would you? A compliment slip tells you this and more than that- it tells the recipient that we are established, that we are a brand.

This got me onto considering other reputation ruining practices that people might not have considered, so here's my list of faux-pas that could be affecting your reputation in your work life and in your social life.

Unprofessional email addresses - If you're sending an email from groovybaby69@hotmail.com it doesn't make you look professional in the slightest, trust me. Chances are your recipient might not actually open the email thinking it is spam. Also 'groovy baby? It's 2017, there's no excuse! Change it before people judge you.

Bad communication etiquette - It can be very frustrating not to hear anything back from an email you sent a week ago, it's terrible form. OK the sender might have forgotten to put their out of office message on but responding after a few weeks without the sniff of an apology is the height of bad manners. So if you're frustrated by waiting on a response feel free to chase it- if your enquiry doesn't fit into their agenda then they will have to at least respond to a second email. Of course, if the issue is urgent then a phone call would have been more suitable, which brings me to...

Rude telephone manner - you don't want to be that person whose phone call people dread do you? Speaking to colleagues/ people you do business with like a piece of dog dirt is most uncouth. Has you venting your frustrations made a difference to the problem you have? Probably not. What you have most likely have done after this unpleasant exchange (after you gave someone a good telling off) is left that person seething and probably complaining to others about how rude you are. It's almost like you don't care about showing respect and being respected!

Poor hygiene - now this applies to your premises/ work area AND your body odour. Keep it clean! Poor hygiene can really get up people's noses- quite literally. Do people back away from you and you wonder why? Perhaps you should have had that shower after your work out? With regards to your workplace, you don't want visitors coming out of your offices thinking 'urgh it stinks in there!' Be considerate- if there is an office full of bodies in the Summertime buy a glade plug-in and crack a window, ban strong smelling foods and ensure that people feel welcomed and don't feel as if thy're walking into a cesspool.

Social media - OK so you're big on social media? But do you really want everybody to know the ins and outs of your life and see that paralytic drunk picture of you? No, I should hope. Keep your social life and business life separate; make sure that nobody you don't want to is looking at your Facebook pictures by ensuring settings are set to private. If you want to communicate professionally- use Linked in but no informal photographs allowed- keep those chests covered (that goes to both boys and girls!)

Bad mouthing others - Are you talking about people behind their back? Do you really want to be that person with the reputation for being a bitch? Stop it! Don't get involved with bad mouthing, sit on the fence, don't help breed the negativity. Small people have small thoughts and need to gossip about others to make themselves feel better so don't do it, spread positivity instead- people will respect you more

Unconstructive criticism - Before you speak think about if your opinion is helpful or not. It is, after all, just your opinion and doesn't mean that it's right and that your criticism is correct and one that others would agree on. When it comes to personal matters you might be an expert on the subject but is what you're saying likely to make a difference? It might end up doing more harm than good. People generally don't take well to their flaws being pointed out to them and if you value the relationship with this person then maybe it's best to keep shtum, bite your lip. If you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all! (People will like you more for it- just my opinion!)

Brutal honesty - Again, perhaps revealing your true thoughts on a matter could be hurtful to others and if you don't care maybe you should! Learn to lie.

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