Your Body Language Is Key to Relationships

The Lett Group - Etiquette Training for Professionals

Be aware of what your body language is saying about you to others.

Your body language is at anytime a reflection of how you feel about your life, your personal history, what you are doing, where you are and who you are with.  You cannot hide your body language or the hundreds of non-verbal messages you are sending to others. Understanding your body language can help you build better rapport and connection with others. Positive steps you can take to make yourself more approachable, likable and powerful include eliminating negative facial expressions, stiff or poor posture, leaning away from people, and crossing your arms and legs. Remember, negative facial expressions are detected faster and are more impactful than positive ones! Smiling with your eyes and your heart conveys that you are open, confident, interested in others and easily approachable and likable. Lean in when others are speaking with you. Keep your body position open and your facial expressions welcoming. Try not to frown. Uncross your arms and legs. Maintain eye contact.  Others react more positively to authentic looking individuals.  Setting yourself up for success when developing relationships with others is as easy as looking like you want to be with them rather than counting the minutes until they leave your presence.

If you are eager to learn more about presenting yourself with confidence and authority, you will like this video training program. Go here now to see:  Body-Language at Work

12 Things to Avoid in Conversation

Thank you to our Associate, Arnold Sanow for this contribution.

To build rapport, relationships and to connect with customers, co-workers family and friends it’s important to watch what you say and how you say it. Poor conversation skills can derail teams, cause leaders to lose respect, destroy customer relationships, lose sales, and demolish friendships. Here are 12 things to avoid in your conversations.

1. Gossiping – By constantly gossiping about others you lose trust and respect.

2. Talking too long about yourself- A good conversation is a 2 way street. By asking open ended questions and showing interest in others they will show interest in you. Remember the #1 key to popularity is to be ‘interested, not just interesting.’

3. Talking about Sex, Politics and Religion – Don’t assume that everyone has the same opinion about everything that you do. Talking about these can make others feel uncomfortable and can cause them to reject you or your ideas.

4. Interrupting – When you interrupt others, sensitivity, rapport and commitment are killed.

5. Bragging- (This is different from promoting your achievements).It’s annoying to many people if you constantly talk about all the great things you have done, name drop and show one-upmanship.

6. Being Critical of Others who have Different Opinions – Everyone was raised differently, comes from different backgrounds and sees the world from their unique perspective. This is a sure way to turn people away from you.

7. Arguing – The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

8. Ingratitude – Always show appreciation for what others say or do. Even if they have some concern about you, thank them for sharing that with you. If you want to be appreciated, show appreciation.

9. Using Unfamiliar Terminology- If people don’t understand what you are talking about they will lose interest in the conversation. Get rid of jargon and your ‘million dollar’ words and stick to the ‘fifty cent’ words that everyone understands.

10. Not Listening – You have 2 ears and one mouth. People love people who listen to them.

11. Complaining – People like others who are in good spirits. People avoid constant complainers. Also watch out about talking about illness or an operation in detail.

12. Not Admitting Mistakes – The six most important words in the English language, “I admit I made a mistake.” If you make an error always apologize.

To make all of your conversations positive, the next time you greet someone treat them as if they are your best friend that you have not seen in years. You want everyone to feel good about themselves after they talked to you!


For more information on communicating better click here.

E-mail Rules – Quick Reminders to Avoid Mistakes

E-mail Rules - Quick Reminders

When you can spend an hour or two (for me it’s more like 3 hours) a day reading, answering, deleting, ignoring and categorizing your e-mails, it is more important than ever that you use your time to wisely handle the impression  you give others through your electronic missives.  Our e-mails are more often than not the first impression we have of someone who would like to sell something to us, buy something from us or make a worthy connection to us.  While you can’t control what others send to you, properly handling your e-mail correspondence sets the impression you give to others. 

All over the internet there are “How-to” and “What-not-to-do” lists about handling e-mail but it is still a frequent question we receive from acquaintances and clients alike.   Here are 10 reminders to keep in mind.

What is this e-mail explosion? Was there a point in time when the entire world decided to use the Internet as their business communication tool of choice?  Are there rules for managing these messages and being a professional and polite user of electronic mail?  There are, but not everyone has gotten the word.

1. Omitting The Subject Line. 

We are way past the time when we didn’t realize the significance of the subject line.  It makes no sense to send a message that reads “no subject” and seems to be about nothing.  Given the huge volume of e-mail that each person receives, the subject header is essential if you want your message read any time soon. The subject line has become the hook.

2. Not Making Your Subject Line MeaningfuL. 

Your header should be pertinent to your message, not just “Hi” or “Hello.” The recipient is going to decide the order in which he reads e-mail based on who sent it and what it is about. Your e-mail will have lots of competition.

3. Failing To Change The Header To Correspond With The Subject. 

For example, if you are writing your web publisher, your first header may be “Web site content.” However, as your site develops and you send more information, label each message for what it is, “contact info,” “graphics,” or “home page.” Don’t just hit “reply” every time. Adding more details to the header will allow the recipient to find a specific document in his/her message folder without having to search every one you sent. Start a new message if you change the subject all together.

4. Not Personalizing Your Message To The Recipient. 

E-mail is informal but it still needs a greeting. Begin with “Dear Mr. Broome,” “Dear Jim,” “Hello Jim,” or just “Jim.” Failure to put in the person’s name can make you and your e-mail seem cold.  Remember, too, that e-mail is not a memo, it is still mail, similar to what you would send by post but much, much quicker and less expensive.

5. Not Accounting For Tone. 

When you communicate with another person face to face, at least 65% of the message is non-verbal.  E-mail has no body language. The reader cannot see your face or hear your tone of voice so choose your words carefully and thoughtfully. Put yourself in the other person’s place and think how your words may come across in Cyberspace.

6. Forgetting To Check For Spelling And Grammar.

In the early days of e-mail, someone created the notion that this form of communication did not have to be letter perfect. Wrong. It does. It is a representation of you. If you don’t check to be sure e-mail is correct, people will question the caliber of other work you do. Use proper capitalization and punctuation, and always check your spelling. Remember that your spellchecker will catch misspelled words, but not misused ones. It cannot tell whether you meant to say “from” or “form,” “for” or “fro”, “he” or “the.”

7. Writing The Great American Novel.

E-mail is meant to be brief. Keep your message short. Use only a few paragraphs and a few sentences per paragraph. People skim their e-mail so a long missive is wasted. If you find yourself writing an overly long message, pick up the phone or call a meeting.

8. Forwarding E-Mail Without Permission.

Most everyone is guilty of this one, but think about it. If the message was sent to you and only you, why would you take responsibility for passing it on? Too often confidential information has gone global because of someone’s lack of judgment.  Unless you are asked or request permission, do not forward anything that was sent just to you.

9. Thinking That No One Else Will Ever See Your E-Mail. 

Once it has left your mailbox, you have no idea where your e-mail will end up. Don’t use the Internet to send anything that you couldn’t stand to see on a billboard on your way to work the next day.  Use other means to communicate personal or sensitive information.

10. Leaving Off Your Signature. 

Always close with your name, even though it is included at the top of the e-mail, and add contact information such as your phone, fax and street address.  The recipient may want to call to talk further or send you documents that cannot be e-mailed. Creating a formal signature block with all that data is the most professional approach.

11. Expecting An Instant Response.

Not everyone is sitting in front of the computer with e-mail turned on.  The beauty of Internet communication is that it is convenient.  It is not an interruption. People can check their messages when it suits them, not you.  If your communication is so important that you need to hear back right away, use the phone.

12. Completing The “To” Line First. 

The name or address of the person to whom you are writing is actually the last piece of information you should enter. Check everything else over carefully first.  Proof for grammar, punctuation, spelling and clarity.  Did you say what needed to be said? How was your “tone of voice”?  If you were the least bit emotional when you wrote the e-mail, did you let it sit for a period of time? Did you include the attachment you wanted to send? If you enter the recipient’s name first, a mere slip of the finger can send a message before its’ time.  You can never take it back.

E-mail makes everything easier and faster including making a powerful business impression and establishing positive professional relationships. The businessperson who uses the technology effectively and appropriately will see the results of that effort reflected in the bottom line.

If you are interested in Business Writing and how to write better, check this page…

Active Gratitude: Saying “Thank you” makes incredible impression

thank you The Lett GroupMy son came home from Boy Scout camp after a week away. His focus while being there was to earn four merit badges which included a lot of work (in the school work genre) . [Woodworking, Canoeing, Personal Management and Space Exploration] Having fun

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was also on the menu but getting those merit badges was paramount in his mind.

He earned those badges with guidance from scout leaders who were teaching them. Now for the purpose of this post…. before he left to return home, he went around the camp and personally thanked each Scout leader who helped him and each camp staff member who helped him or served him while he was there. I heard from the leaders upon return that they were very impressed by him and SO appreciated that he told them “thank you”. Each shared that they rarely receive the appreciation and it meant a lot to them. Additionally, they each had positive feedback about my son in many other areas how they like to

be around him. My experience is that if you treat people with respect and gratitude, they will have a positive impression about all you do. At 14, I am so proud and grateful that my son has learned good manners and uses them when not even reminded. He will be more successful in his relationships his whole life since he practices active gratitude. What a source of pride for his etiquette professor mother!

Email Signatures Make Business Easier

I receiveCompter spewing email The Lett Group a number of pet peeves from professionals who like to share their frustrations with an etiquette expert and then receive confirmation that they aren’t the only ones suffering. Today’s pet peeve is receiving emails with no signature so responding by phone to the individual takes time to look up their number and frustration for having to do so.

All of the major email programs have a way to set up your signature once and then you don’t have to think about it again.

Even my iPhone lets me do this.  So please, when you send an email, include a signature with all of your basic information so I (and others) may respond in a timely manner!  If we didn’t have to look it up, we will be friendlier on the other end of the phone as well.