Proper Image Essentials
LET’S START AT THE BEGINNING
“Hello. I’m ________________________________________________. It’s really nice to meet you.”
Stand in front of a mirror as you practice, practice, practice introducing yourself to others. Pronounce your name clearly and distinctly. This helps the other person hear your name. If they repeat your name incorrectly, pleasantly correct the error by speaking more slowly.
“In nothing do we lay ourselves so open as in our manner of meeting and salutation” – Lavater
In the event you are introducing yourself to someone you have met previously you might say, “Hello, I’m___________________________________________. We met last month at the luncheon.” If you do not remember their name say,”Would you mind telling me your name again?” Knowing how to introduce will give you power and authority. People are flattered that you remember them and that knowing their name is important to you.
ONCE YOU HAVE INTRODUCED YOURSELF, IT’S TIME TO INTRODUCE YOUR COMPANIONS
The most important person is always introduced first:
“Mr. Smith, this is Miss Jones, our new Manager, Mr. Rogers.
Men are introduced to women. “Michelle Day, this is Tom Gilligan,” except when higher ranking persons are involved. Then you proceed as follows:
“Mr. President, may I introduce Miss Jane Thompson.” “Madam Ambassador, may I introduce Mr. Smith.”
In a group, introduce the newcomer first. “This is Mr. Green.” then introduce the members of the group in order of position around the room. ALWAYS LOOK AT THE PERSON YOU ARE INTRODUCING. BE CONFIDENT AND IN CONTROL.
ONCE SOMEONE HAS BEEN INTRODUCED TO YOU, IT’S TIME TO RESPOND.
“Hello Mary, it’s nice to meet you.”
“Hello Mary, I’ve been looking forward to meeting you. I’ve heard many good things about you.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you Mary. Joe has told me many wonderful things about you.
Handshakes are a nonverbal form of communication serving as the universal signal for peace and the first physical impression you will make
1. Extend your hand with your thumb up and out, avoid thumb down or curled fingers.
2. Hold the other persons’ hand firmly.
3. Shake from the elbow, not the shoulder or wrist.
4. Use good eye contact. Let them see “I’m happy to meet you” in your eyes.
Shaking hands is appropriate for both genders when meeting and parting. Always stand for handshakes and introductions, but be aware that some elderly people have been taught to remain seated while being introduced. A business-person today should not remain seated when others are standing and shaking hands. Remain standing until all introductions around you have been made.
WHEN YOU ARE CALLING
Identify yourself when you call. “Hello. This is Jim Greene. May I please speak with Joe?”
When the person you want to speak with answers the phone, “Hello Joe, this is Jim. Do you have a few minutes to talk?”
If you dial the wrong number, apologize and ask if you have dialed incorrectly. try looking a mirror while talking on the phone. It will show you how you sound to the other person. It will also add enthusiasm to your voice.
WHEN YOU ARE ANSWERING
Be prompt in answering the telephone. Use a pleasant voice. It is the caller’s first impression of you. If the call is for someone other than you, say, “May I ask who is calling please?” Keep a pen and paper near the telephone to record messages. If the person whom the call is for is available, say,”Just a moment please, I’ll see if Joe is available.” Put the caller on hold if your telephone has that feature or set the receiver down lightly and go get the person whom the call is for.
NEVER YELL FOR THE PERSON WHOM THE CALL IS FOR!!
If someone calls you and hangs up without leaving a message, even if you see it on your caller ID, do not call them back and ask what they wanted. Everyone is entitled to make a mistake in dialing. If you answer a call and your number was dialed by mistake, nicely inform the caller they have dialed incorrectly. Never give them your number.
It is the responsibility of the person in the office to guide the visitor as to where to sit. Walk to the door to greet the visitor, then with hand extended, palm up indicate where the visitor is to sit. Consider the size of the visitor when selecting the chair in which they are to sit. Junior members of a team should wait to sit until the senior member is comfortably seated.
NEVER GREET ANYONE FROM BEHIND OR OVER A DESK
Name badges are placed on the right shoulder area. The eye will focus on the badge when they are shaking hands.
If your work in your office is without a jacket, always wear one when greeting a visitor and leaving your office to attend a meeting, even on “Casual Friday”.
When sitting, select a chair that suits your size whenever possible. Arrange your clothes before sitting and sit with your feet on the floor and back straight.
Use language people understand. Avoid contractions, abbreviations and slang. Talk about ideas, not people. Try to understand other’s viewpoints. Never interrupt. Avoid arguments: yelling is never productive. Guide the conversation when necessary. Use gestures to show that you are interested.
“May I?”- When you ask permission, you imply the person has authority. “As you of course know…” – You will be affirming that this person has great knowledge.
“I’d like your advice.” – This says that you recognize their superior wisdom and value them. You have lifted them to a higher level of expertise.
“I would appreciate it if…” – You have implied that he or she has the power to grant or refuse your wish.
“You are so right.” – What a pat on the back. Everyone wants to be right. Who won your last argument?
“Can you spare time from your busy life?” – You are recognizing how important this person is and how valuable each minute can be. You are respecting their time.
“I never thought about that. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
“I hear what you’re saying.” This is powerful since most people do not listen!
“I’m sorry you feel that way.” If someone has offered you their “opinion” and you don’t agree, then you are letting them know you heard them, but do not agree.
Written by Dr. Joyce M. Knudsen, AICI CIM