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Monday, May 9, 2016

Being Gracious at Work

I love my job. Ever since I was in high school I knew I wanted to be a paralegal. I enjoy the work I do and the office I work for.

But every office has those "bad apples" and I try my very best not to be in that bunch. Every office has them. Those "mean spirited" rude people. I just steer clear of them and rise above it.

I am finishing up Jennifer L. Scott's third book Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic. I recently read her section called "Poise at Work". I think that poise and excellence at work is so important but as I said before you will always have this nasty individuals that just make your day hard. Jennifer gave 17 reminders on how to have great poise at work. Here are just a few snippets.

1) Always act with integrity and dignity. Honesty is one of the most important traits you can have at work. Always be truthful whether you are clocking in your hours or listing your accomplishments in the interview.

2) First impressions are important. Whether it's a new client or a new district manager, always STAND when you're being introduced to someone.

3) Be a good listener. Let's say you are receiving a performance review from your boss and he or she gives you a few areas you could improve upon. This hurts your pride. You might feel defensive, annoyed, and even upset. But it's a good idea to place you pride on the back burner and genuinely listen to your boss's analysis. Get truthful with yourself.

4) Look alert. I know you're tired and this Monday-morning meeting is such a complete and total drag, but perk up, sit straight, and look alert. You can raise the energy level and productivity of your team.

5) Always dress appropriately. It is best to err on the side of conservative dress. Never wear clothing that is too revealing, either too short or showing too much cleavage. Dress for the job you want, not the job that you have. Aim to look presentable always.

6) No visible tattoos or body piercings. If you work in a conservative environment, it is best to cover them up. Whether you like it or not, people will judge you for them.

7) Treat everyone with kindness and courtesy, from the janitor to the CEO. Do this not to get ahead, but to show respect for everyone in the workplace. Treating everyone with equal reverence creates a positive team environment.

8) Be diplomatic in how you communicate. Avoid pointing, as it looks aggressive. If you must point, keep two fingers together. Think politician. Also think (and pause) before you speak. Maintain your calm and poise even in the wake of their angry tirades. You are the face of the company......

9) Watch your language. It doesn't matter how friendly you are with you coworkers, watch your language lest the boss or, even worse, a customer, hears you swear.

10) Show respect for the common areas like kitchen or tea area. Clean up after yourself. Never take any food that isn't yours. Avoid taking personal calls in these areas, so as not to disturb others who are resting.

11) Keep your work area tidy. Doing so showcases a good work ethic and shows you respect the job. Treat your work space as you would the big corner office with the view, even if you are just in a cubicle for now.

12) Always be punctual for meetings. You do not want to step into that boardroom with twelve sets of annoyed glances looking your way.

13) Never gossip. If others are participating in office gossip, stand up for the person being gossiped by pointing out that that person is not there to defend him- or herself, or simply remove yourself from the situation.

14) Take responsibility if you have acted in error. It shows tremendous courage to own up to your mistakes. Stepping up with integrity will most likely erase much of the damage done by the mistake in the first place.

15) Don't order extravagantly at business dinners. I know the lobster looks good and so does that bottle of champagne, but employ restraint when ordering at business meals, to show respect for the hosts.

16) Never order a take-away bag from a business dinner. It just looks bad. And then you have to carry it out of the restaurant. Awkward.

17) Be Yourself. From the initial interview to every day thereafter, strive to be yourself. There's a reason you got this job in the first place.

I hope you enjoyed these reminders from Jennifer L. Scott and I would recommend you pick up her book Polish your Poise. It's a wonderful read!

(photos via Google and text via Jennifer L. Scott)

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