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Archive for the ‘etiquette’ Category

Telling vs. Asking

In Advice, appreciation, coworkers, etiquette, networking, team, team work, work environment, workplace on March 14, 2013 at 11:58 am

Most of us work in a team environment, or with other people, right? So when you need someone to do something for you, do you nicely ask for their help, or do you simply say you need something?

It’s something we may not think about every day, but it can certainly make a difference. Nobody likes a Bill Lumbergh.

Telling builds walls of defense. Telling puts distance between people. Telling crumbles the foundation of a relationship.

Asking brings people together. Asking creates a sense of cooperation, and in a larger sense, creates community. Asking builds trust and makes the relationship stronger.

Dan Ohler of Yahoo! wrote similarly on the subject back in 2007…

The challenge is to focus your intention and attention on asking for what you want. Here’s the how-to:

  1. Become consciously aware of your thoughts before you let the words slip past your lips. This can be critical in building and maintaining professional relationships.
  2. At any point where your tendency is to tell someone, “You should…”, “We need to…”, “Do this…”, “Don’t do that”, or anything of that nature, it will be very helpful to stop and organize your thoughts to form questions to ask with end results in mind.
  3. Clarify in your mind exactly what you want and ensure that the desired result is healthy and respectful for all involved.
  4. Reframe the statement in your mind so it is a question. Use, “Could you please…?”, “Would it be possible for you to…?”, or “Will you help me with…?” These types of questions open up all kinds of choices and possibilities. It includes the other person as a valuable resource and allows you both to look at the situation with a different perspective.

One of two things will occur. (1) The person will gladly fulfill your request, or (2) the conversation will open up to positive negotiation which may lead to a solution far better than either person thought possible.

Stopping to think about how you speak with others can greatly improve your relationships, be they professional or personal. Taking time to be polite works well for everyone involved.


Don’t Let Workplace Manners Take a Vacation

In Advice, appreciation, coworkers, etiquette, Impressions, performance, summer, Vacation, work on July 15, 2011 at 12:40 pm

It’s summer and that makes for hot, sweaty, uncomfortable workers. Even a moment out in 90+ degree heat and humidity can spur laziness and irritability.

But just because it’s summer doesn’t mean your workplace manners can take a vacation. There are certain written and unwritten rules of behavior and decorum that apply to the work environment, and it’s important now more than ever to respect each others’ common areas.

Go ahead, review your habits when it comes to your work environment. Think about the time you spend in your cubicle, the kitchen, the restroom, and even your email. Is your cubicle behavior something to be left at home? Do you talk so loudly that you interrupt or distract fellow employees? Do you clean up after yourself in the kitchen and bathroom? Is your email etiquette on par with how you would communicate with someone face to face?

If you’ve been slacking in these areas, it’s time for a serious facelift in your etiquette skills.

Clean up your act – your colleagues will appreciate it!