We are a generation that has been the catalyst for quite a bit of discussion in the business world recently (I say “we” because I believe I fit into this group as well). How to “engage” us, how to target us, etc. It seems as if we are a bit of an enigma to many. And, although we may be intriguing, it’s not helping us find work either. A sure-fire way to not land your job is to drive people nuts — and many of us have done a pretty good job of that for quite some time now.
So, here’s how to drive people crazy — especially your boss. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of several, myself.
- Text-Message Writing
Sweet goodness, this is a pet-peeve of mine. Please, oh please, don’t put LOL, ROFL, LMFAO or any of the like in an email, memo, letter, etc. that could conceivably be deemed professional. There’s a difference between having a voice in your writing, and writing in acronyms and abbreviations. It’s unprofessional and makes us appear apathetic. Worse, that 60-year-old executive you’re trying to impress has no idea what you are talking about.
- Being Arrogant – Confidence is impressive. Social skills are a must. And, the subtle power of an authentic smile is highly underrated. However, in attempts to come across confident in interviews, listing appointments, and other interactions, I’m sure I have crossed the line from confident over to cocky — or at least flirted with it. Cockiness is over-compensation for what really is insecurity. Be willing to ask for help, be willing to say your sorry, and always have a heart full of gratitude. We’re all human after all. Humility goes a long way — and it’s a lesson I’m still learning.
- Being Unresponsive – I try to make a habit of being easy to get a hold of. Now, in my business, to be successful, people need to be able to contact me! I try to respond to emails within 24 hours and call people back promptly. Not everybody is in my line of work, but it does show care and responsibility when you respond quickly — and helps build stronger relationships more easily.
- Being Late
If you get the opportunity to grab coffee or take a meeting with a successful person you admire — be on time. In fact, just be on time for everything. Sure, traffic happens, but few things can be as annoying as waiting on someone when you have a million other things to do. Punctuality shows a respect for other’s time — and respect goes a very long way.
- Staring at Your Phone – I must admit, I’m guilty of this one. This tells the other person that they’re not good enough for you — that you need more stimulation or entertainment than they are giving you. I get it — I’m about as ADD as they come (ask any of my high school teachers or college professors), but there’s no excuse for checking your phone every 5 minutes when you’re with someone. It drives my wife nuts, because she feels unloved and disrespected. In the same way, when people feel honored, you are more memorable. In the words of Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Be the one who’s excited to see them, talk to them, know them. It goes way further than a 4.0 GPA.
Basically, it’s about respecting and honoring everyone. To land the job, convert the lead, or get the new account — the most important thing we can do is care about our relationships and love people.