Sunday, August 31, 2008
Convenience or Curse?
The sign says the bank’s now open on Sunday. The ad points out that our lives are “hectic and full” and to make things easier the bank will now be open 10 to 4 on Sunday so you “can bank when it fits your schedule”. Convenience? Absolutely. Adds flexibility to how you plan your week. The cleaners, the drug store, the outdoor market and an open bank (not just an ATM) all together, all there open on Sunday. Lovely.
Or not so lovely? A curse, a complication? Yes that too. One more option so that we can add something else to our schedules, filling in that now open space we used to save for the bank. Another task that we can fit in on the run. Already obsessed with tasks, time and schedules. Sometimes its good NOT to be able to do something. To think about sitting for a few minutes, having a conversation, staring at the sky, even watching a silly TV movie.
Americans are the clock watchers, busy schedule, rush around people of the world. We focus on getting things done rather than connecting with people. Now we can rush to the bank on Sunday instead of having a conversation with someone, sitting, thinking, doing nothing. Convenience or curse? Yes, it is.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
What's His, Her, Their Title?
Traveling for business outside the US and know you’ll be making introductions? Writing a letter to an elected official? Received a letter and can’t understand the title of the person who sent it? Help is here. Robert Hickey’s new book Honor & Respect (www.formsofaddress.info) is a guide to the correct usage of names, titles and forms of address for any occasion.
While you may never have to introduce a King or Queen to your mother, you are likely to introduce colleagues, clients and prospects and this book can be your guide to doing it correctly. Whether you need information for Sri Lanka, Lithuania or Los Angeles you’ll find something useful here. In a hurry and don’t have the book? Check out the website www.infoplease.com/iap/A0001618.html and you’ll some basic information.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Far from home? A serious emergency? Need to know how to get help in a hurry? Can’ dial 911 but what do you dial? Is it 112 (France, Germany), 999 (Qatar), 191 (Thailand) or 101 (Mongolia)? How to know?
Thanks to Wikipedia, the numbers are just a click away: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_call
Check it out before you travel. You may never need this piece of information but then again, you might.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Pretty in Pink
Thank heavens you can fly the day before your meeting. What a luxury, not to take a 5 AM flight, rush from the airport to a conference room and start a presentation. This time it's fly, go to the hotel, have dinner, get some sleep. Start the day where you need to be.. It’s perfect except when its not. For one woman who recently flew across the country for a critical meeting, comfortably wearing her pretty pink sweats it wasn't perfect at all.
She looked great in her pink sweats– for flying, for a coffee at Starbucks, cheering for her children at a soccer game. But pretty pink doesn’t work for a morning meeting with a client to impress. That’s what she faced. She got to her destination but her luggage didn’t. No luggage at the airport. No luggage delivered to the hotel that night. No suit for the meeting.
Don’t let lost luggage lose the deal for you. Always travel in something that can be go to a meeting. Maybe not your best suit but something that will allow you to make a joke about lost luggage while still looking professional. Everyone understands lost luggage but they don’t get pretty in pink.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Get Up Early, Stay Up Late
Sometimes the best email is the one you don’t send. Working across time zones? Get up early, stay up late, pick up the phone and don’t let time differences prevent you from making a personal connection. It’s so easy to shoot off a quick email. Get an answer. Hit reply all to send an answer. And think you’re having a conversation. But you’re not really. You’re exchanging bits of information. Pieces of data.
For most of the world, a personal connection is essential to doing business and to build a relationship you need to connect in person. A phone call, moments of direct conversation are generally more powerful than multiple e-mails.
So Stop. No Twitter. (www.twitter.com) No email. No texting. Make the call. Talk to the person. Spend a few minutes together. And see how much more productive the next round of e-mails can be. Relationships, one to one connections are what drive our global economy.
However before you dial - check the time (www.timeanddate.com) so you don’t wake some up as you make this gesture to reach out, be more personal. While you are willing to give some of your sleep, surprising someone in the middle of his or her night may not be perfect. One day of getting up early, staying up late to talk in person can save the deal, move the project forward, create a friendship, and even bring new opportunities.
People to people one call at call at a time – build your global business.
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