MAKE THE RIGHT IMPRESSION
This Guide is all about demonstrating a high level of social intelligence, enabling you to make the best impression on everyone you meet — professionally, socially and in everyday life. It is about giving you the social and interpersonal skills you need to handle yourself with confidence wherever you go. The recommendations apply to both women and men, especially those who are starting their careers. When you make the right impression, you are setting the stage for good things to happen.
The advice in this Guide concentrates on what you yourself can control, including the most effective conduct for:
There is a huge advantage in making a positive first impression with those you meet in any circumstances. Doing so depends on your posture, voice and appearance together with your ability to handle yourself properly in the most common business and social situations.
Over the years, certain customs and manners have evolved to govern and facilitate the harmonious interaction of people at all levels of society and to avoid embarrassing behavior. While these customs and manners currently vary to a certain extent from country to country, globalization is causing many of them to be adopted as common international practice, especially by individuals involved in conducting business and professional affairs around the world.
The objective of observing such customs and manners is to enable you to be comfortable in dealing with any interpersonal situation, including those involving individuals in high-ranking positions. By following them, you will gain a reputation as someone who knows how to conduct oneself properly, who can be relied on to make a good impression and present a polished image as a representative of your organization. Ignoring these customs and manners will likely impede your personal and professional advancement.
Lunch with the Queen of England, meeting the CEO of one of the largest international banks, dinner at the United Nations in New York, attending a high-level conference? No problem, you can handle it.
Yes, some customs and manners treat women differently from men as a form of courtesy. This is based on the premise that “gentlemen” should honor and respect the differences between the sexes, not that men are superior to women. While such chivalrous practices are applicable socially, most women prefer not to be treated differently from men in the workplace, providing they are given the same level of respect and consideration.
Sadly, something essential is missing from today’s world. Almost everywhere you turn there is bitter discord, intense polarization of opposing ideas, and mean-spirited disharmony. Even in the more advanced countries, the hallmarks of a civil society appear to be disappearing. If a worldwide anger versus happiness index existed, the scale would likely be tilted much more heavily on the anger side.
What seems to be missing is a code of personal behavior that fosters harmonious relationships and a civil society — one that puts people everywhere at ease and makes them comfortable as opposed to feeling insecure and at a disadvantage. Parts of this Guide attempt to address this missing dimension in today’s rapidly globalizing world.
Keep in mind that the recommendations in this Guide are made primarily from a North American perspective. If you are traveling to a country whose culture and social behavior are considerably different from your own, it is important to do some research beforehand to familiarize yourself with the principal differences. This is particularly important when the primary purpose of the trip is business or professional work.
If you have questions about any subjects in this Guide or suggestions for additional advice that should be included in future editions, please contact me through the Web site at www.COTWguides.com. Make the Right Impression is the first Guide in the Citizen of the World series. The next three Guides are Secure the Job You Want & Excel, Be a “Pro” Communicator and What’s Really Important.