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Look Me in the Eyes, Please

Updated on November 18, 2015

Social & Professional Etiquette

On any given day walking into work or elsewhere, whether you don't want to be there or not, most associates will say "good morning" or "how are you today". I am rested, in a very good mood and even the normally quiet gentlemen that works there says good morning to me.

In the retail workplace where you are constantly with the public not just store associates, there is a social etiquette that is rather mandatory to maintain a good atmosphere. Rapport between co-workers, management , etc., is a given to have a smooth running department or store and basically helps to keep your attitude in check for the day as well.

There is so much more in maintaining a "friendly" and "professional" atmosphere no matter what type of company you work in. Whether it's a review or a simple conversation, comments can be taken differently depending on the circumstances. The tone of voice sometimes is worse than the words that are spoken and can come off as being rather rude, snobby; when condescending comments are made they are also hurtful and that makes for a sour attitude and bad karma between you, the supervisor or whoever you might be speaking with.

It seems that in this generation of younger-aged management all that matters is making a good impression for customers or upper-echelon when all they're doing is almost making a spectacle of themselves.

When I was in public relations years ago and had the clients asking for me personally, I knew I should have stayed in that profession. Having been in a retail setting now for almost 11 years, I still have the customers asking for me or making sure that I help them checkout. It's a good feeling and it makes my day when that happens, because I know that I have just enough moxie and professionalism to treat my customers with respect and they respect me for that as well. It is definitely that type of relationship that works perfectly in our store. The younger set is either to quiet, too loud and/or obnoxious enough that the customer might look the other way wishing they were in another line.

Social etiquette doesn't need to be so "proper", there are times that depending on the circumstances a person needs to bite their tongue or think before speaking. Get off the darn cell phone and look in the person's eyes you are speaking to. Expressions mean so much and the rapport is so very different socially. If you are trying to hook up with someone, then go sit in a quieter section so you can talk easier and the undertones in your voice come across the right way.

And ladies, be a need to slosh that drink down or light a cigarette, let alone bending over with your breasts hanging out of your blouse. Let the men use their imagination and show just enough cleavage, not everything. Be yourself, your other self ...use your feminine side and be a just a little coy, there's nothing wrong with that. Guys, you know you're good looking but let the lady decide, no need to have the macho, full-of-yourself attitude.

Whether with your co-workers or best friends, respect for that person means to listen to them and understand what they are saying so that the conversation isn't one-sided. Relationships with anyone is a two-way street and both sides need to be listened to and respected.


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