Small Things Matter

Often times we are so focused on trying to make a dramatic impact that we neglect the little things. But the small stuff does matter much more than you may realize and when you string a bunch of little things together, collectively they can make an impression that could impact your career.  

Here are five small things of which you should take note because although you may disregard them as irrelevant, they do matter.

  1. Say thank you. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought that I should touch upon the importance of expressing gratitude. Showing appreciation demonstrates that you are well-mannered and thoughtful AND that you have humility. The person receiving thanks will feel recognized and appreciated and everyone wants that.

  2. Say good morning and good night – This is a common courtesy that is not so common in the workplace. Often times we are so rushed in the morning that we storm into the office without so much as acknowledging our co-workers as we blow by their desks. It’s poor form as a colleague, but if you are a manager, it is even worse. It shows a lack of consideration and respect for those who work for you.

    In the evening many of us may feel guilt-ridden that we are leaving the office while our co-workers are still working and so we try and sneak out without a proper goodbye and hope that no one will notice. But everyone does notice and trust me when I tell you they sneer at our rudeness.

  3. Remove your headphones – Once you arrive to office and get into the elevator, be mindful of those who are sharing the space with you. Be courteous by turning off the music and engage with those around you. Staying plugged in gives the impression and that you are looking to be distracted from your job as long as possible before you are forced to punch the metaphorical clock. When you arrive at the office try and present yourself as someone who is ready to work and show some interest in the job that you are about to do.

  4. Remember  people’s names – Former JP Morgan Vice Chairman Jimmy Lee was one of the greatest rainmakers of his time - he always remembered people by name. In attending a meeting with him for the first time, he would listen attentively while you introduced yourself and then throughout the meeting he would repeat your name several times to ensure that he memorized it. When you would run into him in the hallways of the building he would always greet you by name. Not only was he a great client guy and relationship builder, he was an instrumental part of developing culture which could make a large firm seem small.

    I have also heard that President Bill Clinton does something very similar and has an unbelievable knack for remembering people’s names – two very charismatic leaders.

  5. Lose the Gum – ok, yes, a shameless plug for my book, but this also happens to be a small thing that can also give a negative impression to one’s overall professional appearance.

    Happy Thanksgiving to All and I look forward to seeing you at my book discussion on November 28, 2018 at Civic Hall. Please register through the link here.