To whom it may concern,
Either I am becoming an old person with antiquated ideals of manners and business acumen, or I totally missed the 'business-is-now-extremely-casual-boat. So, let me throw two recent thoughts out there.
E-mail for business is not the same as e-mailing your friends and family or text messaging your buds to see what they are up to for the weekend (at least, I don't think so). Since I began my professional foray around 10 years ago, it was drilled into my head that being professional while maintaining approachability (at least in my field) was the way to go. So, in a recent e-mail exchange with a top executive, I was surprised that there wasn't a salutation or valediction - at all.
Each email would go directly into some fragmented sentences that rarely communicated that he or she read the previous e-mail I had sent. Then there would be a hasty question, and that was it.
What a bummer.
I would hope that in a business relationship that a person interested in hiring a a creative professional and paying them what they're worth would have the minimal respect to address his or her colleagues with a name and valediction.
The e-mails read as if they were text messages. That caused me to question what it would be like working with that person. Would my questions and my name and my work be handled with such flippancy as the e-mail correspondence?
I am all for using street vernacular and more importantly Snoop Doggy Dogg vernacular when e-mailing my friends. But they are my friends, not usually business prospects.*
*OBVIOUSLY if there is a mutual understanding between a client that relaxed e-mail language is permissible, that's the exception. That usually only happens after several interactions and mutual understanding and trust has been built.
What do you all think?
2. Cell phones ON the table during a one on one business meeting.
I don't know about you all, but one sure fire way to tell me that me and my business doesn't matter is by texting while you're talking to me (without acknowledging the urgency of the need for the action - obviously there are extenuating circumstances that would merit that, but if they are so extenuating, they are probably emergency, so cancel the damn meeting anyway). I read in a recent Forbes article that there are very very few people that are so important that whatever is hitting their smart phone can't wait one hour. We have let the iPhone brainwash us into thinking that we are WAY more important than we are (sorry people) and looked pretty professionally irresponsible in the wake.
Weigh in. Am I missing something, guys?