Jack's colleague arrived on time and noted that Jack might be late. We waited a short while and decided to begin our discussion. Some twenty minutes into the allotted time Jack arrived and sat down, no apology. His mobile rang and he took it out of his pocket, checked the number and continued with our conversation, he paused and began to scroll his e-mail. Eventually noting the silence from myself and my colleague he looked up, stopped and turned his mobile upside down. He then began to note that his colleagues, with one in the room, are lazy and that was part of the problem he is there to fix. Rather than listening to what was being said, he talked, not allowing for silence, or space to absorb both the atmosphere and the impact of his words. Thirty minutes after he arrived, he looked at the clock and stood up, ready to dash to another meeting.
In todays world, many may chose to ignore the simple forms of business etiquette. I am not one of them. My opinion of Jack has now been formed and it will take a lot to change it. How often do we do tiny things without thought? Taking out our mobile to check messages, when in a meeting or at a workshop? Speaking loudly into our mobile in a public place, unaware, or maybe uncaring that anyone could be listening, and forming opinions of our behaviour and more importantly our business. Speaking without thinking of the impact of our statements.
Coaching Jack, I would ask how he would handle a colleague who spoke disparagingly of him and his co-workers? I would ask what image did he wish to convey as a businessman and of the employer he was representing?
What else would you suggest Jack change? How would you have handled his behaviour, as the colleague in the room, and as one of the individuals he was meeting?
As business people, we expect some level of politeness. Being rude to others demonstrates a lack of respect, do you believe Jack wanted to project that image?
Let me know your thoughts and experiences in this new technological world!