It’s easy sometimes to get comfortable in a relationship, let go of the effort and behaviors that we had on the first date. While, this might seem like a strange topic to equate with work environments, the two have much more in common than you’d think. When you’re on a first date, you are constantly making sure you put your best foot forward (at least we hope so) in the hopes that a second date might come of it. The same goes in the workplace. In order to get a second meeting, close a deal, make a sale, whatever the case may be, we need to put our best foot forward on the first meeting.
Think of how much more successful our meetings could be if we put in the effort to impress and care for the other party as we do on a first date. No, you aren’t hoping for a goodnight kiss at the end of your meeting, but you are probably hoping for some forward motion for your business or career, so why not put forth the same amount of care into your communication, appearance, and manners? Below are some widely accepted dating rules that can be incorporated into your workday:
- Be punctual: This isn’t just a date lesson or a work lesson, it’s a life lesson. Being late to plans communicates the message that you think your time is more important than the other party’s time, even if you don’t think that at all. You don’t want to do that to a date, and you really don’t want to do that to your boss. Leave 10 minutes earlier for your meeting to ensure you’re there on time, you’ll be glad you did.
- Be kind to the server: Mom always said “Someone who is nice to you but not nice to the waiter is not a nice person,” and for good reason. Being nice to everyone you’re in contact with is good practice, so be nice to the the receptionist, the intern and the waiter, because these people, whether you realize it or not, may be a valuable connection in your future.
- Don’t complain: Your date does not want to hear you complain about your day; they want to have a positive conversation and enjoy your company. However, a boss REALLY doesn’t want to hear you complain. You will get ahead for having positive morale and good energy, you will not for going on and on about how horrible your day was.
- LISTEN: Often, when you’re trying to impress someone, you can let your excitement get the better of you and dominate the conversation. We all just want to be heard, which goes for whomever you’re with as well. Follow this rule, if you’re talking more than 50% of the time, you’re talking too much.
- Communicate: Nerves can have the opposite effect as well, and all that nervousness can make us lose our voice and sit quietly waiting for the other to speak. This is awkward, and will not get you a second date or a second meeting. Have an important opinion or idea? Share it. You’re meeting with one another to get to know each other better or move towards a goal, and you need to communicate your views to do so.
- Dress the part: In a relationship, you usually save the sweatpants for a couple of months in, once the other person likes you for you. For the first date, some effort is expected, and even more so for a meeting. Your partner will more than likely put effort into how they present themselves, so don’t show up looking disheveled. Make sure you look presentable enough for your calendar demands. When in doubt, dress up a little, it can’t hurt.
- Don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu: If you’re not picking up the check, then you shouldn’t order the lobster. Don’t take advantage of the fact that the bill isn’t your responsibility, it does not make a good impression.
While there are many differences between dating and the workplace, there do exist some similarities. To put it simply, both are focused around putting your best foot forward, using your manners, and being courteous to whomever you are with. Keep these in mind as you suit up for your next meeting or business lunch. The extra effort will be appreciated, and who knows, you may just get a second
date, ahem, we mean meeting.
Adopted from this article from PR Daily