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You Lost Me Before "Hello"

Three ways to avoid embarrassing yourself with colleagues and improve your “lab behavior.”

by Bob Pacanovsky
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It’s true what they say—you never get a second chance to create a great first impression. Psychologists believe we only have between 15 to 30 seconds (or sometimes even less time) to make an impression on others.

Here are lost opportunities I have witnessed over my career of companies and organizations that have created the wrong first impression. You need to stay away from these or you could lose a client or prospect even before you say “hello.”

Relying too much on technology

It’s a wonderful tool, but sometimes the smartphone is the crutch that could make or break you. By keeping it on the table during dinner (or during a meeting) and answering it, you have created a perception that whatever is happening on your phone is more important than your current person-to-person conversation. It may be, but do NOT let your guests perceive that!

Acting like you’re still in college (even if you still are!)

Those were wonderful days, but we need to keep those days and those immature behaviors in the past. An open bar at a corporate event is not an invitation to “triple- fist” your beverages. Just because you can order as much as you like doesn’t mean that you should. It doesn’t make you or your company look good in the eyes of a client or prospect. Remember—“perception is 9/10th of the law.”

Location, Location, Location— creating the wrong impression even before you start the meeting

What does the location of your meeting have to do with professional etiquette and the brand that you are creating for your company and yourself ? It could be a lot, yet no one will ever mention anything to you about it.

Yes, the meeting room should be clean, but how about the lobby, parking lots, and restroom? What type of impression are you creating for your lab, your team, and yourself if they are not looking great?

Actions speak louder than words

Your actions and behaviors are just as important (if not more) as you work with your associates “in house,” as they are with your clients. Make sure to treat those people that you work with every day with the respect they deserve, especially in the office. If your body language and gestures toward them are mean, demeaning, and rude, people will pick up on that. Labs won’t tolerate someone whose actions make it look bad.

LABCAST: Be sure to attend Bob Pacanovsky's Lab Manager Academy webinar, "Watch Your Behavior... They Are!" on May 6, or afterward at to watch the archived video.