Unkempt hair and rambling speeches won’t work for everyone
While some leaders think nothing of veering off-topic during an important speech or sporting an unkempt hairdo, Debrett’s believes these are not effective strategies for career development.
The new Debrett’s Guide to Business Etiquette offers indispensable advice on all aspects of office life, from boardroom to office party. The following ’10 Things Every Leader Should Know’ is extracted from the new book, which is available to order now in time for Christmas.
If using these tips, please credit Debrett’s Guide to Business Etiquette, £25, from debretts.com.
Ten Things Every Leader Should Know
1. Speakers often believe that a formal occasion requires clever language and long words – the very things that obscure understanding and prevent a connection between speaker and audience.
2. Every speech should have a purpose: to entertain, to inspire, to persuade and inform.
3. Looking reasonably well-groomed and well-laundered is a basic requirement. This means washing and brushing your hair and checking clothes to make sure that there are no food stains or unsightly creases. In the words of Tom Ford, “Dressing well is a form of good manners.”
4. Chairing a meeting calls for patience, a sense of humour, diplomacy, an ability to arbitrate, and preparation.
5. Letting an employee go should appear to be done more that in sorrow than in anger. It should be done humanely, without any blustering or bitter recriminations.
6. Nothing undermines a team more than the tendency not to share credit when something is going right, which is of course matched by a tendency to blame others when things go wrong.
7. Pretty speeches and mass emails have limited effectiveness in assembling a team. Personal example is what is needed.
8. Always consult people before decisions are made – especially those that will directly concern them. Keep diktats from above to the minimum.
9. Be honest about the origin of other people’s good ideas. Seek to involve as many people as possible in sharing good news if the idea is a success.
10. Criticisms should always be justifiable and, of course, constructive. Criticisms or condemnations uttered in a civil manner often have a devastating effect, crushing the recipient’s desire to fight back.