Each generation has its own quirks and preferences, but they all share the fact that business interaction as a whole still requires respect and professionalism, even if you are allowed to work from home or bring your dog to the office.
Why am I writing about this?
Because today I saw a bad example from a young person and I want to help.
Today my team and boss were on a call with a potential vendor. The vendor started the call without setting expectations of what the meeting was to be about, what would be covered, etc. He just jumped right in to asking questions about our business with no explanation of what he was trying to learn.
As the call continued, the vendor would interrupt to ask more questions or start answering a question before listening to the whole question. If my boss paused before answering a question, we would hear, “You there?”.
It got to the point where my boss hit the mute button and shared her frustration with the team. Pretty sad, in my humble opinion.
I found myself wanting to call or email the vendor with the meeting basics 101, conference calls 101 and professionalism modules, because I know the vendor is younger than me. I wanted to help him from continuing to dig a hole for his business reputation!
Despite all of our technology, professionalism and respect are two required traits in business. The next meeting we have with this vendor will be in person. For his sake, I hope it is missing all the “yeahs”, “or whatevers”, and the talking over questions. Not just for my team, but for any other meetings he has with anyone going forward. It doesn’t matter what your age is, how you interact with colleagues, customers, etc., speaks volumes about you as a professional.