• JOIN OUR QUEST

  • NEWEST PROGRAM AND HANDBOOK


    Improve your speech for non-native English speakers. Click here to learn more.

  • Audiobook

    Audiobook Icon Audiobook now on sale!
  • FIRST BOOK:

    Book Cover Art

    AN AMAZON BESTSELLER

    "Great graduation present!"

    Winner in the Business-Motivational category for 2012

    Inspired to extend a helping hand to ambitious women working in corporate America, a veteran executive offers honest, practical, slightly irreverent advice about navigating companies that are run and populated predominately by men: how to interpret their sometimes surprising behavior, avoid common mistakes, flourish with the good guys, deal with the bad guys, and nurture a wonderful, satisfying career in a non-traditional role.

  • SECOND BOOK:

    Kindle and paperback available on Amazon.  

    Learn to see yourself as others do and become magnetic, magnanimous, and memorable! Savvy advice, specific examples, and tactical exercises to develop your presence—in months, not years.

  • About the Author

    Raised on a farm in southern Indiana by an idealistic professor and a feminist homemaker, and after language and film studies in Europe, Jennifer was an unlikely candidate to graduate from a leading business school and enter corporate America. To her surprise, she excelled in her new world and spent the next twenty years building a scintillating career, rising from Financial Analyst to Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary, working for big pharma and biotech companies in the US, Europe, and the UK.

    Read her LinkedIn profile.

  • Links to Booksellers:

    Paperback, Kindle and Audio versions available here on Amazon.

    Paperback and ePub version available here at Powells.

    Audio version available here at audible.com.

    Paperback and Nook versions available here at Barnes & Noble.

    Paperback version available here at Alibris.

    Paperback and ePub versions available here at BookDepository.com (free shipping worldwide).

    ePub version available here on diesel-ebooks.

    ePub version available here on eBookMall.

The Magic of Common Courtesy

Some social skills are simply what we in the United States call common courtesy. If we are fortunate, we are taught these conventions from a young age by our parents and our teachers. For some of us they become second nature; people who come from other cultures must actively learn American customs and consciously practice them to be perceived as well-mannered.

Do not be fooled into thinking common courtesy has no place in the corporate world. On the contrary, employees, coworkers, board members, and shareholders expect their leaders to remain well-mannered even when they are under fire, tired, or worried. I would suggest that in most cases you should follow the conventions of social skills. Behaving in ways that others would describe as rude seems unlikely to make a favorable impression.

Chauffeurs and administrative assistants have told me they could tell how senior an executive was by how polite he was. They reported that junior staffers were the ones more likely to be disrespectful. It behooves us to mimic the behavior of powerful people who treat others kindly, especially those with a lower organizational rank. The concept of noblesse oblige, the inherent responsibility of those in power to act with nobility and generosity toward those less fortunate, fits nicely into You, Not I thinking.

Employees are most likely to see their leaders at semi-social situations, those that are apparently social but in a business context. Those include the holiday party, Friday pizza parties, or summer picnics. If you are in a senior role, or aspire to one, it is important to carry yourself at ease and with grace in those situations. The spotlight is on you, but you have less control than in a formal setting, such as a presentation or a meeting. Being familiar with the conventions of good manners will greatly enhance your presence. Notice the positive impact of these small gestures of courtesy:

When you are: People feel:

polite: respected

courteous: taken seriously

gracious: comfortable

smiling: relaxed

looking at someone: visible

shaking someone’s hand: touched

taking someone’s coat: welcome

picking up what someone has dropped: important

nodding: solidarity

expressing interest: interesting

listening: honored

using good table manners: grateful 🙂

introducing someone: like someone worth knowing

giving a small gift: appreciative

saying thank you: appreciated

Excerpt from You, Not I: Exceptional Presence Through the Eyes of Others

© 2014 Jennifer K. Crittenden

  • Do you need help with a work issue? Write me.

  • Experts About the Presence of Others

  • The Pergola, a free bi-monthly digital magazine

  • Archived Issues

    Click here for the "Lady" Issue - Mar 2018.

    Click here for the "Year of the Woman" Issue - Jan 2018.

    Click here for the "Sexual Misconduct" Issue - Nov 2017.

    Click here for the "Empathy" Issue - Sep 2017.

    Click here for the "Uncommon Courtesy" Issue - July 2017.

    Click here for the "Humor" Issue - May 2017.

    Click here for the "Stage Fright" Issue - Mar 2017.

    Click here for the "Women's March" Issue - Jan 2017.

    Click here for the "Executive Presence" Issue - Nov 2016.

    Click here for the "New Opportunity, i.e., Looking for Work" Issue - Sep 2016.

    Click here for the "Business Travel" Issue - July 2016.

    Click here for the "Bully" Issue - May 2016.

    Click here for the "Men, Women, and Money" Issue - March 2016.

    Click here for the "Boss" Issue - January 2016.

    Click here for the November 2015 Apology Edition.

    Click here for the September 2015 Single Mother Edition.

    Click here for the July 2015 Negotiation Edition.

    Click here for the May 2015 Birthday Edition.

    Click here for the Mar 2015 First Edition.

  • Straight Talk Logo
  • JENNIFER K. CRITTENDEN

  • Invest in Yourself! Executive Presence

    Customized one-on-one consulting program to enhance your presence, both professionally and personally. Available from anywhere. Starts anytime. Ten 90-minute individualized sessions. Private and confidential. More info
  • Trailer for Exceptional Presence Program

  • Latest Tweets

    DiscreetGuide
  • Meta