No greeting. No “please” and “thank you.” Just a curt, one-sentence response, with a sprinkling of condescension.
I imagine they’re trying to sound confident and authoritative. After all, real professionals don’t waste time with pleasantries or kindness. Real professionals are tough and domineering, and they command respect with their aloof detachment and emotionless demeanor.
But if goal is to sound cool and confident, I’d like to remind these people that they’re failing spectacularly.
Instead, they’re just proving themselves to be clueless jerks with no skills to back up the swagger.
In fact, there’s a direct correlation between a person’s curtness and their incompetence.
The more curt the e-mail, the more incompetent the worker. It’s a rule.
I’d also like to remind these people that real competence stems from patience and understanding and putting yourself in another person’s shoes.
True professionalism comes from listening to the needs of others and responding to the best of your ability.
Genuine respect is earned by appreciating others and recognizing their contributions.
Humor and warmth go a long way in cultivating relationships and building trust. A person who can laugh projects much more poise and confidence than a sleaze-ball who tries to control others through fear and intimidation.
Most people want to be perceived as competent and able. It’s understandable. And our professional correspondence speaks volumes about our personality and the image we’re trying to project — even more so than the way we dress.
But please don’t mistake aloofness for ability. Don’t confuse curtness for competence.
No matter how stiff your upper lip, being a prick will never make you a professional.
So let’s cut it out with the abrupt, terse e-mails, OK? Si “hi” in your greeting. Tell someone you “hope they’re doing well.” Respond with a “thank-you” when they fulfill your request.
After all, isn’t common human decency worth a slightly cluttered inbox? If someone doesn’t appreciate a “thank-you” e-mail, then they always can delete it.
I’ll never subscribe to the notion that civility and decorum have to be sacrificed for the sake of doing business.
Skill and proficiency may define a professional, but it’s kindness and compassion that constitute the soul.