Never address anyone by "Mr. so-and-so" except in a friendly joking well. First names mostly, last names in a bold way sometimes, and never by their title.
Everyone is a peer of yours.
No corporate speak, ever.
Never let yourself be intimidated. Intimidated people aren't fun to be around.
Keep it light.
Stay on topic -- it's really not fun having having people drift into nonsense and not getting important deliverables down. [*]
[*] I struggle with this sometimes. We all struggle with something. My mind goes on tangents, sometimes useful, sometimes not. I've been working on it a lot lately.
Make all your collateral focused on the buyer. Identify risks, yes. But make sure you leave them with a broad strong promise. Don't talk about yourself too much. Nobody cares.
Don't be too formal.
Do be professional.
Professional isn't accoutrement or nonsense. Professional is being focused on understanding the buyer and delivering the results they want.
Winning is fun.
NEVER bow and scrape. If you're a clear subordinate, people can't let their hair down. They have to keep up "authority mode." If you're true peers, you can relate as true peers and get an honest dialog going. People don't get honest dialogs going with subordinates. So, never bow and scrape. That's the biggest mistake new people make. Everyone's a peer. Keep it fun.
This post is accurate in a business context, but I would offer, as a footnote, that formality and decorum are important in a court room, public forum or when addressing law enforcement. This can be achieved without being stiff. By just using honorifics (Officer, Agent, Your Honor, Chairman, Mayor), one conveys a level of comfort, confidence and mastery of the process, while also recognizing the listener's station, and often gives the communicator an edge in the event of a close call. To conduct oneself otherwise in those situations can invite disaster.
There's truth and goodness to what you've said. In response to Sebastian: I think how successful you are with this strategy depends partly on with whom you're dealing. Different industries have different cultures.
Interesting post Sebastian.
However, I think what you are talking about is very far from being "universal," and seems rather ethno-centric. I mean, you have been all over Asia and are still living there if I'm correct. Therefore I'm sure you already know this (but perhaps forgot to mention it?), but in most Asian languages/cultures (and many other cultures around the world) it is simply unthinkable to address a person by their first name. And if you use their last name it needs to be used with an honorific title, there is simply no way to get around this. Even in Chinese you call a taxi driver or most general laborers as "sifu," which translates as "master" (i.e. somebody who is a master at their art/craft/etc.)
In East Asia, especially, there is a very clear distinction between different social status and people are very well aware of the place they occupy in the social hierarchy. I do not think anybody is a peer of everyone. What are your thoughts on this?
This might be something to do with the culture as well. I mean if I do as you say here in Turkey, I am sure to get nowhere as there is some sort of hidden cast system in the country. So, the success of the strategy depends on not only with whom but also where you are dealing. Near universal but not totally universal.
On the staying focused vs tangential thing. I find writing a bullet point agenda for a call, even if I don't share it with the other person, helps me stay on track and make sure all issues are addressed.
If an interesting tangential idea comes up putting it in a "parking lot" for later discussion is something that works well in face to face meetings when you write it down or put on a whiteboard. For phone meetings what if you do via gotomeeting and have a parking lot area in your notes for the meeting.
PS I agree that first name terms and being friendly are very important in business relationships. In my sales experience if you have good rapport with someone and they have need for what you do they will buy from you over a stranger. Even if the stranger's offering is better. People work with people they like. Being on first name terms is part of that.Having fun together is another.
I get off on telling the truth.
I mean, I love it. It's addictive.
But most people never get to enjoy this rare thing. Most people are far too afraid.
But why? I ask this. Here's my best guess...
I think people don't tell the truth because (1) They think they're a big deal, and (2) think their life is really important, and (3) are afraid that telling the truth is going to screw up their very important life.
Can i appreciate life without being judged? Without finding out the dark deep secrets of the true meanings of life? Like drugs, sex and drinking? Two kids in my class got suspended for drinking vodka at school because they were drunk. I don't understand how you would want to live these things in your first year of high school. Alexa, did some pretty rough things this year that really surprised me. She has done pretty much everything i just mentionned except the sex stuff. I mean trying pot once or twice is fine but there's no good ending. Why would you smoke it? To have fun, to impress others who don't care about you? Sure i wanna try it but at the same time, it's pretty scary. You're intoxicating your lungs at such a young age and i just don't want to mess up anything. Sometimes i wonder how smoking a joint or two could help the troubles in my day but what if you get in trouble? Getting suspended is not what i want to do.
People say i'm never going to do drugs or drink alcohol but at the same time, you wanna know that when you die, you tried a majority of the stuff there is out there. Life can definitely take you to some interesting experiences and it's fun to explore. But let me be honest, i'm a little scared.
I'm definitely terrified of taking drugs.....