You may think you know all there is to know about how to conduct yourself appropriately in a business setting. Mary Crane’s book of tips may be useful as a reminder of these common practices you are already aware of, but it can also give guidance for situations you may not have considered. The tips are broken down into ten chapters beginning at the interview process, then navigating you through working with colleagues, business meals and social events, travel, and much more. Although Wake Forest Law School’s Professional Development course thoroughly prepared my fellow 1L’s and I for our summer positions, there are a couple of tips that I was happy to come across. Below, are five of these valuable tips:
1. Handle differences of opinion tactfully.
At some point in your professional career, you will have a disagreement with a colleague. Here is a three step process to help handle these situations.
* Acknowledgement- You should not ignore or avoid a conflict, in order to reach a resolution, you must acknowledge that it exists.
* Understanding- Both parties to a disagreement must understand the underlying facts; this sometimes requires an understanding of personal assumptions or beliefs through which each party views the issue.
* Agreement- The parties should jointly develop an agreement for moving forward.
2. Determine your boss’ preferred means of communication.
Your boss may text as much as you do or prefer for the majority of communication to be face to face. It is important to determine if they have a general preference, or if it depends on what you are communicating to them. Additionally, if your boss asks you to deliver information to someone else, be sure you know how he or she wants you deliver this information.
3. Prepare for networking events
One way you can make the most out of business networking events is by being prepared for them. Here are a few easy things you can do to prepare:
* Practice your introduction
* Develop conversation starters
* Gather supplies (i.e. business cards, pens, etc.)
4. Consider Your Body Language Through the Lens of Cultural Differences
This tip is aimed at those that have the opportunity to work with individuals from other countries. You must be mindful that the gestures and body language that are accepted in America are not interpreted the same in other parts of the world. For example, in America a thumbs up sends the message that all is well, but in some other countries it is considered offensive and rude. If you will be working with individuals from other countries, it is important to find out what is and is not acceptable to them.
The Lawyers Mutual Lending Library is a free service provided to all insureds and their support staff. We offer a wide range of titles from subject matters including: marketing, networking, starting a law practice and social media. Please visit Lawyers Mutual Lending Library on our website to browse our selection.
Doriyon Glass is a second year law student at Wake Forest University School of Law. Doriyon interned with Lawyers Mutual in the summer of 2016 as part of the North Carolina Bar Association Minorities in the Profession 1L Summer Associate Program.