This article is part of our Don’t do that. Do this instead series.*
Relax, it’s 2016
Yes, yes it is, and life is generally less formal than it used to be – which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, there are times when a lack of formality can lead you down a path that impacts your professionalism.
Be fooled into foregoing formalities: DON’T DO THAT
Recently, a short video was doing the social media rounds. It showed a group of young reporters receiving a briefing in the White House press gallery. During their briefing, President Obama made a guest appearance: he sauntered in, relaxed, smiling and carrying his cup of coffee.
When the group was invited to ask questions, one young women started hers with, ‘Hey’. If you’ve seen the clip, you’ll know that President Obama, ever the diplomat, responded with a smile and a ‘Hey’ in return. HOWEVER, look closely, that smile is one tight smile. In this situation, some (teeny tiny) leeway would have been granted because of this person’s age and inexperience, and nerves, but it still impacted how he responded.