December 26, 2011

Skip the Mr. and Mrs.

Forget what your parents taught you, it’s not always prudent to use a formal salutation, especially in today’s more informal business world. Addressing people by their first name is now the norm in corporate America. Use first names to address colleagues, clients, and bosses. If you are a junior employee, this will level the playing field so that you are perceived as more of an equal. 

Confidently addressing people by their first names establishes you as mature and self-assured. If you are a seasoned manager, it will convey accessibility. Today’s workers see hierarchies as stiff and outdated. 

Demanding that subordinates use a formal title comes off as pompous. Note that this informality is not the global norm — learn the local customs before you travel.

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