Live from DHG Launch, DHG's intern training program, Alice Grey Harrison, Director of Corporate Communications, and Travis Wilson, Director of Talent Acquisition, talk about personal branding and office etiquette. Whether you're a current intern, future intern, associate or partner, join us for this episode to learn some helpful hints on the office environment. [audio mp3="/Portals/0/headers/careers/EP-17-Etiquette-1.mp3"][/audio]
Episode 18 Transcript: AGH: Hello everyone, and welcome back to another episode of our DHG podcast series. I’m Alice Grey Harrison, your host, and I really love this venue because we get to hear from our people about the things that matter the most; flexibility, careers and people. Today, I’m in Charlotte at DHG Launch, our intern training, and I have with me Travis Wilson, who is head of talent acquisition here at DHG, and he and I are doing a seminar called "Brand You." We have a little TV show set that we're reporting from at DHG Launch, and we're talking about personal branding, dressing for success and office etiquette. In this episode, we’d like to share with you a few tips and tricks related to office etiquette. Okay, I’m going to kick it off, welcome Travis. TW: Thank you. I'm Excited. AGH: Okay, so the first one is cellphones. If you are sitting in a cubicle, or even if you’re in an office, be sure to silence your phone so everybody doesn’t hear your ringtone going off all day long. Also, if you’re an intern, young associate, or even if you’re a partner, when you’re in a meeting, unless you have something really urgent going on, be sure to put your phone away so you can really focus on the matter at hand. If you’re an intern just joining the firm, I really recommend not even taking your phone with you to a meeting, because it’s really tempting to kind of glaze over and maybe look at email, but you really should be paying attention to what’s going on in the office. TW: There’s nothing more important than being present. AGH: Absolutely. TW: Well, I’ve got the next one, and I think for me, it comes down to everything in life is about relationships, and many times I see not only in our offices but other folks walking around with ear buds in their ears. I get it, maybe you’re coming in from the car and you’re listening to music, or you just got off a phone call with somebody. I don’t think it’s very personable. So, I think if folks can be a little bit more mindful of when they have the ear buds in, especially if they’re sitting at their desk and they’re listening to music. Again, it's about being present and being aware of your surroundings. AGH: So, I kind of got out of order here on our list, will you go next? TW: Sure, not a problem. I could tell you some stories about smelly foods, but when it comes down to not totally trying to alienate your colleagues around you, it’s smart to be aware of what you eat at your desk. The aroma that it brings to the office and then the aroma that sometimes lingers for days at a time. AGH: So no microwaved tuna? TW: You might want to stay away from tuna. AGH: Curry. TW: Curry, and popcorn is an easy thing to make, but sometimes people burn it and then that’s just not good for anybody the rest of the day. Just some things to think about. AGH: Okay, so my next tip is about the way you keep your office space and your desk. My husband laughs at me all the time because I’m constantly walking around the house, picking things up, because I like things to be neat and orderly. So my suggestion is for people to always keep their work spaces clean and orderly. Use file folders, and when you leave at the end of the day, you should really have your space clear. It also helps you start the day afresh the next day when you walk in and you walk into a clean environment. It’s kind of like when you stay in a hotel, how nice it is that somebody makes up your bed, and when you come back to your room, you have a fresh bed. It’s the same feeling when you walk in to a fresh office. TW: Couldn’t agree with you more. So, now we’re going to touch a little on hygiene. Early in my career, I had the — I don’t know if I’ll used the word “pleasure,” but I came upon a colleague that was clipping their nails at their desk. AGH: That’s the worst. TW: It wasn’t the greatest. The TA team will be laughing at me right now as they listen to this because I love to use the word “mindful”, but I think you’ve got to be aware of your surroundings - no clipping your nails, no flossing your teeth, try not to brush your hair at your desk, I mean, there’s a bathroom there. I think it’s great for you to have your toothbrush and floss and all that, do it after lunch, after breakfast, but I just don’t know that it’s appropriate in your office or at your cubicle. AGH: Absolutely. Okay, the next one has to do with gossip. I believe that in all that you do, if you just keep your head straight and focused on what you’re working on and not what all is going on in the office, even if other people come and try to gossip with you, if you just say, “Okay, I get it,” and move on about your day, you will go further, faster. Gossip has no place in the office. TW: It’s funny you say that, I’ll just give you a quick tidbit. I’ve gotten a lot of great advice from our CEO, Matt Snow, but after being here about a year and a half, we were having a conversation, when all of a sudden, he gave me that soft, genuine look he has and said, “You know what Travis? This might be one of the times where I encourage you to stay in your swim lane." AGH: Yeah, I love that. TW: It’s so true though, when you stop to think about it, sometimes you’ve got to really focus on what you can control. So it was great advice. AGH: That’s right. The other thing, regarding gossip, it takes energy away that you could be putting towards your work and advancing your career, and it puts it into something very negative. You’re going to be hearing a lot more in the next year about energy management and this is one area that we can control and use our energy in the right direction. TW: Couldn’t agree more. Next up, we have the RSVP. I think you might be saying, “Am I invited to something?” Yes, you’re going to get invited to many things when you’re at DHG, whether internal or external. I think it’s important if you RSVP, that you show up, and if you can’t make it, then you let somebody know. All of the great people behind the scenes putting together all these wonderful events, they are often taking into account who is going to be there. So I think there are certain people who go to events, and they look to see who else is going to be there, because they’re looking to catch up or have a conversation, and when you just blatantly don’t show and then maybe somebody starts some gossip, the rumor mill, next thing you know, you’re looked at as one of those people who doesn’t always follow through with things. I think it goes back to making sure you do what you say you are going to do. Or, if not, letting the appropriate people know. AGH: Absolutely, and along the same lines, what’s really important, is to be on time. Some people in life just generally run 10 minutes behind. I have a dear friend, she’s actually an accountant, ironically, and she’s always 10 minutes late. As you’re starting your career, figure out if that’s you, figure out a way that you can be on time, because you never have a second chance to make a first impression, and being on time does create an impression. My dad always laughs because I’m always five minutes early and my brother is always five minutes late, and it’s funny how our clocks just internally somehow work that way, but what you have to figure out in your career is how to compensate for it. TW: Yeah, 100%. I think if you go back to the RSVP’ing for events, I don’t’ think people put enough into networking and realizing that when you’re at work, it’s about work 100% of the time, right? When you get an opportunity to sit down and socialize with people outside of the normal office hours, you really need to take advantage of that because it will help you throughout your career more than I think most people realize. AGH: Absolutely. Okay, we have one last tip for you. TW: It’s all about humility. I think I’ve heard Matt speak to it in several presentations here recently, and it’s all about the team. He references the book "Good To Great" by Jim Collins, and he talks a lot about being humble, and with that, what that means to be a part of the team. It’s not about you, it’s about your team and working towards the same common goal, and I’d like to think that’s what resonates here at DHG. AGH: Yeah, I think Matt has even written a couple of blogs on that topic if you want to check out his CEO blog. He’s written about teamwork, but it really is about sharing the credit, because one person cannot make it all happen, we are part of a team and that’s one thing that’s really special about DHG. All right, well, those are all the tips that we have for today. We thank you for tuning in and listening to Life at DHG, our premier podcast series. If you like what you just heard, we hope you’ll tell your friends and colleagues. Be sure to check out the DHG blog for more great stories about our Life Beyond Numbers and join us next time for another edition of Life at DHG.