The Elegant Executive Blog

Email Etiquette Teleseminar – a hit!

Our FREE monthly Elegant Executive Teleseminar Series started with a bang yesterday with over 100 registered listeners! Email Etiquette was the topic and it’s clear that many people wanted to learn how to make their email messages stand out with courtesy and clarity. If you haven’t already signed up for our Elegant Executive series, please do so today! Not sure if it’s worth 30 minutes of your time? Here are some testimonials from yesterday’s program: “Excellent  teleseminar, Gretchen, I hope I can join the next one.” “I loved your teleseminar. Very informative, clear and concise. Exactly what you advised listeners…

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Direction from a Diva

Professional poise and a dose of diva is a great blog post from colleague and friend, Caroline Dowd-Higgins available here. While you’re at it, take a look at Caroline’s new book, This Is Not the Career I Ordered, chock full of stories of successful career reinventions. A former opera singer, Caroline has transformed herself into a career coach, author, speaker and media host. This book is perfect for those of you wondering if 2012 is the year to take that leap of faith and reinvent yourself.

What’s Worse than Flip-flops?

I grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, where flip-flops were what we kids wore to the beach, pool and around the neighborhood when we weren’t wearing our roller skates. These plastic, quasi-disposable “shoes” were merely a means to avoid blisteringly hot sand and black-top, otherwise we were happy to be barefoot. No adults ever wore them past the swimming pool parking lot. Whenever I see professionals wearing these play shoes with skirts, dresses or pants, I cringe. The message they are sending is “I’m really a kid at heart and frankly, would rather be barefoot.” I’m not so sure that’s…

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I Hate to Shop! E-books about to launch

We divide women into two categories: those who love to shop, and those who hate it. If you find yourself in the latter group, our I Hate to Shop! But Still Want to Look Great guides were written just for you! My editor assures me the e-books will be ready January 15th, as planned. Do you have a closet full of clothing but nothing to wear? Are you at the point where you know you need to refresh your work wardrobe, but you just don’t know where to start? Do you find yourself leaving stores empty handed because nothing fits…

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Why Male Execs Dress Better Than Their Female Counterparts

The truth is male executives cultivate a sense of style and dress as they develop professionally and climb the ladder to success. It’s expected that they dress in a powerful way and most rise to the challenge. No mentor would shy away from saying to up and coming Bob Smith, “Bob, that suit is atrocious! For goodness sake, go see my tailor and tell him I sent you.” However, no one will coach rising star Brittany Sanders with this admonishment: “Are you seriously going to wear THAT to the client meeting? Call my stylist and ask for an appointment asap.”…

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Free Digital Versions Now Available!

Neels & Company’s best-selling booklets, Business Etiquette 101 and Business Etiquette 102, are now available in PDF format FREE! Many of you who have enjoyed these little gems chock full of dos and don’ts for success in the workplace have asked me for digital versions for quite a while. I was hesitant, because the printed versions are so perfectly designed by the one and only Debra Wieder of Five Elements, but I understand not everyone is stuck in 1992 like me! Avail yourself to lots of free resources, including the Business Etiquette booklets, by visiting the Preferred Guest page on my…

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“I Gotta Be Me” Straight up Narcisissm?

With the economy in the ditch and the unemployment rate being what it is, I am amazed when I’m asked to coach a professional who isn’t following clearly defined directions. Who in the world wouldn’t fall into line with the expectations of their employer? Well, not Ryan. Ryan, age 24, works at a large consulting firm’s help desk, delivering in-person technical assistance to a broad range of co-workers, including senior executives. Because he’s so visible, his manager has asked him to step up his grooming and wardrobe selections, but after six weeks of excuses (I have to go shopping, my barber is on vacation, we…

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Interviewing for Fit

Most new professionals interviewing for jobs know enough to dress to impress. But will they continue to care about their appearance once they land the position and begin to represent your firm? Internet start-ups and creative enterprises generally don’t care how their new hires present themselves, but if it’s important to your organization that employees appear polished and professional, look for these clues during the interview: Is the candidate really well dressed, even if wearing a suit? If the clothing doesn’t fit properly, it may be because they’ve borrowed the ensemble or bought it so recently they didn’t have time for…

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Some Employees Simply Don’t Care

My last blog post was about a manager’s hesitation to introduce his talented but heavily pierced/tattooed employee to others in senior management. This must be a trend, because I recently got a call from a client who has an employee who, despite numerous discussions about her choice of dress, has decided to stick with her mode of self-expression (which happens to be what I call “club girl,” also known in some circles as “hootchie”). Her male manager no longer felt comfortable having the employee in front of clients. The young woman (let’s call her Jackie) was told she could not…

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Know Your Audience

Should tattoos, piercings and wacky hair keep a relatively new professional from being introduced to senior leaders at a critical brainstorming session? This question was posed by a manager at my last generational program in Seattle. This individual was super smart, enthusiastic and would probably add significant value by being in the room, but the manager felt her appearance might have a negative impact on the EVPs present. Should he bring her along? The ensuing discussion was robust. Most audience members (also managers) were sympathetic to both the talented young professional and her manager. Keeping good employees engaged means including them whenever…

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