The Elegant Executive Blog

Who Said There Was a Problem?

The proper response to “thank you,” is “you’re welcome.” Over and over again I hear sales clerks, waiters and various other customer-facing service people use “no problem,” or worse, “no worries,” when replying to someone saying thank you. When one is paying for a meal and tells the waiter they enjoyed themselves, the answer is NOT, “no problem.” When one asks for directions and thanks the person, the answer is NOT, “no problem.” Whoever said there was a problem to begin with?Managers, please coach your sales team to reply with any of the following when working with customers who say thanks:…

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Instant Confidence – Sometimes on Sale!

Nothing makes me happier than to introduce men and women to brands of clothing they never heard of or never tried, often to hear, “Wow! There’s a reason this stuff costs so much – it makes me feel 10 feet tall.” That’s how I felt many moons ago when I was introduced to St. John, a high-end line of knitwear still made in the USA. Many of the women execs I work with discover the instant confidence that one feels the minute the jacket gets zipped, buttoned or tied. To be sure, St. John isn’t for everyone, and it’s price…

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Five Steps Out of the Frump Zone

After the age of 40 or so, women tend to lean into what I call the “Frump Zone.” Those in the Zone haven’t had a proper bra fitting, don’t wear shapewear, haven’t changed their hairstyle in the past 5 years, think of shoes only in the context of comfort, and never try on something new or different, be it a style, cut or color. If you see yourself heading toward the Frump Zone, or feel you’ve never left, January is a great time to freshen things up and get your game back! 1. A properly fitted bra will make you…

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Special Announcement

I’m delighted to announce that I am now working with Nordstrom as a Personal Stylist in the Pentagon City store (The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, metro-DC). Nordstrom stores have been an essential resource for me for many years as I helped executives put together working wardrobes. Partnering with such a well respected store allows me to connect with many people who understand how important it is to dress the part for a successful interview, convey confidence with clients, or connect well with others at networking events. We only get one chance to make a great first impression, and what…

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Dwelling on Past Mistakes?

My pal Julie, an incredibly gifted and creative marketing exec, recently took a job she was certain would be fantastic, only to find three or four weeks into things that the new organization was rife with problems, infighting and chaos. Julie made a quick exit and is now looking for a new opportunity, but her confidence, she tells me, is shaken. “How did I make such a bad choice?” she asks herself constantly, and the follow up to that of course is, “Will I do it again?” Today’s Wall Street Journal article about the parallels between professional athletes who encounter…

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Tying the Knot – Plaid’s Your Best Bet for Fall

According to GQ Magazine, plaid ties are all the rage this season: “We’re in an era in fashion where all things traditional look modern again. Wear an amped-up plaid tie with a chambray shirt or a white oxford, and put a skinny suit on over it, and you’ll look unimpeachably cool.” Who among us doesn’t want that? Once you select your plaid, be it a family tartan or gorgeous Alexander Olch cashmere Glen Plaid (second from the top), learning how to properly knot the tie will separate the men from the boys. Once again, Brooks Brothers comes to the rescue…

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Wearing a Scarf

If you’ve been watching “Mad Men,” then you’ve probably noticed Betty wearing her beautiful silk scarves. Many women tell me they love the idea of wearing a silk scarf, but don’t know how. Sound familiar? I’ve found a great resource – Brooks Brothers’s website has a tutorial of sorts on six ways to wear a silk scarf: French Twist, Square Knot, Neck Ring, Neck Wrap, Slip Knot and Head Wrap. Check it out here. While some say the best silk scarves come in flat orange boxes from France (Hermes), there are many other, more affordable options out there. I’ve gotten…

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Name the Dog Contest Winner

In this month’s The Elegant Executive newsletter, I challenged readers to name the dog breed pictured above, with the winner receiving a free half-hour coaching session with me. Congrats to Lois from Drinker Biddle for being the first to correctly identify the breed as a Bedlington Terrier. Tune in next month for more fun, games and insight into ways to network more effectively, turning business-related encounters into mutually beneficial professional relationships. Click here to sign up for my free monthly newsletter.

No Need to Panic

Former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, was given some indispensable advice at a young age by his father who told him that in a crisis situation, “Become the calmest person in the room.” Mr. Giuliani credits his father’s words of wisdom for saving his life during the 9-11 World Trade attacks. Ever notice how panic helps no one? And more to the point, it makes the person falling to pieces just look bad. Self-control is the antidote to panic, and the time to practice is before a serious situation arises. The next time you feel yourself unhinging ever so…

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Professionally Persistent

Yesterday I received a sales call from someone I met recently who would like to do business. While I’m not in need of his services at the moment, I would certainly like to keep in touch. He understood that the timing wasn’t right, and asked if he could be “professionally persistent” and call me next month. I almost fell out of my chair. Yes! Please, be persistent in a professional manner. Not aggressively so: “I’ve been calling you for months, isn’t it time we do business together?”, nor the reverse, painfully meek: “You probably have found another source by now,…

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