Reprise: An unusual way to make a lasting impression

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips August 14, 2017

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

It’s vacation time in the U.S. when most of us try to squeeze as much as possible out of what remains of summer. Out-of-office messages abound. Are you making the most of yours?

(Foul language alert) How to know if it’s too personal

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips August 7, 2017

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

I led a workshop just last week for a group of super smart people in a super high-tech industry. We talked right away about how trust is personal, as usual. And right away, the question arose, “But when do you know if you’re being too personal? How do you know where to draw the line?”

Would YOU have the courage to build credibility this way?

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips July 24, 2017

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

A client of mine who’s based in India once told a story that perfectly illustrates the value of candor as a quick credibility-builder (say that 10 times fast). Sriram works for a global consulting firm. Charlie and I included his story in The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook. I’ll let Sriram tell it to you himself:

To bcc or not to bcc? That is the question.

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips July 17, 2017

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

Cautionary tales seem to be a theme right now. In last week’s tip, I shared one about how we respond when we feel threatened—as in, when we might lose business. This week, it’s about using the bcc (blind copy) option in email.

I was reminded of the dangers of bcc-ing not long ago when a colleague hit Reply All to an email I had sent a client, not realizing he’d been bcc’d rather than cc’d. The consequences were minor—in fact, I used the three question transparency test to determine whether or not I should say anything to the client, and decided not to.

The incident got me thinking, though. While I do use bcc with some regularity, it has always given me pause.

In my defense, I know better than to bcc as a way to promote a secretive side bar conversation, and I’m grateful that I have tools like Name It and Claim It when I need to confront an issue or raise a difficult topic directly with someone.

Where I get hung up is with matters of efficiency. Sometimes it’s just so much easier and faster to bcc someone—for example, as a quick way of keeping them in the loop. Blind copies can help keep distribution lists streamlined as well.

On the other hand, managing an upset resulting from an accidental Reply All can take a lot of time and effort, and may not have a good outcome.

So … to bcc or not to bcc? Here’s the conclusion I’ve drawn: Before bcc-ing, I’ll pause and ask myself, “What would happen if anyone/everyone who was bcc’d responded by hitting Reply All?” If I break into even the lightest sweat at the thought, then I’ve got my answer.

Make It Real

This week, examine your own bcc policy—informal or otherwise. Are there improvements to be made?

Learn More

TAfieldbook

Speaking of email, get some great advice for how to get your email read, from our friends at Trusted Advisor Associates, or brush up on how to craft a good caveat when you need one in Chapter 9 of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook.

Why your first offer should always be your best offer

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips July 10, 2017

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

I had an experience with a bank recently that provides a cautionary tale that far too many in professional services need to hear and learn from. It has to do with how we respond when we feel threatened, and the short- and long-term risks of what might seem like a heroic move.

Kickoff best practices: Do you routinely do all four?

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips July 3, 2017

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

A couple of tips ago, we were talking about the three most common pitfalls when a group of people is newly forming to get stuff done, and I promised to continue with specific ways to kick off a project or task on the right foot. The unbearably long wait has finally ended.

When you fail to deliver on a promise

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips June 29, 2017
When you fail to deliver on a promise

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series. There’s no tip this week. It’s Wednesday a.m. right now (tips…

Kickoff pitfalls: which one(s) do you fall prey to?

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips June 19, 2017
Kickoff pitfalls: which one(s) do you fall prey to?

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series. So you’ve won the job. The celebrations are over; the contracts…

The business value of “small talk”

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips June 12, 2017

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

I’m not a big fan of small talk. I don’t like doing anything that seems superficial or disingenuous. Plus, I’m an introvert. And every once-in-a-while I still feel like the ridiculously shy kid I once was. So small talk also seems like large effort.

A simple best practice: The quick recap

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips June 5, 2017
A simple best practice: The quick recap

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series. There’s a simple practice I do with potential clients about 60%…


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