Little Things Mean a Lot

Little Things Mean a Lot

Sometimes we pick up poor habits from others around us. Other times, we may not have gotten feedback that some things irritate others. Either way, making small changes in our everyday actions can subtly shift the perception others have of us toward a more positive image. And who wouldn’t want that?

Call these pet peeves, if you like, but consider your own behavior in these rather random examples. Then incorporate the little changes you want, starting with the next opportunity.

  • Email Auto-responders. If you use auto-responders, consider choosing the option to only email the auto-responder once to any given email address. That way, you will not clutter the senders’ inboxes with yet another message that you’re unavailable for their email right now. You aren’t expected to be on call 24/7 – unless that’s the service you promised.
  • Make Email Subject Lines Descriptive. An email is similar to a business letter. It’s best to say the topic of the email in the subject line, just as you would in the Re: line of a business letter. For example: “Following up on our last meeting” or “Two questions on your proposal” or “Project Details as promised.”
  • Never apologize for being an inexperienced speaker. You were invited to the podium because you have something to share that the audience wants to hear. Be yourself. And be prepared. But don’t apologize. If you’d like a quick tip on how to prepare yourself for any presentation, even one where you were just invited to “say a few words”, please email me at with “Request for 3X3 speaking tips” in the subject line.
  • Be more precise in your grammar. One of the most common mistakes both adults and teens make is using the incorrect tense of personal pronouns. I, you, he, she, it, we and they are the subjective pronouns as in “She and I met at a networking event”. Me, you, him, her, it, us and them are the objective pronouns, as in “Thank you for inviting her and me to the next event.” Note that you and it are the same in both cases; the others change.
  • Be interested in the other person first. We all want to be appreciated for who we are. When you are “interested” in what others have to say, they will find you to be an “interesting” conversationalist. Develop a few good questions to ask in any given situation – at a business networking event, social event or a one-on-one meeting – and you may be surprised at how “interesting” the other person really is! You’ll also be better prepared to customize your own answers when it’s your turn.

Little things mean a lot.

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