How First Dates are Like Work Life


A nice piece here from Ragan’s PR Daily should remind us to be considerate at the office. These are great lessons that will get you far in any endeavor. I’d also add, "don’t forget to smile." There’s nothing worse than taking someone out — or working with them — and see them displaying all the emotive fervor of Ben Stein on quaaludes:

In relationships, we tend to get so comfortable that we let go of some of the behaviors we display on a first date. I am no expert on relationships, but I do know that a second date depends on the “success” of the first date.

This is much like the workplace—think how much more successful we could be if we employed first-date habits in our work environment. Below are some widely accepted first-date rules that we should incorporate into our workdays.

1. Be punctual. Showing up late to a first date, even just five minutes, shows that the other person is not a priority. The same message is sent to your employers when you arrive late.

2. Be kind to the server. Acting in a rude manner to people you wrongly think don’t matter (for example, the waiter) will ruin any chance of a second date. Be considerate to everyone: the secretary, the intern, the nerdy co-worker. It’s the Golden Rule. If that is not reason enough, just realize that those people might be a valuable connection in your future.

3. Don’t complain. I don’t want to hear how horrible your day was; I want to hear why it was fabulous. Be positive, and look at problems as challenges. Your first date and your bosses will appreciate the high morale and energy. The only time anyone wants to see Debbie Downer is in an “SNL” sketch.

4. Listen to me! Men, I know you hear this all the time, but it is true. We all just want to be heard. Basic guideline: If you are talking more than 50 percent of the time, then you are talking too much. This is also true for meetings. And it’s a two-way street. Listening is half of communication, which leads to my next point.

5. Communicate. Oh, so you don’t like “chick flicks”? You should have told me that before I bored you with a double feature of “Titanic” and “The Notebook.” I think that sums up this tip.

6. Dress the part. Put some effort into a first date, or at least look like you did. I didn’t spend two hours 30 minutes getting ready for you, just so you could show up looking disheveled. For work: Be presentable enough for your calendar demands, such as meetings with clients and drinks after work.

7. Don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu. If you’re not picking up the check, don’t go for the Surf and Turf. This is an important lesson for all of us at work; don’t take advantage just because it’s not on your credit card. We are bound to get comfortable in relationships and at work. Comfort is great, but sometimes we need a reminder to put our best foot forward—and not in our mouth.

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