If your mother was listening, would you be ashamed of what you said?

January 29, 2014
by Philip F. Jacobus, CEO
I was speaking on the phone the other day with an important figure in our industry who shall remain anonymous. This person said that when he speaks, he does so as if he is going to be quoted.

It occurred to me how few people think this way. When speaking on the phone, or for that matter, sending e-mails, so many people say things that their mothers would not approve of. Forget about the pictures I see that are sent around.

It is standard practice today for people to look you up online, especially if they are considering doing business with you. And it is easy to find unprofessional things you might have said in the past. Remember that nothing goes away online.

If you're speaking to a client, you can also make the wrong impression if you are not careful.

I recommend you choose your words more carefully and imagine that you are speaking to your mother. If you follow this rule with business and clients, you will not be embarrassed today or tomorrow.

I thank God that no one has ever recorded the adolescent conversations between myself and Don Bogutski. But with Mr. Bogutski as an exception, I try my best to keep in mind that anything I say in writing is going to be out there forever, and anything I say on the phone or in person had better not make the wrong impression.