Play your Cards Right


Business cards may be commonplace, but they are vital too. Wherever you are, you will do better with a formal style of card, without advertising, and with clear information in English on one side and the local language on the other.

Business card etiquette is no mere ritual. In places such as Japan a business card is both mini-resume and a ticket to the game of business; a certain amount of gamesmanship is necessary to make the best use of the ticket. The first rule is never to be without cards, any more than a samurai would be without his sword. Never being without cards in Japan means taking fifty or more cards to every meeting. The second rule is to respect the cards, keeping them in a distinctive holder. Keeping your cards in your pocket or in a cheap plastic envelop is like making a business call with a shopping bag instead of a briefcase.

The third rule is to handle the card with formality. The card is presented, not merely handed. Japanese books of etiquette even point out a variety of ways to hold the card. Fourth, try to hand cards out in descending order of rank. The fifth rule is to receive another’s card gracefully, using both hands and never stuffing the card recklessly into your pocket.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, Line of Sight

Spending Most Time with Best People


If you are a manager, you may want to try this exercise. On the left-habd side of a blank sheet of paper write diwn the names of the people who report to you on descending order of productivity, the most productive at the top, the best productive at the bottom. On the right hand side, write down the same names, but the time in descending order of “time you spend with them,” the most time at the top, the least time at the bottom. Now draw straight lines joining the names in the left with the appropriate names on the right.

 

Do your lines cross? They often do. Many managers find themselves spending the most time with their least productive people and the least time with their most productive people. On the surface this would appear to be an eminently safe way for a manager to invest his time. After all, your best employees can already do the job. They don’t need you. But those few employees who are struggling. They need all the help you can give them. Without your support they might not only fail as individuals, they might also drag down the entire team.

 

Investing in your strugglers appears shrewed, yet the most effective managers do the opposite. When they join the names, their lines are horizontal. They spend the most time with their most productive employees.

 

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, Line of Sight