I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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Generosity isn’t just money

Last week I wrote about generosity killing mediocrity and  I wanted to add that I don’t think generosity only involves money and things.

blog for the world

Sharing information is also generous

Generosity also doesn’t have to be about sacrifice or ‘doing without’ on your part either. I believe it is about contributing and benefiting someone else – the focus is on who you are helping rather than on you. Obviously, the more you give, the more generous you are being but we all have to work within our own constraints.

You can be generous in many ways, even as a business. Here are some examples of non-monetary generosity:

  • by giving someone your time – for example help at a working bee
  • by sharing your expertise – for example I share tips in this blog and in my articles and speak at workshops and conferences
  • by providing a free service – for example, I want to find a Victorian business and help them rebuild their documents after the bushfires
  • giving a smile and nice messages when dealing with people – it takes little effort but can mean a lot
  • arranging something, such as a fundraising event or a networking function
  • sharing resources
  • by promoting something. For instance, referring someone to your client’s website, linking to a charity or reviewing a book
  • networking – I don’t mean just going to networking events but helping people you know connect with each other as relevant and forwarding useful/interesting things to those in your network.

With the bushfire appeal high on the minds of many Australians at the moment, thinking of ways to be generous may mean we can give more than our finances alone will allow.

*image courtesy of 123rf

Business card etiquette

Earlier this month I wrote about one aspect of business card etiquette (i.e. not just giving cards out to people at random), but there are other aspects to this etiquette.

I came across a blog post that discusses how different cultures have different expectations about how business cards should be given/received. It is interesting to note these differences and I think it is respectful to use these different ideas when dealing with international people.

However, I think many of those differences can be used routinely in Australia, too.

For instance, in Japan it is considered rude to give a card with one hand – they pass it over with both hands and presented in a way that the other person can read the card as it is given; the other person then carefully takes the card, reads it and gently places it in a pocket. Ok, giving a card in two hands and bowing may raise some eyebrows between two Aussies, but but why not show respect and read someone’s card as they hand it to you? Why not make sure your card is the right way up when you pass it to someone? And I think etiquette in any language is to place the card carefully somewhere once you have it – don’t shove it in somewhere or screw it up/fold it/whatever.

I also thought it interesting to note that a multi-lingual card (or different cards in various languages) is almost a must in some cultures. Personally, I only deal with English speaking cultures (because there’s no way I could write professionally in another language!) so an English card is sufficient, but I see the value in using another language on the reverse of my card if I was to frequently deal with people in that culture. It shows respect but also makes it easier for them to understand who I am and how I can help them.

Do you have separate cards or techniques for dealing with international business dealings?

Happy writing!