Ellen Reddick : Manners Matter

by Soren Simonsen, Co-Founder, Impact Hub Salt Lake

Many entrepreneurs are focused on their personal brand these days. A lot of effort goes into media and technology, which are great tools to build a brand. But Ellen Reddick makes a convincing argument that face-to-face is still the most important and memorable first impression.

“First impressions always matter,” say Ellen. “What is the mental image we create? What will someone remember about me after we meet?” We’re so used to communicating with technology that reading body language and emotion are becoming lost skills.

Ellen founded Impact Factory in 2002 (www.impactfactoryutah.com), a performance improvement company with a focus on improving soft skills to help individuals and businesses take their brand to the next level. She works with business clients to help them excel in sales, service, and leadership.

Ellen is the author of several business books and articles, and a writer for several business blogs. She is a noted national expert on business etiquette and personal branding, and is often interviewed for national articles and publications. She is a regular on Fox 13 TVs “The Place” as their Business Professional Expert.

One area of profession interest has been to use technology more effectively in the workplace.

“Just because we can communicate instantly by text and social media messaging doesn’t mean we should.” says Ellen. “Communication can be immediate but decisions don’t have to be, especially with long-term impacts.” Sometimes the best quick reply is, “let me get back to you on that.” A more carefully crafted response often comes after you’ve had a chance to research and do your homework.

The business lunch is another area for great improvement for many people. Dining etiquette is becoming a lost art.

“We don’t go to lunch to eat. We go to develop relationships,” Ellen says. “Relationships are too important to bring bad dining habits from home. Good manners at the dining table gives the impression that details are important.” Table manners can often make or break a business deal.

Ellen has helped organizations in numerous industries increase sales and customer retention while simultaneously improving employee retention, engagement, and productivity. Employers often ask her to tackle the “hard conversations” they don’t know how to share, such as professional grooming and attire.

“When I’m hired as the messenger to help companies, I always leave people with a clear message about etiquette in how they dress and groom for the workplace, and why it matters.” Many work places are adopting more casual dress codes, but Ellen says that a level of professionalism is still important.

In addition to her professional work, Ellen has a great passion to get people involved in their grassroots community. “I work with many people who think that activism is at the Bernie level,” she says. “But the real impactful activism happens at the block and neighborhood level.” Ellen is deeply involved in community-building and leads by example, evident in her past and current community service.

Ellen is the past Chair of the Salt Lake Business Advisory Board, and has been a business advisor to former Salt Lake City mayors. She is currently the Chair of the Bonneville Hills Community Council, Chair of the East Bench Master Plan Advisory Group, Board Member of Utah Moms for Clean Air, Board Member of the Foothill Village Merchants Association, Board Member of Utah Transit Riders Union, and more.

Civic engagement is a perfect place for Ellen to combine her professional and personal areas of passion and interest. When manners, and the important skills of listening and compromise are absent from political and community discourse, we get the sort of divisiveness prevalent today as a result. These are fueled by social media that gives a platform for individuals, including civic leaders, to say, “my opinion is the only one that matters.”

Ellen’s influence on etiquette is as important at the community council as it is in the corporate boardroom. Because manners matter.

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