Dude … Sir … or, Name?

Does it matter what your employees call you … as long as they are calling you?

Life in general seems to have become very casual, and that attitude has definitely transcended the workplace at many companies. Personal responsibility, respect for positions of authority, and general courtesy and professionalism seem atypical these days.

Or, maybe I am just old school and jaded … at least by today’s standards. However, I live in the south and still appreciate hearing people respond with “mam and sir.” I use those terms of respect all the time. I wasn’t raised in the south, but living here for 30 years has had an impact on how I address people. I just don’t see respect, as a foundational value, in the world at large. Maybe, culture simply trumps professionalism and respect for authority and most people accept that fact.

This blog post came about as a discussion by one of my networking colleagues on Linkedin talking about being called “dude” by one of his team members. Most people who commented were okay with that address by a direct report. On the other hand, I would be shocked to hear a CFO call his CEO or board members or investors “dude” when addressing them. Or, has this also become the norm?

What about the outside perspective? If your employees call you “dude” or whatever, and you are okay with that causal address in the workplace, what happens when those same employees call you that in front of your clients and/or customers –or- call your clients and/or customers by that same name? How does it, or would it, affect their perspective of you and your company? Would it impact your branded positioning? Is this pattern so common place that it just does not matter?

Am I simply making much ado about nothing? I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Disagreeing – respectfully – is one of the wonderful things about living in the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.

Copyright CFO-Coach 2017


Cindy Kraft is the CFO-Coach and America’s leading Career & Personal Brand Strategist for Corporate Finance Executives helping clients understand their marketability, articulate their value, and position themselves as the clear and compelling choice. She is a Certified Reach Personal Brand Strategist, Certified Reach Online Identity Strategist, Certified Career Management Coach, Credentialed Career Master, Certified Professional Resume Writer, and Job & Career Transition Coach. Cindy can be reached via email Cindy@CFO-Coach.com, by phone 813-727-3037, or through her website at www.CFO-Coach.com.

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