Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why Not to Use Terms of Endearment in Business

I’ve often heard women complain about the use of “terms of endearment” in business, educational and social settings. In fact, just yesterday, a more senior colleague called me “kiddo” at an event where I addressed state Supreme Court justices, heads of courts, US attorneys, colleagues and friends. Suffice it to say that I’ve know this colleague (or he me) all of my life. However, there is something quite unbecoming about being called kiddo in public.

I interviewed several women who had this to say about terms of endearment – they are: condescending, frustrating, obnoxious, patronizing, and uncomfortable.

Although, some do not take offense, they do agree that the tone with which the monikers are delivered makes all the difference.

So today, I have prepared a list of lovely terms of endearment that should be kept in the arsenal and used at more socially appropriate times than at work, at school, at business functions, in social media, etc.

Top Five Words Not To Use to Address Women in Business

-Kiddo or Kid
-Hon or Honey
-Sweetie or Sweetheart
-Cutie
-Babe

Even though these terms of endearment are usually not meant to be harmful or degrading, they have the opposite affect on many women and should be avoided.

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