Image by: Gregg O’Connell
By Charles Lewis
What you have on your desk says so much about you and the kind of business person you are. I mean, you put all of that stuff there, right? It must have some special meaning for you.
But let’s think for a minute about those things on your desk – the ones that make you feel all warm and cozy inside. What kind of message are they sending to your clients and co-workers?
We get it, you love the Yankees. But now it is time to grow up, to dress your desk for power by strategically placing items to gain a business advantage. The visitor to your cubicle or office space will no doubt scan your desk many many times, so put some extra thought into the things taking up the space.
1 – The Ultimate Conversation Piece
Do you have a baseball signed by Babe Ruth or some other legend? Put it on your desk for maximum impact (provided that you aren’t concerned about theft, of course). But the item doesn’t always have to be sports related – moon rocks and things from space are always good. Keep it adult, but not too adult, as in raunchy.
A cigar box made from wooly mammoth tusks? Yes. Wrestling figurines? No.
The idea here is to wow your guest, start a bridge-building conversation and keep them coming back to not only see Madonna’s hair woven into a basket, but to also engage in more business.
BTW: Madonna hair basket? No.
2 – Statement Art
Instead of sporting that tired old Newton’s Cradle – you know, those swinging silver balls everybody seems to have – your desk should feature a meaningful piece of art. And that piece of art should not be too distracting during discussions, but interesting enough to start a conversation.
The piece of art also needs to say that you are strong, confident and make good decisions. Nothing too flashy, racy or feminine. President Bush famously featured Saddam Hussein’s personal firearm on his desk, can you top that?
3 – Something To Do With Golf
If you are an avid golfer, you should definitely advertise that fact with a tasteful golf-themed decoration. If any of your clients are golfers, a well-placed hint can cause them bring the game up at some point, giving you an opportunity to bond even more … or to set up a tee time.
And we all know that business really gets done on the course.
4 – Personalized Name Plate
It kind of seems silly to have a name plate on your desk if you are in an office that doesn’t get a lot of walk-in traffic, but you should still have one made. Nothing too fancy or ornate, please. It needs to project power and authority, not “I’m a huge Liberace fan.”
Match the wood on your desk for maximum effect.
5 – Best Picture Of Your Wife & Family
There are a lot of advantages to telling the world that you are happily married and proud of your family. And what better way to do that than by featuring a smart and stylish framed photo on your desk.
First of all, women will relax and feel more comfortable in your presence as they have predetermined that you will not try to ask them out. Also, men who are in a similar wife-and-kids situation will cling to you like peaches, which means that you may actually land that new account after all.
Sure, the party dogs won’t be too impressed right away. But at some point, even these guys will look for a little stability in their life, and when that happens – you will be their guy.