Did you see the new story last week about Shoichi Nakagawa, the Japanese Finance Minister stepping down? At a recent news conference he was so drunk he could hardly speak and or hold up his head.

Apparently Japan is suffering it’s worst period economically since 1974. Still, that’s no excuse for behaving unprofessionally.

Nakagawa’s behavior is a good reminder for all of us. You probably don’t get drunk at business functions, but it’s a good idea for all of us occasionally to do a little self-check and make sure we’re coming across the way we want.

I love how satellite communication connects us so easily around the world. Yet one of the downsides in living in such a globally connected world is our missteps can spread far and fast.

We’ve heard about young people posting things on their MySpace page or similar sites which are not going to do them any favors in a few years when they’re looking for jobs and a prospective employer googles their name.

With more and more business people using social network tools like Facebook, Twitter, Xing, and Fastpitch Networking, just to name a few, we need to always keep in mind that customers and prospective clients can, will and do read what we post.

It’s vitally important for us to have places in our life where we can let our hair down, where we can gripe and moan, kvetch and vent. For my clients, one of those places is with me! And though it may sound strange or even bizarre to some, I am happy to be the container to hold all their “stuff” safely and without judgment.

Out in the world, they need to be professional. Sometimes a business coach helps his or her clients by listening to their venting when needed, before moving on to the solutions.

So figure out your top two methods to deal with your stresses and problems- vent with your coach, therapist, spouse or best friend, walk the dogs, hit the mountain trail or your bike, jump on your trampoline, write in your journal, write a poem, go bowling, play the piano. You know what works for you.

If not, your stress will creep out in tiny yet discernible ways. Or sometimes, as with Shoichi Nakagawa, very discernible ways.

Be careful before you speak too quickly or hit “send” too fast on that email or post. Stand up, take a few deep breaths, call your business coach if you need to :-), but above all, be professional!

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