Is it ok to address a person whom you have just met, as “dear“? Is it appropriate to use this endearment in a professional setting?
Let me give you a little background for my conundrum. In my profession, I take lot of interviews, pre & post joining discussions telephonically. In more discussions than I care to admit, people have referred to me as “dear“, which I must admit is quite annoying. I know some might be comfortable with it and over look this. Others, like me, don’t want to encourage this, not at least in the initial telephonic conversations, when they are at a disadvantage of not being able to gauge my reactions.
It is human nature, to address the other person either by name or by any sort of endearment. And if the name is challenging to pronounce (I know, my name can be a little challenging to pronounce in the first go), to remember it and refer to people by their name; you can always stop a sentence without actually addressing a person and leave it at that.
While their intentions might be good, professional bonds develop over a period of time. It may take a couple of days for someone to connect with the other, and a bit longer for others. The other person might just be trying to be nice. But, perception is everything. Nice in someone’s perception might come across as overly friendly to the others. We can never be too careful with our choice of words in professional conversations!