Word-Of-the-Week #707: Manners

February 22, 2018 by  

Mannersthe socially correct way of acting; etiquette.

How would you rate your table manners? How often do you say “Please” and “Thank You?” How willing are you to admit making a mistake and say “I’m sorry?”

This week features the UT article by Phil Blair, “Having good manners always matters – in and out of the office.” He writes, “Ever wonder why key hires are made after the boss takes a top prospect out to lunch or dinner? 

It’s because sharing a table presents a prime opportunity to observe a candidate’s table manners in action, especially how they relate to the service staff. 

Demanding and arrogant? Or well-mannered and respectful? 

I happen to regard good manners as essential for civilized human interaction. Your manners serve as a tell-tale sign of whether I would recommend you for a job. Or not. 

Call me old-school, but I believe that recognizing good manners – the timeless art of knowing how to behave around others, especially co-workers, is still, and will always be, one of the hallmarks of smart, savvy and successful hiring. 

Simply stated, having good manners is essential, a “must-have” for the workplace – any place, really. 

What follows is a sampling of “do’s” and “don’ts” that you should and shouldn’t do. Believe me, there are plenty more. 

If you feel these don’t apply directly to you, fine. Maybe you always behave respectfully, with impeccable manners worthy of royalty. If that’s the case, congratulations: You’re more likely to be hired than that ill-mannered slacker who came before you. 

1) Do say “please” and “thank you”: Simple enough, right? 

2) Don’t hesitate to say “hello” and “goodbye”: Greet fellow co-workers with a smile and friendly greeting, when the day begins and again when you go home. As with “please” and “thank you,” say it like you mean it. 

3) Do say “please forgive me”: If you do happen to say something thoughtless or unkind or unnecessary, saying “forgive me” isn’t a sign of weakness. It shows strength of character. 

4) Don’t hesitate to say “I’m sorry”: There are plenty of times when good manners aren’t enough. It happens: You make a mistake. You say the wrong thing at the wrong time. You do something you shouldn’t. Admit it, first to yourself and then to whomever your mistake was directed or whose life/work balance you unintentionally put in a tizzy. And mean it. 

5) Do stop interrupting: Let people finish talking, even if you’re bursting inside. If you do happen to blurt out something that feels like you’re interrupting, say “Sorry.” And mean it. You wouldn’t want to be interrupted when you’re droning on and on. Besides, don’t drone on and on. 

This week’s focus is on your manners. How often do you say “hello” and “goodbye” to the people you worker with? How good are you at listening and not interrupting when others are sharing feedback? Have you ever said “please forgive me” because you might have said something thoughtless or unkind?

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