As you frantically run down the street, dodging people and aggressive taxi drivers, you question why you hit the ‘snooze’ button on your morning alarm.
You quickly dash up the stairs – two at a time – of your work building and head straight for the front doors.
Then something magical happens.
A stranger holds the door open and signals you to go first. Suddenly your mood has changed and your day is looking brighter.
In today’s world where every deadline was yesterday, it is easy for us to forget our manners.
But, manners serve a critical role in relationship building – which ultimately is the foundation of public relations.
This is why I believe manners (though they may not be as common as they once were) will never go out of style.
When it comes to the art of manners (more commonly referred to as etiquette) I always look to communications professional, Louise Armstrong who commonly speaks about etiquette tips at professional development events.
So let’s take a look at some tips on manners that she regularly provides:
Turn off your cell phone. Ask yourself: Do I really need to respond to this email right now? Is the virtual person more important than the individual I’m physically engaging with? Nothing screams “uninterested” more than an individual who’s face is buried in their cell phone. By turning your mobile off you will show respect and commitment towards the person you are currently conversing with.
Listen, don’t talk. Remember the last social gathering you went to? Do you remember that person who seemed to do all the talking? How did you feel about them? We all may have an area of expertise, but it’s important to learn from others and that may involve taking a backseat in the conversation. But, the next time you meet that same individual at another gathering and you can remember facts they previously told you, your listening etiquette will stand out.
Arrive 15 minutes early. Nothing says bad manners more than being late. Yes, life is busy and circumstances arise that we can’t always avoid or help, but if an individual is always late it shows disrespect to the other involved party. If you are meeting at a destination you have never been to, make sure you budget “getting lost” time. Or if there is going to be a snow storm the next day, make sure you wakeup 20 minutes earlier.
Write a thank you card. Though technology has evolved our means of communication, the thank you card is a form of etiquette that will never go out of style. Whether someone has done you a favour or has taken the time to provide professional counsel, the tangible thank you card is always a pleasant surprise.
These are just a few of many ways one can show ‘good manners’ in everyday situations.
So the next time you see someone frantically running up the stairs to the front doors of their work, take a second and open up the door for them. You will not only make their day better, but you will benefit from the ‘good vibes’ all day.
What do you think never goes out of style? Tell us and see what else we think.
Also read more about Louise Armstrong in our someone you should know series.