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Mind your manners! Take two

John Heckers //April 27, 2010//

Mind your manners! Take two

John Heckers //April 27, 2010//

The last Mind Your Manners article looked at a few things that people do in the business world that are incredibly rude, crude and socially unacceptable. Here are 10 more tips on manners in the business world that will help your career.

1). Say “please” and “thank you.” I hear executives barking orders all the time. Much more can be accomplished by politely asking something to be done. Saying “thank you” is vital, even if you’re paying someone.

2). “You’re welcome.” I don’t know where people got the idea that the correct response to “thank you” became “uh-huh,” “yep,” or a grunt, but it is a mark of being born in a barn to do that. The correct responses are “you’re welcome,” “my pleasure,” or “certainly,” not some form of incoherent grunt. It takes very little energy to say one of these phrases, but marks you as a mannered professional.

3). “Excuse me, please.” Rather than rating a belch on a scale from 1 – 10, the correct thing to do when unpleasant bodily noises come out in a non-intimate setting is to say “Excuse me, please.” This is also the correct response when you accidently bump into someone, must go past them in a tight passageway, or whack them with opening the bathroom door too quickly. I’ve seen too many people either be silent, or just grunt. Grunting is for pigs, not human beings. You should strive to be the latter.

4). Get your duff outta the chair! If you are a man and a woman comes into a room, you rise. Both men and women rise for clients, superiors, or respected elders. When in a restaurant, the men rise when a woman leaves the table and arrives back at the table. This shows respect. This is also one of the courtesies that few people in today’s world seem to know, although it was almost universal a mere 30 years ago. Bring it back now.

5). Hold open the door. I’ve seen many occasions of someone breezing through a door and letting it close on someone five feet behind them. You really can slow down for the 20 seconds it takes to hold the door open for someone coming behind you.

6). Nasty comments in front of others. I’ve seen bosses reprimand their employees in front of customers, other employees, or members of the public. I’ve seen receptionists make nasty comments to other employees in front of company customers. Saying anything nasty to anyone in front of anyone else is completely inappropriate. Save it for behind closed doors, if it is absolutely necessary.

7). Too Much Information. Everyone at the lunch or dinner table does not need to know the specifics of what you’re going to do when you leave the table. A simple “Would you please excuse me for a few moments?” will suffice. And women – others at the office don’t want to know the details of what is going on with you at specific times of the month. Keep bodily functions private in business settings!

8). Laughing and talking loudly. We were in a small Sushi restaurant next to some young, professionally dressed men. Their boisterous conversation and raucous laughter drowned out any conversation that anyone could have had. Oblivious to the dirty looks of other diners, they ruined everyone’s good time. Save loud laughing and talking for private settings. When you’re in public, speak and laugh in reserved tones.

9). Talking with food in the mouth or chewing with mouth open. Didn’t your mommy teach you anything? No one wants see-food. What you have to say will certainly wait until you’ve swallowed. If someone asks you a question while you have food in your mouth, simply put up your hand. Any person with manners knows this means “wait until I won’t gross you out by spewing pieces of my half-masticated lunch all over you.”

10). Pitch in. Have you ever noticed how certain people disappear whenever there is “dirty work” to be done? Pitch in. Stay after a party and offer to help clean up. Volunteer to do some of the less pleasant jobs in a project. Don’t always leave someone else to pull your share of the weight unless you have some very good reasons.

Good manners are becoming more rare in today’s world. Displaying good manners will help you stand out from the crowd in a competitive workplace. As mom said, “Mind your manners.”

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