Uncommon courtesy and manners

Any more we tend to forget things that make for better interactions with our co-workers, Customers, and family members.  We can focus so much on “the bottom line” that we forget old-fashioned good manners can make a difference in how you and your company are viewed.

Have you ever been addressed as “sir” or “ma’am” by anyone?  How did it make you feel?  Insulted? (I’m NOT that old!)  There are some people that address just about everyone in that manner.  For them, it’s their way of showing respect to the person they’re addressing.  With a simple gesture, they demonstrate common (or should I say Uncommon courtesy).
There are many ways common courtesy can be expressed, whether it’s to Customers or those familiar enough to us as family or co-workers.  Here are a few that you probably can think of quickly.

  • Say hello…first.  This can open a very important conversation; why wait for someone else to say it first?
  • Use their name.  Dale Carnegie said years ago that the most magical sound a person can hear is their own name.  Make some magic.
  • Ask permission.  Even if you feel it’s unnecessary, that the answer is Yes, do it anyway.  It demonstrates uncommon courtesy.
  • Address people using the title Mr., Mrs., Ms.  You don’t seem to hear folks using these titles anymore.  Maybe that’s why people appreciate it.
  • Smile.  Often and sincerely.  Nothing warms things or increases your face value more than a smile.
  • Make eye contact.  Those who DON’T are regarded with suspicion.  Making eye contact establishes sincerity and builds trust.
  • Say Thank You.  Besides being an uncommon saying, most don’t seem to hear it when it’s said the first time – say it again.
  • Say You’re Welcome.  Avoid the common phrase “no problem” when someone thanks you.  “You’re welcome” polishes the conversation.
  • Show genuine interest in the other person.  Did you know King Hussein of Jordan was known for greeting his guest by name and knowing something about them?  If a king can do that, so can we.
  • Offer a kind word.  Don’t be phony.  Having a kind word when you talk to someone has a way of making people enjoy being around you.  You are giving them respect and dignity.  Even if they don’t respond, you have set yourself above the crowd by sticking to a higher standard.

Some of these may sound a bit old-fashioned, but isn’t it nicer to err on the side of caution rather than being ‘flip’ or disrespectful?
One of the great things about this approach is the price = Free.  It doesn’t require a lot of seminars, time, or money to learn, but it can have a huge impact on someone’s life and your business!

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