Manners – a Lost Art or Your Competitive Edge

ID-100246937Manners have become a seldom used and perhaps even a lost art. Minding your manners adds a level of professionalism and opens the doors to greater success in business and in social circles. The more you show respect to others, the more respect you will be given. Business and social manners showcase a level of excellence in all you do and say.

Showcase your manners and show respect by following these guidelines.

Use words with two, three or four syllables to showcase your education and intelligence. Use complete sentences and avoid slang words such as babe, buddy, bro, hey, well um, pal, yeah.

Address the other person using Miss. Ms. Mr. or Sir. These words add a level of professionalism and show great respect for the person you are speaking to.

Shake hands using a full hand clasp while looking at the other person. Extending your hand first indicates a high level of confidence in North America.

Always voice your appreciation. Words like “thank you,” “that was so kind of you,” “you went the extra mile,” “you are a gem” and “I’d be simply delighted” are positively powerful.

Show respect for other person’s personal space and property. Do not touch anything on someone’s desk or any of their personal belongings.

Do not put your feet up on a desk. The soles of your shoes are filthy and allowing others to see the dirty soles of your shoes is very disrespectful.  Never take your shoes off on a flight. No one wants to see or smell your bare feet.

Do not chew gum in public. Do not eat with your mouth open or speak with food in your mouth.

Do not tuck your dinner napkin in to your shirt collar like a bib.

Avoid saying “no problem.”  People immediately focus on the negative word “problem.” Instead say “it is my pleasure.”

Never interrupt someone. Allow them to finishing their sentence before you respond.

Pay sincere compliments. My favorite way to begin a compliment is “one of the things I like best about you is.”

Say “please” and “thank you” frequently. Always say “excuse me” and never reach in front of someone.

Do not address a group of male and female people as “you guys.”

Open the door for someone. Male or female, young or old, always open the door if you reach the door first or if the other person is carrying packages or groceries. Holding a door open is an act of kindness.

Do not interrupt people that are engaged in a conversation. Say “excuse me” to capture someone’s attention and wait until they indicate that you may enter the conversation or speak to them.

Do not text or answer phone calls while interacting with someone in person. Your face-to-face interaction must be your highest priority.

Show sincere appreciation in words, tonality and your proximity to the other person.

In the world of business; money, economics and great manners are well rewarded. Yes, manners really do matter.

 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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