Manners in the Workplace


       Manners in todays society of hurry up and go where everyone and everything is equal and people are worried to speak in fear of being "politically incorrect" and getting legal and civil action taken against them, some important people skills have been placed on the back burner or forgotten altogether. These things are not really skills but a way of treating your co-worker or customer while your at work and those around you when you out in the community. When I was growing up these skills were taught by our parents and re-enforced by those adults around us who would also correct us without fear of reprisal since everyone had the same goal that we would grow up to be responsible adults and an asset to the community. These life skills were commonly referred to as manners and were just the way you were expected to behave. 


Respecting Others

This is a basic tenant of manners that started as a respect for your elders and developed into respect for everyone. Respect is a circular mannerism in that what you give is what comes back to you. A strong team from the top down will have a strong sense of respect between team members. If you are a leader you will not be able to lead effectively if you do not have respect for the people you are leading. This includes everything from holding the door open for someone to listening to someone else's opinion. This helps to foster in you a value for others and a sense of your place.

Be Appreciative

If you are in a supervisory role or management of subordinate staff be appreciative and thankful for the work they do because it is a reflection on you of how well you are doing your job. Staff that are not appreciated for the work they do will perform to that level. If you show appreciation to  your staff they will generally perform better for you, that also means protecting them and keeping the lazy people in your group in check and performing to the level of everyone else. This fosters a strong team and sometimes the employees will correct those around them that are not performing at expectations. 

Clean Up After Yourself

You are not at your momma's house anymore, If you make a mess you need to clean it up. At work this means keeping your staff performing at their best and keeping your team working together and as happy as can be reasonably expected. If you have been keeping a mess you need to realize your errors and clean up your house. At the workplace this will probably involve accepting blame and apologizing to staff for your shortcomings as their leader. Explain what you have done wrong and what your new plans for correcting the situation are and caring out those plans. If staff are aware that you are trying to correct not only them but yourself they are more likely to support you and help you to reach those goals, unless you have already destroyed the trust that they have given you. At that point you probably need to realize you have failed and move on. 

Interrupting Others

Seems like a basic concept to grasp but is missing in a majority of interactions between people. The basic idea is when 2 or more people are talking the person that has the floor is allowed to finish speaking before someone else speaks. Then the next person speaks. This is generally called a conversation and is the civilized way adults with manners communicate with each other. This is even worse when you are a supervisor and not one of the people involved in the conversation. Interrupting to force yourself into the conversation by giving your 2 cents or to answer a question you were not asked is rude and disrespectful to the people having the conversation.

All of these manners are skills that we have learned growing up that we seem to have forgotten to bring them into the workplace. We should treat those around us with the respect and dignity we show other people in our lives. Building people up and being a good example of the behaviors and attitudes we expect from those around us builds relationships and fosters a strong team environment where everyone works together.     

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