Exercising Good Manners Can Keep you Employed

By: Ernie Fitzpatrick

"I don't recall your name, but your manners are familiar." Oliver Herford

When was the last time you opened the door for a fellow employee? When's the last time you pulled out a chair at a restaurant for a woman, your wife! When's the last time you offered something to someone else before you took it? The answer probably coincides with your last raise. PROMOTIONS come when there is a demonstration of grace and servanthood to others. Grace is more than a gift of God, it is a show of character from one to another.

"Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices." Anonymous

In today's fast paced world we're more into NUMERO UNO: ourselves. It's not just about WHAT you can get but HOW FAST you can get it. This phenomenon is not anything new. It was the philosopher Schopenhauer who said, "When a man is positively rude, it is as if he had cast off all his clothes and stood before us naked. Like most people in this condition, he cuts a poor figure." There is something about the person who has bad manners that turns people off, makes them resentful, and deprives the person of all good will or accomplishment. Why walk through life with that disadvantage when there is really no need to?

"The test of good manners is to be patient with bad ones." Solomon Ibn Gabirol

Can you remember the impact that it had on you when you last heard someone say yes sir or yes mam? It is about all you can do today to get a grunt from someone or a shrug of the shoulders. If you'd like to see how far bad we've gone with this principle simply visit your local court house any day. You will observe the judge having to tell the witness to "answer the question with a YES or a NO". We think a nod of the head or some other body language, can be picked up by the court reporter or listeners.

"Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same." George Bernard Shaw

Another word for manners would be courtesy. Somehow we've come to a mindset in the work place that we have to be served FIRST! We're just talking human kindness here. Courtesy really doesn't cost us anything but a lack of it can cost us not only a promotion but our very jobs as well. People like to be around people who are friendly, caring, and considerate. Sure, we will miss this when we're having a down day, feeling ill, emotionally strained, or out of sorts, but this should be the exception and not the rule or lifestyle.

"There is not a single outward mark of courtesy that does not have a deep moral basis." Johann Goethe

The really hard place to exercise this principle is to those who are below you or those you come in contact with on a frequent daily basis: like your family and close friends. Familiarity breeds contempt and lack of courtesy you know. Who can't be courteous to your superior or boss, when you need to? But, how can you have good manners and be courteous to one several rungs on the ladder below you in the corporation? It's here that we find the true reality of meaningfulness of your action. We know that God is "no respecter of persons" so why are we? You know why!

Let us then re-evaluate our habits and daily routines. May we add to them the simplicity of good manners and courtesy and just watch our stock begin to rise, not just with the boss but with all our co-laborers!

"Life is not so short but that there is not enough time for courtesy." George Bernard Shaw

Human Resources
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