There’s so much to be said about the importance of manners. Being polite and extending the right courtesies seems like a no brainer, but it’s one of those important little things that people forget. It’s something my mother taught me at a very young age and I have carried it with me throughout my life.
Regardless of the level of generosity, whether someone offers me tickets to the Super Bowl or holds a door open for me, I’m sure to say “thank you” with sincerity. Whenever I ask my assistant to do something, I always am sure to say “please” and thank her for her help when it’s done. It’s also regular practice for my sales staff to write notes to customers thanking them for their business.
It’s simple manners—a small gesture that shows you value someone’s time and effort. And it’s something that is consistently forgotten in the business world.
For instance, I had a few guests coming to the office last week for a meeting around noon. As a courtesy, I thought it would be nice to offer them lunch, so I asked my assistant to get in touch with them. She reached out to the guys and let them know we would provide them lunch and asked what they would like.
Their only response? “We don’t care.” Not even a thank you! A thank you costs nothing, and only takes a second. But it makes a big impact, especially when it’s noticeably absent.
I guarantee these executives had no idea that not being courteous with my assistant would get back to me, let alone have an impact on how I viewed them. But it did. And I see this kind of thing all the time! Sometimes people order others around in the office with no “please” or “thank you” because it makes them feel important and in charge. But it actually has a different, detrimental effect; it makes the person on the receiving end feel unappreciated.
So everyone, listen to your mothers. Because no matter how old you get or how successful you are, words like “please,” “thank you,” and “I appreciate it” go a long way.