Learn to Use Common Manners

August 3, 2011
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If you look around you, you will see people talking on cell phones as they walk down the street or in hallways, and even at service counters while they order fast food or pick up their dry cleaning.  Even while you are watching a movie in the theater, cell phones are in use.  No one opens a door for anyone anymore, and common words of courtesy have gone by the wayside.  It makes you wonder what has happened to the common courtesy that our parents taught us when we were young.  Not only is it necessary in business, but also in your personal life.

Say “Please” and “Thank You” – This is one of the first basic courtesies that we were taught, and yet somehow those words got lost in today’s hurried society.  Saying “please” prompts people to be more likely to follow through on what on you are asking them to do, and saying “thank you” lets them know that you appreciate their efforts.  Simply giving a command will probably get you get you nowhere, since people tend to feel that you are manipulating them.

Pay a Compliment – When you compliment someone, and you are sincere about it, they feel better about themselves as well as about you.  Especially in the service industry, such as restaurants, laundries, and other businesses that require heavy manual labor, people are very appreciative of compliments on the work they do.  Your compliments make their days go by with a better attitude, knowing they are doing their best.

Offer Your Assistance – Whether you are a guest in someone’s home for dinner, or setting up for a meeting at the office, offer your assistance to those involved.  Even if they insist that your help is not needed, they will appreciate the fact that you offered.  If your help is required, you will have done an act of kindness that will leave a lasting impression on them.

Smile Like You Mean It – A smile makes you more approachable, and if you really mean that smile, it can be contagious. Spreading to everyone you meet.  Not only does it keep you in a positive frame of mind, but also spreads that positivity to others.

Following the simple common courtesies that we learned as children will help us to be successful as adults, not only in our work lives in but our homes, too.  In using these principles, we are able to teach our children by example, not just in words.

This post is brought to you by Dale Carnegie Training of Maryland and the DC Metro Area. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo credit: Tanakawho

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