Having good manners and respect was something that was drilled into me from an early age. I can recall on more than one occasion feeling the full force of a clip around the ear, closely followed by the words, “Manners cost nothing” being whispered into my lesser red ear whenever I stepped out of line. I appreciate that everyone has been brought up differently, but I suspect I’m not the only one to have received the ‘death stare’ from my parents whenever I didn’t say “please” or “thank you” in all the right places.
I’d like to think that despite learning the hard way, I’ve taken these values into adulthood. Admittedly I may have strayed a little from time to time but on the whole, I’ve tried my best to treat people with the respect they deserve. Some people however, appear to have taken a pill when they moved into the world of work which has resulted in them losing all the values they were ever brought up with. In fact manners in some cases, appear to have been thrown completely out of the window. You’d be lucky to get even a grunt from some, let alone a polite remark of thanks where it’s due.
Management offers a good example where manners and respect can have a real impact. I’ve worked for and alongside many managers down the years. Some have been brilliant and some not so. Amongst other things, the main skills that were missing on their part were a lack of manners and personal respect for their peers and team members. They’d march around the office in a dictatorial way, belittling people in meetings and talking down to them at every available opportunity. They were really rude, down-right bad mannered and showed zero respect for anyone other than themselves.
I wonder upon reflection, if their parents and grandparents could see them in action, that they would look upon them full of pride, or with utter embarrassment for their behaviour. I suspect for many it would be the latter…
Manners cost absolutely nothing. It really isn’t hard to pay others with the same amount of respect that you expect yourself. Showing a lack of respect for others at work ultimately leads to resentment, mistrust and low morale, not to mention low productivity and performance as a result. Yet oblivious to it all, some managers continue to waltz around in their blissfully ignorant bubble of self-worth, paying no attention to the really negative impact that their behaviour is having.
How many managers are like this in your business? Maybe they need a ‘clip around the ear’?!