At the end of March, on the same day, we published articles on two different publications that were written by different columnists but that covered the same topic, manners. While reviewing articles that day I added that topic to my ever evolving list of Editorially Yours columns. Last Friday we published another article that touched on the topic of manners, which reminded me that I needed to write this column.
In those three columns, the topic of manners was addressed from a variety of angles. The first one that I read was about teaching manners to preschoolers. In his article Joe Lawrence shared a handful of strategies that he and his wife utilize to implement good manners in both their toddler and preschooler. The second article that I read concerned adults and manners at weddings. Lori Sciame wisely advised attendees to follow basic etiquette guidelines, such as sending your RSVP early. She had four other terrific pieces of advice, that you can read here. Finally, last Friday I read the advice of a teenager regarding hanging out at friends’ house. Among the tips was a reminder to be polite.
These may seem like such simple things, but I find that manners can be lacking. For me, manners are part of every aspect of life. When my children were babies, among the things that I taught them were important words, please and thank you. Once they were speaking and could ask for items, they were taught to add please to the phrase. So, their speech grew from simply “Water” to “Water, please.” They also saw and heard that Mommy did the same. If I wanted a toy put away, I would ask and include a “Please”.
However, manners don’t belong only at home or when teaching your children, at least in my opinion. I am a believer that honey does far better than vinegar and that respecting others is important. This is true almost anywhere. When seeking help at the grocery store, a please will get you much better results than stomping your feet. An excuse me to someone blocking your view at an event will most likely be more effective than “Get out of my way!”
These seem general expectations of being polite are important at work also. When there are new expectations for my team, I am sure to thank them for the effort that it requires. When I need to ask for assistance or changes, I am sure to ask kindly. There’s no need to demand. I find that the work environment, even when virtual, benefits from kindness and consideration of others.
If you find your manners are lacking, take a read of those three columns. I am hoping they inspire you the way that they inspired me.