Why do manners matter?

There is a lot of talk about emotional intelligence in the workplace and some have made a killing creating businesses that teach it. But let’s distill it down to a basic principle which can be too often forgotten, and they are, quite simply manners.

Over the years, as a leader and speaking with other leaders, rudeness has often been reported as the chief cause of stress in the workplace.

We spend so much time as children or as parents of children being reminded or reminding to use our manners, yet, it seems, when adults are in the company of other adults, they can, at times, forget their manners.

But they are fundamentally important to human interaction and happiness and can go along way to building relationships, bridging gaps and managing tricky stakeholders at work.

Manners help us:

  • practice gratitude

  • give us the opportunity to put others first and become better listeners

  • invites us to encourage and practice kindness

  • communicate that someone is seen and appreciated

Most importantly, manners help us practice humility which can slip away from us particularly as we climb the corporate ladder. Regardless of your position at work - whether you are the CEO, Chairperson or starting out, when one doesn’t practice humility in their interactions with others, it creates an unattractive veil over you.

This is not to say you can’t be proud of your achievements, but being aware of others around you and how your behaviour affects others will put you in good stead and separate you from being seen as a manager or a leader.

So next time you feel like blowing your top at work to a colleague or send an email to vent thinking you are managing the situation, may I suggest that you remove yourself from the situation, take a walk, sleep on it and when you have a clearer frame of mind, go back, find your manners, and use them.

You will get a much better result.