I recently read a new post on a small business column in USA Today that was a little astonishing. The post, called “Bad manners is bad business, plain and simple,” gave three different examples of bad manners, from lunch etiquette to failure to fulfill job duties. I was surprised to realize some people don’t understand or remember proper etiquette sometimes, even in business situations. Good manners are an important asset for you and your company. It can make or break a bid for business or a job and be an important part of building your business relationships. Here are a couple of pointers that are good to remember.
1. Prompt communication
Return phone calls and emails. Even if the answer is, “I’m currently working on your request,” people like to know they are not being ignored and projects are in motion. You also risk the person moving on and contacting someone else for the job proposal or meeting if you do not respond.
Don’t be late. For meetings (in-person and calls), leave yourself more than enough time to arrive at your destination and double-check your calendar ahead of time for the exact time and location. For projects, be mindful of your time and keep distractions away. If you are running late for either meetings or projects, be sure to apologize for running late and give an estimated time of arrival.
3. Respect others’ time
This pointer refers can refer to several things. Give people your undivided attention in meetings to get through the agenda effectively, and watch the time so you don’t talk over into other planned meeting times.
Do you have any entertaining stories or examples of how good manners proved to be an asset to your company? What pointers would you add to the list?