Are You a Pleasure to do Business With …. Or not?!

”People working in an uncivil environment miss information that is right in front of them…
Performance drops by up to 30%.” Christine Porath

”In the absence of high-touch, personal connections many managers are reporting breakdowns in courtesy and respect, many of which are amplified by the stresses of the workplace.’’ HBR


Ouch!
How important in business is civility and courtesy – the non-written ethics of business?  Are you even aware of its importance in your success?
Once again, I am inspired by my travels.  This week I have met some very rude, abrupt, cold, aggressive people…and some very kind, thoughtful people who have been a pleasure to work with.  I’ve disarmed the former and it has benefited my business.  How?  By talking to the real person within and by being myself.
General views in the business media express that courtesy and etiquette need to be more explicit within work, highlighting that the rise of technology and social media, and less face to face interactions can blur the lines between formal and informal, e.g. abbreviated messages, text speak etc.  people also being less than polite as they can ‘hide’ behind technology.
Some so called “experts” preach about having very formal ‘rules’.  Like a blast from the past in an ancient world of business rules such as;
“If everyone doesn’t know one another in the meeting room, you need to make introductions. You should do this by starting with the person of the highest rank first.  For example, “Ms. Greater Importance, I would like you to meet Mr. Lesser Importance.”

Business etiquette is something that we just don’t teach people.  And it’s not just millennials, generations of people have relied on role model behaviour – often not the best examples (!), to create their face at work.  I see the insecurity and fear in the faces of those who have no idea and feel out of their depth and at a loss of how to “win” their conversation.

People again and again, comment on our business etiquette at Courageous Success.  But it’s not rocket science, it’s easy!  Just be yourself, use your natural self, the same person at work as at home and only interact with people as you’d love to be interacted with.  Show people you like them.  Make them feel special, even if you have to negotiate with them.  If you are a manager, what are you doing to train business etiquette?  I remember my first week as a grad trainee being taught not to SHOUT ON MY EMAILS SO THAT I DON’T COME ACROSS AS AGREESSIVE!  As a grad I had no idea – but they were right and they taught me well.
David Cliff, from small business.co.uk shares; ”We are talking…about a natural set of personal values that one chooses to deliberately and thoughtfully incorporate in one’s dealings with other people. It defines one. It is not part of a sales toolkit or performance repertoire reduced to simple ritualistic conventions. It is an approach that comes from genuine human interest and understanding and recognising that people are not always capable of reciprocity.
In this respect, courtesy is not something that oils the wheels of a business process, although inevitably it does, it is a fundamental presentation of self within one’s business that offers a hallmark of interpersonal genuineness and respect, whether one is dealing with customers, suppliers, complainants or just the genuine public. In this latter respect, it reflects the best of business ethics and how your business is seen in the community.’’
An Inc.com article nails it too; ”Boil it down and etiquette is really all about making people feel good. It’s not about rules or telling people what to do, or not to do, it’s about ensuring some basic social comforts.’’

So, how rude are you?
Are you being yourself? Are you just trying to win? Would you like to work with you?
Food for thought. 

Our advice? Just be yourself.

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