I Had Her at Yes Ma'am!

Bob Rollins
Owner - 6 Second Hire
Can I ask a simple question to you the reader of this blog? Where have the manners gone? I grew up in the deep south and manners were a way of life, still are for that matter. A man would hold the door open for a woman; he would pull out her chair for her to sit; and he would of course say yes ma'am and yes sir. I feel like basic manners and courtesy have taken a back seat in society, but more specifically in the business world. It might be an old-fashioned sentiment but look at how far manners can take you in business.

First, be polite in your communications. It doesn't matter if you are speaking on the phone or writing an email, common courtesy sets you apart. It’s sad to say that but it’s true. A well thought out communication shows effort and genuine interest in whom you are writing to. Try to write in more complete sentences versus bullets or an abbreviated language. Twitter response is not always appropriate.

Second, say yes, no, thank you, and please. I once had a client almost turn down a great candidate because he did not send out a thank you email after an interview. It shows how much manners are expected. Politeness is also responding versus ignoring to the other person, be it a phone call or email. If you initiate contact and someone reaches out to you in response, return the communication back, even if your circumstances have changed or its just to say no thank you. I actually had a CEO respond back to one of my “cold” email introductions with “sod off”. I had to write him back to ask what that meant ands let’s just say “sod off” is nothing that I’m willing to even write here.

Third, chivalry is not dead. This does not just apply to men, but to everyone. Can we start holding doors open for others and smile when you make eye contact with someone? You never know how that smile might affect the other person. It might just be what they needed that day to cheer them up. Here is a quick story for you about traditional manners. My wife and I were out at a casual restaurant and as we went to sit down, I pulled her chair out for her. As I did this, our waitress stood there, mouth agape, and said she had never seen anyone do that before.

Finally, take a look at how you act, write, and speak. It could be affecting your success or failure in both business and in your personal life. By the way, the title of this blog is a true statement. When I first met my wife, I always answered her yes ma'am. She later told me after we had been married for a few years that that was when I won her heart. Manners work in business, in life, and in my case in love.