Manners matter in a workplace that favors respect for everyone. Manners convey recognition and consideration. When certain manners are practiced in an organization and you follow them, you fit with the company culture. And, whether you accept it or not, you are communicating a lot about yourself and how you view yourself in the organization when you use manners or don’t use them with the people you work with. Yet, manners can be tricky because they are not the same from country to country or region to region even within the U.S. and they are constantly evolving and updating according to general practice of the times. With all these differences, how can you possibly figure out how to act in a respectful way in a workplace? Here are some tips…
Have you ever felt you like you were giving your all to the organization and you were being appreciated for that?
You understand how motivating that is.
Colleagues of mine who are career and leadership coaches were having conversations with African-American clients about African-American women not receiving recognition in leadership and therefore making a pivotal decision: leave their jobs and organizations mid-career or at least consider leaving. My mentor, who helped launch my leadership business, thought this was such a common experience she encouraged me to write about it.
I took her suggestion to heart and wondered – how common is this self-conversation and pivotal choice? Was it different from the conversations other women were having with themselves at the same point in their career?
Would you like to work for a place that champions respect for everyone? That respect would include an everyday practice of good manners. Good manners? Are good manners relevant or even possible in today’s workplace? Yes, they are! Here’s some examples and why they matter more than ever in creating a healthy respectful culture for everyone. And, here’s how they can work for you.
Young professionals look for respect from their employers. From their boss, peers and company. Unlike prior generations, Millennials and Gen Z’s are vocal about asking for respect simply for being them, a unique individual who works at the same company. Respect having nothing to do with their seniority, experience or earning it. And, they will easily leave a position if they don’t see it being demonstrated, even if there is no job offer to escape to. Does that mean they show respect openly and easily to others they work with and their employer?
Who has been particularly giving to you? Consider all the people through the pandemic who have been there to offer advice, compassion, and introductions toward bringing you additional recognition and possibly even business. In some way they’ve contributed to making you better. How are you about asking for and receiving their support?
For the industries that serve as models for today’s leadership and for those companies that are heralded as bastions of good leadership, chances are there are people in executive positions who exhibit generosity. In fact, they might have been promoted because of this adjective and even hired because of it. In a company that celebrates leadership, an executive is expected to encourage, train and develop individuals in their team to become stronger leaders. You may find it in their job description. There’s the understanding that their team members are the succession plan for the company in the near future.
We’re all trying to find the right balance personally and professionally through this pandemic, and we’ll keep at it because sometimes we’re successful even if it’s fleeting. If you are a leader, consider the welfare of your young talent, providing them with the resources they need from their perspective is a win-win for everyone. People benefit from being thought of holistically and not just professional roles or titles. And you do, too. Find your right balance for work and life, mix or combo.
You may have found it amusing before that Millennials and Gen Z’s co-workers, friends, relatives or your own kids spend so much time with their video games; you’re probably not laughing any more as you see yourself playing more Candy Crush, Far Cry Primal, or Words with Friends. What are you doing with your downtime (if you have any)? Can it be helping your leadership skills for the future? Yes. Here are some popular examples.
Are you showing up? Steve Jobs suggested everyone (including him) earns half of their worth simply by showing up for a scheduled event. Where do your thoughts go when you schedule a meeting, then reschedule, then reschedule once again and the rescheduling is always necessary because of the same person? Perhaps this kind of incident makes you reevaluate your own history of showing up. And, how do you hold someone accountable these days?