Good Manners in the Office

Realizing There's No Excuse for Discourtesy

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AGaeta

Being polite and well-mannered helps to bring harmonoy to a team.

Do manners matter at work? Should you really be expected to be polite all the time, or can you bend the rules in the name of efficiency or self-preservation?

When your boss calls and you're in the middle of a meeting with a colleague, you answer it. It must be important – after all, it's your boss! Never mind that your colleague and the meeting are important too, it's your boss on the phone!

Or what about when you're running behind? It's 3:50pm and the report you're preparing has to be out by 4:00pm sharp. You print it off and the paper jams in the middle of your job. There's no time to fix it so you resend the print job to another printer, but you don't go back and sort it out once your report's delivered. Instead, you just leave the jam for someone else to discover and fix. Sure, it's an inconvenience for them, but it wasn't exactly your fault that the printer jammed, was it?

You know that behaviors like this are rude. You wouldn't behave in this way outside of the office. So why do we then allow ourselves to behave inconsiderately at work?

There is a definite double standard when it comes to workplace manners. It's common to see people doing things at work they wouldn't dream of doing in a social setting. But you can't allow these behaviors to persist if you want to create and maintain a healthy work environment.

Disrespectful and discourteous behavior makes members of your team unhappy, and damages the cohesion of your team. It works against all of the efforts you make to motivate team members, and thereby raise productivity. With this in mind, there is simply no excuse for bad manners. Whether you are interacting with a person higher or lower on the corporate hierarchy, giving feedback, issuing instructions or exerting power; good manners are an absolute necessity.

To make sure your workplace is free of rude behavior requires a two-pronged approach:...

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