I’ve often said, “Manners are such a little thing when you have them, and such a big thing when you don’t.”
The world has changed. Business Insider says that we now view our digital devices longer each day than television. Twitter and Facebook have larger valuations than Comcast and Viacom and messaging and email have largely replaced face to face conversation. Heck, we don’t even have time for a video chat on Skype. It’s a Snapchat and Instagram kinda world.
But if you want a few easy ways to make you stand out from the crowd–simply practice good manners. It’s a surefire way to insure you and your business will get noticed, appreciated, and respected. Here are a few Instamanners:
1) Acknowledge every email or message you receive from a real person. A simple “got it” or “thanks” help the sender know it did not go into a digital black hole. It shocks me how few people practice this simple act of etiquette. No need to feel an obligation to write a full answer immediately, just a simple acknowledgement tells the sender you respect the time they took to send the communication and that it arrived safely.
2) Express appreciation. Social Networks give us the invaluable opportunity to know instantly when someone has accomplished something of value. A quick “Congrats”, “So proud of you”, or “Thanks” takes a second to “Tweet”, “Like” or put in a status update and the effects are lasting.
3) Carefully check to make sure every issue and question has been addressed. Nothing is more frustrating than to ask six questions and the reply only addresses two of them. If you are not prepared to answer an issue, say so. Acknowledge every point in a communication—even if it’s with an “I’ll speak more to this one later.”
4) Acknowledge failure. Circumstances happen to all of us. And there are times we are unable to deliver on time. An honest communication about the facts trumps silence every time! I can forgive someone for being human much faster than for being unresponsive about a promise.
5) Communicate with clarity. Take time to reread your message to make sure there are no typos or phrases that may be perceived as harsh or uncaring. A quick double-check can be the difference between a good communication and a great one. Or the difference between getting the deal or missing out.
6) Have someone else provide feedback on crucial messages. How many times have we sent a message we regret without getting another opinion? Many times a second set of eyes helps a mediocre communication come alive with sparkle and clarity. Or even more important—saves us embarrassment and remorse.
Practice these few simple but important matters of etiquette consistently and I promise you will stand out from the crowd—because almost no one does them.
In a world full of frenetic communication, these manners will command respect and attention.
Question: Any other big ones I’ve missed?