Good manners please

Good manners are the grease that keeps the moving parts in all organisations working together smoothly and efficiently.

This applies to as much to management as it does in society.

I’ve always insisted on this in every organisation I’ve managed – starting with swearing. There is no room for it in the workplace. It’s a sign of weakness – an inability to express oneself well, emotional frailty.

Irrespective of the situation and how challenging it may be, managers must be able to articulate well without resorting to name-calling and foul language.

Good manners in an organisation allows for better communication – freedom to disagree, to debate, to truly express oneself – albeit a dissenting opinion – without fear of such discussions disintegrating into harmful environments.

Good management calls for the establishment of such fertile grounds for new ideas and contrary thoughts to sprout and grow – and only then can organisations achieve their true potential and capitalise on opportunities.

Lately, I’ve noticed a growing trend, not just amongst the young, to adopt new catch phrases and terms that circumvent good manners.

A good example is the recently popular term ‘my bad’. Not only is it bad grammar its use avoids apology. ‘My bad’ is not the same as ‘I’m sorry’. The latter is an apology, it encapsulates sincerity and acceptance of a mistake or failure with an implication of reconciliation and reform; the former is used as a dismissive segue.

In a similar vein, ‘thank you’ is being replaced by ‘cheers’. Again, not the same thing! It removes the fundamental expression of gratefulness.

‘Sure’ instead of ‘yes, please’ – in response to an offer i.e. ‘Would you like a coffee?’

There are many more of these creeping into the vernacular and if not for society’s sake, at least for efficient and enjoyable work environments, managers must discourage their use.


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