Manners are all about how we treat other people – the essence of interpersonal skills – the basis of good relationships. Treating other people the way we would like to be treated will always be in style.

Like many other things, manners are very subjective and prone to cultural bias, or put another way, different things offend different people in different environments. Remember those advertisements by a famous bank?

A few true quotes:

“I have a co-worker who takes my banana out of my lunch every day, and eats it. Every day.”

“I work across from someone who clips their nails at their desk. Nail clippings are left on the floor and desk.”

“There’s a manager in our office who ALWAYS uses the speaker phone. Even when conducting confidential calls, he still uses the speaker phone.”

“Senior staff would fall asleep during important meetings. Meetings they had typically requested. You would be in front of the senior team presenting budget numbers and strategy and they would be asleep.”

I would say that although manners vary from individual to individual and from workplace to workplace, some things should surely be standard.

Minding your manners:

  • respect other people’s time by being on time and not taking too long over something you’ve committed to do for them
  • pay more attention to the person in front of you than to your mobile device
  • listen carefully and respect others when they’re speaking
  • respond to someone’s communication or request
  • ‘pull your weight’ in the workplace – whether it’s making the drinks, answering the phone or doing your share of the work

The list could go on and on, but let’s finish where we started. Treating other people the way we would like to be treated will always be in style.