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Edition 303 – Etiquette

It’s interesting being back in front of people these last couple of months after our extended lockdown. As we’ve re-engaged in a physical sense, I’ve found it eye-opening to observe not only some old patterns re-emerge, but notice behaviours inside of family businesses that, perhaps, the owners and managers are unaware of.

Here’s some of my observations:

  • Late arrival at meetings.
  • Taking phone calls in meetings.
  • Allowing interruptions that are not urgent or life threatening.
  • A lack of “please” and “thank-you” being aired.
  • A language of familiarity in terms of directives being issued to subordinates which appears to ignore basic courtesies.
  • Disrespectful language.
  • Promises not delivered.

Perhaps everyone is worn out after two years of COVID and just need a good holiday.

Alternately, people might be playing catch-up for lost time during the extended lockdowns and, as such, have forgotten certain elements of social etiquette.

Whilst each of those may be a reason, I don’t believe they are an excuse.

In my opinion, these behaviours are disrespectful, inefficient or time consuming – and sometimes, all three. If COVID has taught us anything, wouldn’t it be that how we used to do things needs to change?

To that end, give this some thought:

  • How are you conversing with your staff?
  • How are you conversing with your customers?
  • What do your actions exhibit that conflict with your words?
  • What are the bad habits inside your business that you don’t see – but could offend others?
  • What are the small things you could be doing (or saying) that will create a significant impact on the recipient?

I’d suggest a little focus in these areas may well:

  • Improve employee performance.
  • Increase employee retention.
  • Improve business financial and operating performance.
  • Lead to a more open dialogue between employees and management.
  • An improved culture inside the organisation.

This Week’s Tip

“I’d rate communication inside most businesses as poor or ordinary.
What would you need to do to lift the bar inside yours?”