Have we forgotten our manners?
For many of us time is the new commodity. But is that a good enough reason to forget our manners? Over and over again we hear the experts saying – “building relationships is the key to maintaining and growing our businesses”. However, how are we building those relationships, and are we doing it just to get business? Are we showing our friends, business associates and colleagues that we really do care? Have we forgotten the lost art of the thank-you?
Holding a door, making a phone call, apologizing for errors and letting people know that they are important seems to be a lost art in a society addicted to time. We never have enough time, we crave more of it, and somewhere along the journey- we forget our manners.
Last week I got a thank you note from a fellow business owner. It came in the mail- addressed to me – in her own handwriting. What a wonderful surprise it was to get a note thanking me for something small that I had done. In the note, the sender let me know how my deed had helped her. Just reading it reassured me that I had done the right thing and that someone out there appreciated it.
According to a survey published in “Selling Power” magazine, the average business person in North America will receive one thank-you note every 14 ½ months. Considering the fact that the average North American will push across their desks at least 13,000 pieces of paper a year, it seems that too few of us are sending notes saying thank-you. And if you think these statistics are incorrect – think back to how many Thank-you notes you have received over the last year. How many have you sent out?
Two things happen when you send out a thank-you note to someone. First – there is that feel good feeling we get for doing something nice. If we do it first thing in the morning, it is a great way to start our day off- kind of like paying it forward. Secondly, it positively affects the recipient of the note, and very likely everyone that they come into contact with over the next few hours. Further spin-off is the fact that the thank-you note will often be displayed and read over and over both by the recipient and many others who will see it displayed. What a positive effect it can have on the world around us!
So when should we send a thank you card? According to Jan Johnson, life coach and former business advisor, there are several occasions when it is very appropriate to send ‘thank you’s’ that many of us do not consider.
• After a meeting
• After a rejection
• After a sale
• After personal service was provided to us
Although these may seem like ‘no-brainers’ many of us do not honour the greatness in others and thank them for how they help us. Even after a rejection we have reason to thank someone for giving us the opportunity to show them our services or products. And even though we meet many people in our travels- not being able to say thank you to them all is no excuse for not sending at least one thank you!
Take a few minutes each day this week at the beginning of your business day and send out one hand-written thank you. You never know what a difference you may make in someone’s day. But even more importantly, you will begin your day on a positive note, with the spirit of gratitude. It lifts our spirits to a higher level and helps us to see new opportunities, and makes us more aware of the good things going on around us.
Thanks to Jan Johnson for the inspiration and some of the information for this article. Jan is a life-coach, former business advisor and is also an artist, and together with her daughter Erin, she creates inspirational paintings that she turns into greeting cards. Click here to
view and/or order these cards. Print off the .pdf file and call or mail in order form.
"One of the keys to effective communication and dispute resolution is understanding ourselves and how we think and also understanding how others are wired as well. Each of us has personality styles that are unique to ourselves - however there are also patterns as well. When you understand the differing personality styles and their blends - you begin to see people as they are with more understanding! For more information on understanding personality styles please contact Mandie at firstname.lastname@example.org."
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