Good Manners

Walt’s unique dining style didn’t score any points at
the Chamber lunch.

It’s the small things which tell others whether or not they want to be associated with us. Oh, OK, if you are an axe murderer or have recently had to make a “perp walk” after bilking retirees out of their life’s saving, that will definitely have a negative affect on your networking ability. In general, though, it’s the small stuff.

Stuff like good manners.

Have you ever been around someone who was lacking in the manners department? I’m not talking about someone who doesn’t know which fork to use for salad at a state dinner. I’m referring to those who don’t bother to say “please” and “thank you”. The folks who are disrespectful or who gossip about others behind their backs — and I’m talking about the hurtful kind of gossip here. How have you felt about even being near them?

A little embarrassed? Maybe uncomfortable that others might think you exhibit the same manners?

Now extend that a little further. How would you feel if you referred that same less-than-polite person? Would you worry about the stain that might get on your reputation? Remember the old saw about being known for the company you keep.

I think one of my Karate instructors put it best. I’m paraphrasing him, but Master Clarence Slay said, “We don’t treat others with good manners because they are ladies and gentlemen. We treat them with good manners because we are ladies and gentlemen.” All other things being equal who is going to get the referral? The gentleman who remembers to thank his host or the other guy, picking his teeth with the fork?

Photo credit: Flickr user abbynormy

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About Greg Peters

Greg Peters, president and founder of The Reluctant Networker, LLC, is a business networking specialist. He works with trade associations on both the local and national level to create a culture of better connections and greater opportunity. Find out more at www.TheReluctantNetworker.com or gpeters@thereluctantnetworker.com.

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