Column: Why are manners so important?

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Commentary by Beverly Randolph

Often, I am asked this question. Manners are intended to make others more at ease and to provide protocols of interaction.

Not only do manners demonstrate respect for yourself and the people you encounter daily, they help lessen confusion in our societal relations. Elevators are a great example. By stepping out and holding the door with your hand for others to exit, confusion, via the elevator “tango,” is avoided.

The practical use of manners makes us comfortable in professional and social settings, strengthens credibility, enhances self-confidence, provides a competitive edge, promotes respect for self and others.  Such makes the world a happier place.

Good manners can mean the difference between success and failure in many sectors of life, including familial, social and business interactions. This equates to good relationships and good business. Life, especially in business, does not exist without building and sustaining relationships.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson noted, “Your manners are always under examination, and by committees little suspected, awarding or denying you very high prizes when you least think of it.” How true a statement.  According to a University of Massachusetts survey, 86 percent of employers consider soft skills to be among their most important hiring criteria.

In “12 Reasons Why Manners Are Very Important for Success in Business,” Grant Cardone posited, “Just because I am among the most informal business people you will ever meet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still leverage manners — everyone should have manners. In the world of money and economics, great manners are rewarded and bad manners are punished. Look at the people earning big money and you will see them making business manners a habit. Manners are an art — a sign of professionalism — and having them will go a long way toward increasing your success in the real world.”  Very wise words.

Why do you think manners are important?


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