Three Manners To Mind

Take your elbows off the table. When chewing keep your mouth closed. Pull yourself together out of respect for yourself and for others (they have to look at you!). My parents extolled these manners growing up and, similarly, my kids have heard the same reminders for years. Manners represent “ways of behaving with reference to polite standards; social comportment.”*
 
As we travel again in our communities,
what are the most important manners to embrace?
 
Here are our top “Three Manners To Mind” when interacting with team members, neighbors, friends and family.**
 

1. Wash Your Hands

Yes, we always had to wash our hands when coming home from school or to the dinner table. Now it’s even more important for health and consideration of others wherever we’re going. Wearing a Mask, btw, is equally vital.
 

2. Benefit of the doubt 

Rarely do we fully know what’s happening in someone’s life. Often, without realizing, we make assumptions. Although feeling incredulous when seeing someone not wearing a mask inside, for example, who are we to judge? Better to silently wish the other person well and withhold judgement.
 
As CEO Advisor and author, John Hittler suggests, “it’s good to allow for another explanation and not judge so harshly.” During these especially stressful times, why not give one another the benefit of the doubt. Also it’s just healthier not to hold too tightly to self-righteousness or recrimination. We might find ourselves someday equally at fault and needing compassion.
 
Instead of making assumptions have the courage to communicate and be kind when doing so. When we’re upset, communicating isn’t so easy. Before reacting or conducting a difficult conversation remember to be in a loving and compassionate place. Thoughtfully speak your truth and everyone will benefit.
 
3. The Check-In
Before diving into “work stuff” start a conversation by learning about the other person. Covid’s impact has been deep and broad so slow down and for a even a few minutes remember that your co-worker and or friend is another human being, just like you. Put your agenda aside.  
 
A good question might be, “Before we talk about what’s on our agenda, please tell me about what’s been going on in your life these days (or “What are you excited about?” and “What is challenging these days?”). Then…listen well. 
 
Practicing Mindful Listening is crucial for re-connecting and cultivating trust. Now is a great time to call clients and prospects and “check-in”. Don’t try to sell anything. Instead listen to their concerns and opinions.
 
These days with so many reasons to feel emotional or disagree listening well can be challenging. Yet, the pandemic is teaching us to be kind, regardless of differences. Listening is one of the kindest behaviors in the world.
 
Often culturally-based, manners should not make others feel uncomfortable. Ghostwriter (and global traveler) Laura Elliot reminds us that  “To be polite is a way of showing respect that comforts (even if it’s only a simple gesture) the people who need it most.” As we travel in our communities Mind the Manners of Kindness, Inclusivity and Respect.
 
 
**Thank you to my many LI contributors for their insights. They helped me assess what manners matter today. 
Delta Emerson, https://www.linkedin.com/in/delta-emerson-sphr-shrm-scp-670a63/
Laura Elliot, https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauraelliott/