Jon Hamm is the GQ Man of the Decade and deservedly so. Recently in Sydney for the GQ Man of the Year awards he was asked* “what advice do you have for the men who are not at the event …. to be better men”
Jon’s immediate response is: “Work hard and Be Polite”.
He went on to say “I was raised in the middle of the US. I have a mid-west politeness that I cannot shake, it’s my de-facto way to be in the world”
I personally have always believed in the power of good manners to differentiate ourselves as people and in business.
I’ve been a Mad Men fan since the first episode and having spent 10 years watching Don Draper it was instant recognition when he walked past me on the Bondi to Bronte path last weekend. Not Don, Jon Hamm.
“Be Polite” oozed from him. He shook hands, chatted amicably, introduced us to his friends and was the impeccable gentleman. Thank you Jon for being a true example of your philosophy.
He says it is his “de-facto way to be in the world”.
What would happen in business if “Be Polite” and “Good Manners” were the de-facto way to be?
Many years ago one of my mentors spoke about the power of “please” and “thank you”. He said don’t underestimate the power of these 2 words and the actions that go with them.
Maybe I’m just fortuneate that I was brought up in a family where manners were important, where being polite and respecting others was our way of being. Listening to Jon Hamm is a great reminder to lift my game in the “polite” stakes.
In business it really is noticeable when people have an underpinning politeness and good manners.
In this world where so much is technical and so much of our contact is via electronic means, how do we “be polite”? What are “good manners” as we approach 2020?
First impressions matter. Being polite and courteous you will definitely give your prospective customers confidence that they are dealing with the right person. Customers are more likely to refer you and your business if they continue to have a good experience in dealing with you and your business and especially in the initial experience.
Manners are one of the easiest things to share with all the people you deal with in your business – not just with your customers.
Good manners do not cost anything and especially as they become a de-facto way of being in the world.
For instance, how do you interact with the person helping design your website? or the barista making your coffee? or your accountant? your hairdresser? These are all the people in your business day.
The very best way to find new customers and clients is through word of mouth and referrals; you never know where new clients and customers may come from.
Always making time to thank people; often we can overlook this when we are very busy. How long does it take to look a person in the eye, for just an instance and say “thank you”. How long to send a quick “Thank You” email, card or letter?
What impact would you imagine it would have if you are genuinely saying “thank you” more often in your business? How will your clients feel? How do you want people in your business to feel? I’m thinking about the specific and individualized “Thank You”.
How could “Please” and “Thank You” play a bigger role in your business?
I’m Ingrid Thompson and thank you for reading this post.
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* in an interview on The Project