We all have some recollection of being taught manners by our parents, grandparents, and teachers, with that constant reminder: “Don’t forget to say please!” Over the years, however, the reminders have dissipated, and for some, so have the manners. In this fast-paced, streamlined world of young professionals, where big meetings happen over a five-minute cocktail, emails and texts are sent out on the fly, and nearly every word is abbreviated (let’s not even get into punctuation), it seems that basic manners have been demoted to unnecessary formalities. While using manners does take some extra time and effort, particularly for those of us who have gotten out of the habit, being well mannered is classy, even sexy, and will just never go out of style. So, to showcase just how timeless and necessary manners really are, we have gone back to basics to remind us all of the meanings and purposes of good old please and thank you.
Thank you – for your appreciation.
We get it, you’re busy, you have places to be, and your texting claw once known as a hand might just fall right off if you have to punch in those eight additional characters. But let it be known that a genuine thank you will forever hold weight in our professional and social worlds, and making an effort to utilize it will always have an impact. The term thank you is pretty straightforward. It is used as a means to express appreciation. Showing authentic appreciation by thanking someone demonstrates an acknowledgment of their effort, which lets them know their work has not been done in vain. Thanking others for their time or effort also helps keep them more willing to do favors for us again, “with pleasure”, in the future. It may seem like a waste of time within all of the hustle bustle of our YP lives, but taking the time to say or type out those two little words can have powerful, positive effects on our social and professional relationships.
The Power of Please
An equally powerful expression of manners is that “magic word” – please. To say please is actually a shortened version of the old school “if you please” or “if it pleases you.” Originally used to request approval or agreement, today the word is also often used as a demand. By using please in the form of a question, the way it is meant to be used, you give the other party a choice. Providing others with choice demonstrates an awareness of equality between you, on both a conscious and unconscious level. Thus, utilizing the proper form of please becomes an easy, yet extremely important way to show respect; and as we all know, when it comes to both our social and professional YP relationships, respect is everything.
Using “proper etiquette” or being “polite and courteous” may sound somewhat archaic, even arbitrary, but if we change our mentality about manners, and see them for the expressions of class and respect that they are, using them can feel quite fresh and empowering.