No I am not talking about Emily Post. What I am talking about is maybe a variation on that, but it’s more than how to set a table properly or knowing the date after which you should stop wearing white shoes. One of my new clients (stay tuned for her soon-to-be-released website) has a business teaching etiquette to corporations. Peggy Ballard has a different name for what she does. She calls it Performance Marketing. Peggy can demonstrate that relationships between employees and co-workers and their customers, in addition to being a feel good thing, can have a huge impact on the bottom line of a company.
Etiquette is really about treating people in a way that creates good. Being genuinely nice to each other, acting with someones best interest in mind, handling difficult conversations with grace, expressing gratitude for work done well or even when someone gives it a good try, are very powerful actions. People acting in small, mean ways, are not acting from their higher selves and, for the most part, they are not even aware of how they come off. This type of behavior comes from a habitual attitude, and it is contagious, that one must protect oneself from people who are out to take advantage. That to get what they want, they need to demand it, or they only have a limited amount of time, money and personality, so they better hoard it. We all know what it feels like to act that way and how it feels to be on the receiving end of it.
I choose to operate with an assumption of “Abundance”. I know it is one of those glass half-empty or half-full things, but my preference is to believe that there is plenty of generosity and good will to go around and there will be just that much more of it, if I spread some around. It feels good and, it works. Think about it, who is likely to have better results, the business owner who is always talking bad about his or her clients and worried about getting taken advantage of? Or the business owner that lets the employees know they are valued and respected and creates good will with their customers? Whether you are a business owner, an employee or a client or customer, a little nice goes a long way. It is not only good for business, it is the cornerstone of a good life.
This week try it. Watch out for that cynical, suspicious, small minded little voice we all know is there. That one that tells you that it is okay to be a jerk. Look for ways to up the “nice” factor with your clients, employees, your vendors, the people you follow on Twitter or Facebook, the person at the dry cleaners and also, and most importantly, your children and your spouse.