The old adage that a little courtesy goes a long way has never been more relevant than it is in the 21st century workplace. While grand actions are good and have their benefits to your coworkers, most of the time it is simple common courtesy that really counts. In this article, we will look into some of the most important common courtesy to remember to use in the workplace. While some may sound too simple and commonplace, you might be surprised that their effect on your coworkers, and even on yourself, is not simplistic.
A simple “good morning” gives your colleagues the impression that you care. This is especially important when you are a person in high positions of management. Your subordinates feel that they are important to you and that you do not despise them. Most people remember the coworkers who say good morning and good bye more fondly than those that sent them expensive gifts on their birthday.
Call people by their names
On the first encounter with someone, try as much as possible to remember their name and refer to them using their preferred name. Renowned motivational writer and management trainer, Dale Carnegie captured this best when he asserted, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” This common courtesy practice shows respect, appreciation, and acceptance.
Respect personal belongings and space
Although you might be very close to your workmates, always remember that everyone has a line of privacy that they like to keep to themselves. To show this respect for space and privacy, always politely ask your workmate whether you can sit at their workstation while they are away, only touch things that they have allowed you to, and so on.
Show up and respect time
Showing up when you are expected to be at your workplace and doing tasks in a timely fashion always shows that you value your colleagues and respect them. It also creates the impression that you are dependable and courteous. If, for some reason, something happens and you are late, call in advance and apologize. However, do not make this a habit. Respect for time also means that you complete your duties and assignments on time, especially those that your coworkers rely on to get their work done.
Whenever your colleagues are talking to you, pay attention genuinely to their verbal and nonverbal expressions. They may not be saying something that you consider particularly important to you, but they are telling it to you because it is important to them! Let your body language show that you are actively involved in the conversation, ask them questions without interrupting them, nod with appreciation, and thank them for sharing their thoughts with you.
Say “Thank you,” “Please,” and “Sorry”
It costs you absolutely nothing to utter these simple words to anyone. Even when you are giving instructions to your juniors, always use these words.