How to be "Manners Mindful" at Work

PSOW Staff - Thursday, August 03, 2017

We hear a lot about the concept of “mindfulness” these days, with all of us being reminded to be “present” and “aware” in nearly every situation imaginable. Mindfulness defined is the human ability to be fully present, to be aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and to avoid being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

One of the most important places where the concept of mindfulness is crucial is in the workplace, particularly when it comes to being aware of good manners. As part of Bring Your Manners to Work Day, we give the top 10 tips on being “Manners Mindful” to demonstrate how being intuitive and aware of your behavior—and reactions—can boost morale and create a happier working environment.

Control your temper:Work and stress go hand in hand and we can all get overly emotional in both our actions and responses. But when you feel your temper going into the tantrum zone, stop and think if your heated response will help the situation. A walk outside, a trip to the breakroom or an early lunch might be the best course of action before you blow your lid.

Respect: Having respect for those who are different from us speaks volumes about integrity, trust and the ability to work in a collaborative environment. Being mindful of the cultural, religious and social values of your coworkers can also help you avoid embarrassment, hurt feelings and fractured relationships.

Foul Play: One of the best ways to show respect to yourself and others is to refrain from using offensive or demeaning language to colleagues and subordinates. Using foul words or offensive language is a bad idea in either the verbal or written form. When you avoid using this type of language and discouraging its use by others, you do wonders for your reputation.

Jokes and puns: Sure, we’ve all heard an off-color joke or pun in the office, but they really are frowned upon in today’s culturally diverse working environment—especially jokes that demean or belittle someone because of race, religion, sexuality, or other cultural descriptors. Not only should you be mindful to avoid such humor, you should always remember to not encourage these kinds of jokes from others.

Showing Gratitude: Having an attitude of gratitude is one of the best ways to show your colleagues that you care about their work, their ideas and their very presence. When you remember to actually express that gratitude, you create relationships that can last a lifetime.

Listening: The art of listening is often lost in our self-centered world. But when you take the time to remember that others may add value to the conversation, you show true respect for the feelings, ideas and contributions of others.

Don’t be sexist: One would imagine sexism is not an issue in today’s diverse business world but, unfortunately, this is not always true. Our advice: Just Don’t Do It.

Respect the privacy of others: When it comes to rumors, gossip and “talking out of school” about someone in your office, take a moment and put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Also, ask yourself what is the benefit of such idle chatter and how will it affect the target of the gossip? Best advice? Avoid spreading and listening to gossip and focus on your work.

Be welcoming to new employees: The first day in a new office can be a very intimidating situation for even the most seasoned professional. That’s why a warm welcome to a new employee can leave a lasting impression and affect your working relationship in a very positive manner. Remember that you were once in that person’s shoes and welcoming the new kid is the polite and right thing to do.

September 1, 2017 is Bring Your Manners to Work Day - A day to remind people of the importance of treating people with courtesy and respect in the workplace. Share our Manners Matter Tip Sheet

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