Manners Matter

I am ruthless when it comes to manners. People who condone rudeness are summarily excised from my life. People who say they’re “just being honest” when they’re defending their blunt, unnecessary comments get deleted instantly.

While most of those people will never miss me, there’s a life and business lesson for the few who are willing to consider another perspective.

Sensitive people who value good manners have a larger pool of wisdom available to them than those who don’t care what others think of them.

People need to feel safe to communicate. In Crucial Conversations, the authors point out that the most effective people in their studies had the ability to get everyone involved in a conversation to put all the information they had on the table. Having all the information was the key. People who don’t feel safe hold back. Usually, what they hold back is the most emotionally sensitive stuff. Of course, that’s where the passion is, and often, where the real value is.

Yes, there are some people so confident that they feel safe to say exactly what they mean in any conversation. They’ll get the benefit of free and open conversation with others just like them.

What they won’t get is free and honest communication with more sensitive types, folks who won’t feel safe opening up their most passionate thoughts.

Unless there’s a valid argument that emotionally sensitive people are fundamentally less intelligent, there’s an enormous pool of data, wisdom, passion that some folks are denying themselves.

Manners matter. Being polite isn’t just a throwback to antiquated mores. It’s a practical tool for making the most of relationships, personal and professional.