Do Manners Matter in Business Anymore? Banner Image

Do Manners Matter in Business Anymore?

I’m not sure that human business transactions are quite so human anymore.

People don’t seem to value traditional manners that much these days, and with the advancement of technology, the human element seems to be gradually fading.

Despite the increasing ease of virtual communication, you only tend to hear from people when they want something, even general chit-chat gets diminished to email. The polite (and often personal) back-and-forth of face-to-face meetings have been replaced by transactional demands on email and other messaging platforms. It seems that the time-poor nature of our society somehow makes this acceptable. Does this disassociation affect business? I know that we fill far more roles in companies where we have met the people in person.

With the use of technology, Please and Thank You seems to be disappearing, asking has become demanding, the art of negotiation is less of an art and much more of an insistence. Is this because our natural humanness, which is to generally like and get along with people, is being undermined by the faceless demands of technology? Manners only seem to matter when you think that other people are going to be around for a long time (like in-laws), but if you consider them disposable, then why should you make any extra effort?

This is so wrong.

Common courtesy does not cost much, but lack of it can ruin potentially fruitful relationships in an instant. I am proud of the fact that I still have relationships with people that I met years ago and even with a move from London to Sydney, those relationships are sustained. This is where technology does works! Once the foundation has been laid and the relationship has been nurtured it can easily be maintained using technology and the natural pace that the relationship has sustained continues with the use of technology.

Do you find it hard to trust someone who doesn’t take the time for the niceties of business? Is business conducted differently now? I have been around for a long time so maybe my expectations in business are different. Maybe the people that I have relationships with and have had for a long time and who have grown older with me, our view of business relationships is different to what is acceptable now. How do Millennials expect to do business in this day and age?

I do not judge someone because of their lack of good manners, but if that starts to impinge on our working relationship, then it is time to review. I don’t expect everyone to play by my rules but common courtesy does not cost anything and surely makes doing business more pleasant!

I do believe that good manners help relationships to flourish, and in uncertain times, that is sometimes all that holds relationships together.

I believe that manners still matter in business. What do you think?