Friday, February 22, 2008

Are Bad Manners now the norm in Business?

My friend and Business Associate David Wike raised an interesting issue with me in our latest email conversation. David was let down recently by a potential business client/customer who failed to show for a pre-arranged appointment.

When David rang to ask why he never showed the person explained he sent an email telling David he would not be able to make the appointment. David had not checked his e mail before leaving home and so he was oblivious to the email until he got back home.

I guess the person’s defence is he sent the e mail but as far as I’m concerned that is not enough.

I admit I am a bit obsessive about effective communication (actually I’m more than a ‘bit’ obsessive about communication) and I would probably double check the appointment but that is no excuse for what I consider bad manners.

I am increasingly surprised in modern society how some people are simply not conscientious enough to make sure they tell people if they cannot do something or make an appointment. Or even to simply respond to emails – we are talking basic communication skills here and good manners. This is not rocket science.

I believe email is the most fantastic form of communication ever invented BUT it is not fair to rely simply on email to transmit very important messages without checking.

In business we all have personal responsibility to demonstrate good manners and high ethics in our communication. I may be old fashioned but I see no defence whatsoever for such bad manners

Am I exaggerating the problem? - What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I think that it's easy to forget good manners when you are busy. I had a coworker (several levels below me) state that a please and a thank you would have been nice (regarding a call I had forwarded to him to handle). At first I took offense the call was his dept - not mine - then I realized he was right. I immediately called and apologized. I personally felt better having done that.

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Midstaub - interesting name.

You raise a fabulous point. A ‘thank you’ note or phone call is massively under estimated by most bosses. I love to be thanked when I do a good job and I love to give thanks. This stuff is so simple.

What is not helpful is too many 'thank yous' too often – that is as bad as not getting a ‘thank you’ at all!

Hope you will visit my Simplicity Blog again