Robert Fulghum was onto something important when he talked about “All I really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten.” Here are a few things from the list:
- Share everything.
- Play fair.
- Put things back where you found them.
- CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
- Don't take things that aren't yours.
- Say you're SORRY when you HURT somebody.
These are all relevant for bringing your manners to work. Interestingly, there is increasing science behind the fact that being kind is good for your brain and enables you to be more effective in the world. Good manners are often consistent with basic human kindness. I am not suggesting that you must crook your little finger when drinking a cup of tea, but perhaps there are good reasons behind the basic manners we learned.
Sometimes when you are not sure how to react to something, following good manners perhaps most of all “If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything” or saying “please” and “thank you” or offering to let someone go ahead of you in line can give you enough time to think about how you want to react.
Before reacting, you can ask yourself these questions about what you are going to say or about what was said to you:
- Is it true?
- Is it necessary?
- Is it kind?
If not, perhaps, it’s best, at least in the moment to not say anything. I am not by any means suggesting being a doormat or not looking out for yourself. I think, though, that we can get our points across and be successful in all walks of life by both being kind and following those basic manners we learned early in life.
What do you think? Can you be both kind and successful at work?
Holistic Health Coach