Common Courtesy Still Is Part of Business

I was reminded twice today that business is more about common courtesy and building relationships than anything else.

First, I read a blog post titled “10 Things Your Grandmother Can Teach You About Social Media” on Social Media Today. It struck me that this post is not about the technicalities, such as which network to use or what information to post/share, of social media. It is about the common courtesy that people should extend to one another as human beings. It’s small but important things, including minding your manners, dressing appropriately, and doing what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it, that make all the difference. Doing these small things will get you the job, story, etc. when all else fails.

Second, I had the privilege of hearing Tim Mead, vice president of communications for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim speak to a small group (no more than 12) of IABC students at Cal State Fullerton this evening. He has been working for the Angels organization for 32 years in some capacity, including intern, secretary, assistant, director of public relations and more. His greatest takeaways from his years of experience working for several club owners and managers are this:

  1. Be polite and courteous to everyone, no matter who they are – media, players, fans, agents, children, etc.
  2. Always reply to every phone message, fax, email, Tweet etc. You never know where it will lead you.
  3. Listen. Often times his job is about fixing problems, and the only way to do that is to have all the information. Become the confidant and you’ll always have what you need.
  4. Nothing can replace please, thank you, yes please, no thank you, I don’t know and I’ll find out. These phrases can help get you out of almost every jam you can think of.

So few people take the time to say please and thank you these days, that when you hear it, you’re almost surprised. And it shouldn’t be that way. When was the last time you held the door open for someone and they just walked through without saying a word? How did that make you feel?

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