Nancy Wu, Head of Client Service
Personally, I would rather work with a thoughtful person than an entitled jerk any day – no matter how talented the jerk is. Because on a day-to-day basis, there is nothing more demoralizing than having to collaborate with inconsiderate folks who act as if good manners are optional in a business setting.
Workplace etiquette, while not covered in business school curriculum, is still a powerful factor that determines how much others want to work with us, how well-liked we become at work and ultimately our professional reputation. Here are three small ways to demonstrate respect for our colleagues everyday:
Take Good Care of People’s Time
Time is, by far, our most precious resource. When interviewing for a new job, we’re not only on time, but often early. So shouldn’t we extend the same courtesy to the people we work with? If you’re hosting, start and end the meeting on time. If you’re a participant, don’t disrupt other peoples’ meetings by walking in late. Either be prompt or get debriefed later.
A little verbal affirmation goes a long way to improving office culture – even more than company sponsored happy hours. No one appreciates an indiscriminate suck-up, but pointing out something that others have done for you – even if it’s part of their job – shows awareness of contribution brought in by someone other than yourself.
Listen, and then Remember
To be listened to is to be loved. And these days, it’s hard to find someone who’s not talking, and even more impressive when the listener actually remembers what you said. So impress others with your attentiveness by remembering the little details during conversation.