If you want people to respond favorably to you, mind your manners, advises training consultant Dr. Patricia Tice, author of the book Agri Manners: Essential Etiquette for Professional Success.
Tice’s training/consulting business, Etiquette Iowa, works to help individuals improve their personal behavior and succeed in business and life. Agriculture, she says, requires the same social skills as any other industry, especially given the broad array of audiences with whom people in agriculture work.
In a recent seminar sponsored by the Agricultural Relations Council, Tice said civil, mannerly behavior can help people rapidly adjust to any social setting or culture. She encouraged examining your own demeanor and daily behavior. Are you generally courteous and cordial to:
- Your own family
- Your employees and co-workers
- Your business associates
- Casual acquaintances and strangers?
Tice advised that making an intentional effort to show genuine interest in and engagement with people will yield almost instant, positive results. “Well-mannered people show sincere respect and regard for others, no matter their station in life,” said Tice.
Behaving civilly requires a degree of personal self-control. It is easier to have a knee-jerk reaction to a situation or behave in response to the way you are feeling at the moment. But Tice said making a sincere effort to ask questions, listen, share and learn from others nearly always creates a more mutually rewarding experience – whether it’s a two-minute interaction with a check-out clerk, or a two-hour meeting with your banker.
When people are ill-behaved, said Tice, they violate one or more of the four principles of manners – trust, honor, respect and love. If you are a sloppy houseguest, you are violating the principle of honor. If you are rude to a waitress, you are violating the principle of respect. And if you speak unkindly to your spouse, you are violating the principle of love.
Tice said desire is the fundamental motive that drives all human behavior. The more successful you are at helping others obtain what they desire – including the fundamental desires for recognition, respect, appreciation and trust – the more well-received and respected you will be.
Finally, she noted good manners are important no matter how successful you become. “If you are more fortunate than others, it is better to build a longer table than a taller fence,” advised Tice.
Learn more about Dr. Patricia Tice and Etiquette Iowa/Agri Manners at www.agrimanners.com.