Friday, March 6, 2015

Ms. Etiquette Makes an Appearance

It's a legitimate business practice. Also, it's just plain common sense and good manners. We take care of each other. It's what we do.

My mom has always been Little Miss Thank You. (Okay, well, there were times when she was Little Miss Stop Yelling or So Help Me, but that's irrelevant.) She taught me to say thank you at any and every opportunity. If I forget everything else (like saying Bless You when someone sneezes because I think it's ridiculous, what are we blessing them for exactly?) I will always remember the importance of showing gratitude. 

And here's a little bit of a tip, showing gratitude opens doors for you. Asking for help in a respectful way and then being oh-so-grateful when it arrives ensures that people will want to help you the next time. However, when someone does the best they can to come to our aid (however well they accomplish the task) and we don't respond, it can be construed as ungrateful or worse, entitled. That's not the impression we want to make in our personal or professional lives. 
So, as a budding author, seasoned educator, and well-established resident of the planet, let me pass along a few tips. From Ms. Etiquette to you, in the realms of business (i.e. writing, marketing, etc.) and life:

Say Please: it may not be a magic word, but it is genteel. It's all right if we don't have all the answers. We can ask for help. And we must do it in a kindly way.

Say Thank You: do it a lot! Make sure those in your corner of the universe know they are appreciated. Especially when someone goes above and beyond the call of duty, just share the love! Fake effusions are of no use, but heartfelt thanks are always in order. (And maybe chocolate.)

Learn to Apologize Appropriately: this is isn't a grumbled Sorry, this is an admission of guilt or at least of ownership over the mistake. Again, flowery isn't helpful. True sincerity can be conveyed simply and eloquently.

Learn to Forgive and Move on: gracious acceptance of an apology, as well as speedy forgiveness, is always attractive. Sometimes we won't have the luxury receiving an appropriate apology. This is when we pull on the big girl panties and move on. Clinging to old offenses only damages us, our prospects, and ultimately our professional and personal life. (While we're at it, we'll forgive ourselves for our mistakes and shortcomings as well.)

We're All In This Together: develop the mindset of personal responsibility within the group. I am responsible for who is around me and what happens around me. I will do my best to act and respond in a respectful way.
Manners matter. And being kindly is never a bad choice. Carry on, my lovelies. 
Would you like to learn a bit more about writerly etiquette? Try The Good, The Bad, & The Meh, There Are Weirdos For Everyone, Author Envy, or My First... Happy reading!


  1. Very apposite. I have been having a row with someone on here (no names but I could). This man is a journo, adores himself and loves being adored. He rarely says please or thank you -I let him guest on my blog recently, no thanks. Never again! His latest faux pas? I asked him to comment encouragingly on my latest post ( Jess, my 16 yr old - you read it). I told him it would mean a lot to her. So far no comment. I so agree that pleases and thank yous and RTs are important. OK, of you don't RT me, RT someone else. Your blog should be compulsory reading!!

    1. Thank you! Shall I admit that this is my public response to a private slight as well? How hard is it to acknowledge that someone has done you a solid? Not that damn hard. Just saying. And yes love, we are in this together. Lots of love to you from Ms Etiquette.

  2. Lovely post! Interesting conversation, too Sarah and Carol. I was just thinking how etiquette extends to professionalism, and upon reading your comments it sounds as though writers/bloggers could consider the importance of basic manners! Thank yous and acknowledgements cast a long ray of sunshine! Thanks for the post! :-)

    1. Thanks, Charli! As an educator and a writer, it's my goal to spread good manners and sunshine and thank yous as far as I can go. Sounds like we're together in that too!

  3. So true, Sarah! Great reminders. Personally, I'm trying to get better at thank you notes. An actual card in the mail! (ha)