Managing courteously

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1. Be visible and accessible

Employees are more likely to respect you if they see you regularly and have an idea of what you do.

2. Greet everyone you see

Greet everyone in your organisation, even if they do not work in your department. When people get to know you as a person, they are more likely to share information, problems and suggestions with you – making you a more effective manager.

3. Get to know what your people do

Take an interest in what your people do, even if it’s not necessary to know. The chances are you will learn something, while your people will learn more about your working style and what you expect of them.

4. Make requests politely

Shouting at someone does not make them work better. Make requests politely, but assertively. If it’s outside their normal responsibilities, people are more likely to respond positively when you show them some respect.

5. Show your appreciation

Everyone should work hard and sometimes we need to work even harder to meet deadlines, yet very often this is quickly forgotten. Make sure you show your appreciation of people’s special efforts. Where they have worked longer hours than usual, remember to give them some time off.

6. Keep your people informed

Let people know what their efforts have achieved, so that they appreciate the value of what they do. Don’t just talk in terms of data or figures, but tell them what the real impact has been to the organisation.

7. Don’t get angry with your people

Deadlines and pressure can try our tempers sorely. But shouting at people just to let off steam is unacceptable and damaging. Try to explain to them the reason for your stress rather than seeking a target.

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Courtesy toolkit

See the other polite prompts in our please and thanks courtesy toolkit.

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