Having good manners is defined as behaving in a way that does not make other people uncomfortable in your presence. Since it is crucial that a workplace have a pleasant and supportive environment, everyone in it is expected to contribute to creating a workplace environment that promotes good relationships among workers.

Minding your manners can do many good things to your career as well. Not only will you be likeable and loveable to your coworkers, showing your good manners even during a job interview will make you attractive to employers. For many employers and hiring managers, hiring for manners is a priority because they believe that everything else could be trained for and learned on the job.

So how can you improve your manners in the workplace? Take a look at these tips:

1. Focus on what’s in front of you. In this time and age, people tend to work like multitasking machines. You will often see workers talking on the phone, walking to a meeting, checking emails, and drinking coffee at the same time. Although this is something that happens very often, hardly anybody would say that it is fun juggling tasks.

When you do multitasking, you can be sure that the person you are talking to on the phone would feel that you are not all ears on what he or she is saying. It can also be very distracting for the person on the other line to hear the noise on your end as you do something else. In short, this could make you look so distracted and inattentive. What you should do is take it slow, and pay full attention to whatever it is you are doing at the moment. People will surely appreciate this kind of effort.

2. Check your voicemail from time to time. Especially if you are into a people business, you need to make yourself accessible and approachable at all times. This isn’t easy, of course, but by checking your voicemail every now and then, you will be able to give priority to your more important contacts. You wouldn’t want your clients or customers to feel taken for granted.

3. Don’t hesitate to apologize for a mistake. We all screw up at work, but this isn’t what actually puts people in trouble. When you try to deny or cover up your mistake, you will surely be in a lot of trouble. Keep in mind that making mistakes is part of growing, so you shouldn’t be afraid of admitting your mistakes and apologizing for them. This, of course, doesn’t mean that you are allowed to make mistakes again and again. You need to learn from your every mistake to avoid making it again in the future.

Those who know how to handle their own mess earn a lot of respect in the workplace.

4. Practice good email etiquette. If you feel your email message is worth getting published in the newspaper, then go ahead and send it. Sending email messages is now a crucial element in communicating, not only within organizations, but among them as well. Thus, you should know and apply proper email etiquette whether you are sending it to a coworker or to a client.

If you just engaged in an argument, for instance, it won’t be a good idea to compose your email right away. What you should do is walk away from your computer, get some fresh air and try to be relaxed before you send any email message.

5. Don’t take even small gifts for granted. A simple thank you will not take much of your time, so there is no point in not being able to do so to acknowledge the gift you received from a coworker. You have to realize that the person who sent you the item wants to make sure you get it. Thus, it is just reasonable that you be required to notify him or her in a timely manner.

6. Never take it out on someone else. When you are frustrated about something and you feel like nothing is going your way, it could be very easy to let other people feel your annoyance or anger. You may have seen people screaming at cahiers or receptionists just because the latter made a very petty mistake. This is likely to happen during times when you can’t seem to do anything right.

When you feel like everything is falling apart, try hard to keep your composure. Don’t blame those people who have nothing to do with what you do. Of course there is no way you could take it out on your boss, but making other people feel your anger won’t make you feel better either. Take a walk or have some coffee just to calm yourself down. Return to your desk when you’re sure you’re ready to handle your concerns.

Practicing good manners is very important in establishing a good reputation in the workplace and in the community as a whole. If you are planning on changing jobs, for instance, you cannot expect your employer to give you a referral if you have a reputation of having bad manners. So always make an effort to keep your manners in check.

Author's Bio: 

Cecile Peterkin is a certified career and retirement coach, and a registered member of the Career Professionals of Canada and the International Coach Federation. She is also the Founder and Senior Career Strategist at Cosmic Coaching Centre, provider of career and life management services for middle managers and mid-career professionals across Canada, United States and Europe.