The cost-benefit of being polite

“Thank you” doesn’t cost anything. It is quick and it is easy.

“Thank you” takes about one second of extra time to type, less to say on the telephone, or, depending on your dexterity, about the same time to send in a text.

Some of my other favorite words I like to include in an email or post don’t cost anything either:

  • Appreciate
  • Help
  • Happy

Bonus points for using all three in one sentence: “We really appreciate your help and we’re happy with the direction this is going.”

And of course these don’t hurt either:

  • Awesome
  • Creative
  • Trust

I am not advocating lying, flattery, or sucking-up to speed your project along and get what you want. But, a little basic courtesy and kindness goes a long way towards getting a project done, especially during crunch times or when a deadline has to be met right away and everyone’s feeling the pressure.

The tendency to write short, terse emails risks that you may give the impression of being angry, when you, the writer, actually feels nothing of the sort, beyond the urgency of the moment. We like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt! But, when notes are consistently cursory or ill tempered, it’s hard not to think about how the emails could be reworded and still get their point across.

I think it becomes more of a habit or style to post that way, and it could be just as easy to start a new habit that’s not only more polite, but maybe even more professional, too.

When our colleagues in business are so darn agreeable and friendly, no matter what the urgency, we tend to put in extra effort. It sounds trivial, but it really makes a difference in everyone’s outlook, which translates to better work and better results.

In the end, trust that everyone wants the same thing: to create the best [fill in project here] ever, on time. But, equally important: to look forward to working together again.

Thank you.

Posted by Elena Nazzaro | Best Practices | Comments 0 |
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