Inspiring Tips

Inspire With Decencies

 “It’s called the two- minute schmooze and it’s the essence of the power of small decencies.  There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of small gestures of decency that can be offered by individuals who have no expectation of reward.  We’re people who can make a difference in another’s person’s day, and we’re people who want to be treated with respect, humanity, and caring. Out of such actions, multiplied dozens of times a day over a period of time, corporate cultures take root and out sprout a thousand points of light.

Here are a selection of decencies from Steve Harrison’s book The Manager’s Book of Decencies: How Small Gestures Build Great Companies that many people have already put to work successfully.

Consideration Decencies

*         Make introductions creative

- For meetings of up to 10 people, make names memorable by asking each person to repeat the name of the ones introduced already.

- For larger groups, take 60 seconds for people to introduce themselves to the person on the right (name, organization/department, job title). Then have that person do the introduction of the person they just talked to.

- At new-employee originations ask individuals to stand and tell their name, department, previous work, family and one thing about themselves that few people are likely to know

*         Invite employees to lunch (The emphasis must be on the invitation. They need to be able to say no – if they feel there’ll be repercussions for declining, then what you have is not a decency but a meeting.)

Recognition Decencies

*         Make work a family affair (One organization, when placing a positive letter in an employee’s personnel file, has HR also a copy to the person’s home address.)

*         Create a Wall of Fame

*         Bring “welcome to the team” flowers on a new person’s first day

*         Have a brown-bag welcoming lunch to meet new employees

*         Post a sign at the office’s entryway with the new employee’s name

*         Give $2 bills as symbols of instant recognition.

*         Celebrating unusual holidays, such as Groundhog Day, Arbor Day, Bastille Day, Polish Independence Day, or the summer solstice.

*         Simply notice their work and comment about in – in specific terms

Listening Decencies

*         Apply the 60-second rule (The 60-second rule says to divide your subject into thoughts that can be expressed in a minute or less. If someone is interested, he or she will ask a question, and then you can continue for another 60 seconds, and so on. The result will be a conversation instead of a lecture or monologue.)

*         Resist the temptation to interrupt


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