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Start with Hello: How to Convert Today's Stranger into Tomorrow's Client by Linda Coles

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Chapter 15

Mind your manners

The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.

Fred Astaire

Are you naturally good mannered, and could your good manners help you overcome being a little shy when talking with a stranger?

My husband is a great guy, but he can be a little shy when it comes to meeting people for the first time. He prefers to wait for the conversation to get going and watch people in action before he adds anything into the mix. So I wondered how he approaches strangers in his busy working day. Does he make the effort to talk to them at all or does he simply ignore them? His response at first surprised me, but then when I had thought about it, I was surprised that I was the one who was surprised by his answer because he said, ‘It’s just good manners to say good morning when you share an elevator with someone, whether you know them or not.’

There you have it: it’s just good manners and nothing more, nothing to be scared of, and nothing to avoid; simply good manners. He certainly didn’t view saying good morning as a way to grow his business connection base in the elevator going up to his office each day. It was just a natural politeness.

‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ go a long way in most cultures and I think that as we seem to be always playing with our smart phone or something else, we use these pieces of equipment as a stopgap, something to fiddle with at awkward moments, rather than using good manners. We seem to always be trying to squeeze ...

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