Beyond the Build


Manners as a Motivator

In our industry, I’ve found that many times folks use too much stick and not enough carrot. Let me explain.

Because of tight deadlines and performance pressures, resulting in little time, the industry tends to cater to impersonal emails at best, and raised voices at worst. Perhaps we could all practice better manners and carve out just a bit of time to say thanks. A little more “carrot,” using praise as a motivator.

At times, I believe we’ve become too dependent on text, email and social media for interaction. Technology can be a big hindrance on interpersonal relationships. We may be in contact more often, but the quality of our communication seems to be on the low cycle. All of this leads to a loss of that personal touch, and we forget to say thank you.

When appropriate, I try to encourage our folks to make a phone call instead of sending an email, or send a note through regular mail. If someone has been an outstanding partner to us, I try to write his or her manager a letter, complimenting a job well done. These seem to migrate downstream. This kind of personal interaction builds confidence and loyalty. Furthermore, it’s just good manners.

Image credit

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.