A Better Way to Mind Your Manners

by Elizabeth Lytle

As children, we are taught to say “please” and “thank you,” two phrases widely recognized as the most fundamental tenets of basic manners.  And, you probably learned that saying “you’re welcome” was just as important.

This was the case for me.  Starting in kindergarten, it was ingrained that “you’re welcome” should be my go-to answer to someone’s expression of gratitude.  That all changed when I started my first job as a cashier at Chick-fil-A.

On day one of training, in addition to the basics of working the cash register and restocking the chain’s range of delicious sauces (Polynesian will always be my favorite), I was taught that saying “my pleasure” was an integral part of company culture.

“My pleasure” is a simple expression, but the underlying values it represents have the potential to change the way you interact with clients, co-workers, friends and family.  This elevated version of “you’re welcome” implies extra care has been taken.  It’s an acceptance of gratitude that shares genuine appreciation for an opportunity to do the work and to establish or strengthen relationships as a result.  While I was introduced to this subtle tweak in the hospitality industry, I’ve long since incorporated the phrase into my day-to-day lingo, both at work and at home.

At Curley & Pynn, we believe every interaction provides you not with an opportunity to answer, but to respond and share the message you want to convey.  So, the next time someone expresses appreciation, take the time to carefully respond, not just answer.

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