I was at a business networking event last week with a roomful of very important muckety mucks and the most strange and wonderful thing happened.
I met a gentleman early in the event and we began a conversation that I felt we never finished, which gave me a wonderful opening to follow up with him later. When I went to leave the event, he was talking to two other men, but I didn’t want to just disappear. So I went over to the group, excused myself to the two new men and asked it if was ok for me to say goodbye to my new acquaintance before I left. What happened next blew my mind.
The two men I had interrupted, and whom I did not know, commented to me that I was the only person in the room who had shown that courtesy. Their impression of this event was that, apparently, in a room full of VIMMs, everyone believes they’re the most important and, hence, that their time is most valuable, so they just go around butting in on everyone.
These two men, who I learned were new to this group, had been butted in on several times that evening and had a foul taste in their mouth from the event because of it. They told me that I was unique and that I stood out from the crowd, simply because I used the manners my mother taught me as a child.
I found this revelation strange because I can’t believe that of all the impressive people in that room, I’m the only one with any manners.
And, I find it wonderful because if it’s that easy for me to stand out in a crowd of very impressive people, then I’ve got it made!
Mind your manners, people. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s also good for business.