Valdosta Daily Times


April 7, 2013

Common business courtesies coming back

VALDOSTA — As the saying goes, everything old is new again. Some things I hope never come back, like mullets, velour, and polyester, but some things are welcome to see again. And not just in clothing and hair styles, but in personal habits as well. Courtesies have been disappearing faster than the dinosaurs in the ice age, as technology has spoiled us and ruined relationships by removing the personal touch in one-on-one communication.

If you missed this year’s Gathering of Eagles at Wiregrass, you missed a great program with CEO Joel Manby of Herschend Entertaiment as the keynote speaker.

Obviously some advice he presented that day really made an impact on some of the attendees, and has spawned a local revolution, so to speak, in business courtesy.

In his presentation, Manby related the story of how Mr. Herschend had taken the time to write a handwritten thank you note to his family for allowing him to work so hard, expressing his appreciation for his efforts. How many bosses do that? Few, I’d wager. But the point Manby made is that taking the time to write a personal note to someone is a far better outreach for a business than just sending a quick text, tweet or email.

This week, I sent one handwritten note to a local business (please pardon my handwriting, by the way), and received two from two other businesses in town — one from Wild Adventures who obviously took her boss’ suggestions to heart, and another from someone at SGMC. And Manby was right — the uniqueness of receiving a note in the mail, the time and effort involved when an email would have been far quicker, and the thought behind the notes all made a lasting impression on me, and I’ve vowed to continue to pass this on myself.

And just think — if this old habit becomes new again, perhaps we’ve just found a solution to the post office’s woes. And even if it doesn’t help turn their business model around, perhaps it will improve, enhance and encourage other relationships, business or personal, in your own life as it has in mine. Thank you, Joel!

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