Old skool manners, do we actually need them?

“Good morning”, two very powerful words when put together and we all should be saying them daily. Raised in New Zealand by baby boomer parents, manners were important to our family, even more so whenever we interacted with others outside of our house. We were taught, as a young child, our behaviour was a direct reflection good or bad on our family, but as I grew older I started to see underlining messages behind the actions. This required some investigation into our past and present application of those words.

While researching on this topic when I came across an article from The Guardian written in 2011 about ‘The history of table manners’. They refer to Mrs Beeton Household Management book quoting her to have said ….”all creatures eat, but man only dines”. She was referring to human’s differences to other living creatures by our social manners & etiquette. Please remember this was written during the middle of 1800’s so I am not recommending we run our lives by these rules and regulations but is there something missing that we can glean from her principals? How can we bring those principals and apply them to our everyday life? The number one question is do we even need them??

A couple of weeks ago I was in a bit of a funk, things were changing and for whatever reason I wasn’t myself. I was complaining about others and how they had an issue with me during a conversation with my (developer) much better other half. I decided to investigate if this was a true analysis of the situation and run a A/B test based upon the previous day. I chose to get up the next day, with a super positive attitude to everyone, and I mean everyone with the idea to review my data at the end of the day. Over a glass of very nice wine, I inspected the day’s results with my partner to conclude it was me that was adding to these feelings of negativity and by changing my attitude, I had completely changed my experience – it was a great productive day.

So how does this all link back to manners and saying good morning? As professional software testers, we all need to bring our A game even when we’re in a funk, and we can start by greeting everyone in you meet with a positive “Good morning”. This ritual is designed to set up a social situation in which we can communicate and given communication is quintessential to our role, it should be a major foundation block to who we are.  In my opinion, having this skill is of utmost importance which can overshadow any other skill be it technical or soft because, its a foundation corner stone that you build everything else upon.

So who said old skool ain’t kool? They were wrong.

Speaking about old skool excellent testing sounds, try searching Spotify 80’s Club Classics by Chloe Elise Goldstein they are choice and keepin it real!

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