Maugie Lyons: RESPECT

Find out what it means to Maugie Lyons, head of commercial operations, Royal Horticultural Halls…

As newspapers lay bare the private lives of Z-list celebrities and politicians are accused of bullying, I do wonder when it all started to go wrong. How can we expect our kids to show respect to their elders, when their elders seem to have forgotten the meaning of the word?

I was brought up to follow the creed of “do as you would be done by” and I don’t think it’s done me any harm. However, as I watch TV interviewers riding roughshod over their “guests”, travel on buses whose drivers jump red lights and see commuters elbowing their way on to trains before others have got off, I do sometimes feel as if I’m part of a dying breed.

2009 may have been a tough year financially, but what left me totally staggered was the amount of letters of thanks that we received from satisfied clients – and even suppliers. Small gestures of appreciation like these really boosted staff morale and in turn pushed everyone to surpass their expectations time and time again – the knock on effect leading to greater business generation. But it shouldn’t stop there. If your team has done a good job, thank them for it. If someone does you a good turn, let them know you are grateful. Good manners and respect cost nothing and are the foundation on which good relationships are built. Simple as it sounds, there are many who don’t put such behaviour into action.

In a business context, respect goes a long way. I have always been a firm believer that first impressions are a deal breaker. Put simply – clients are more likely to recommend a team that is pleasant than one that is not.

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Respect permeates everything, every day of our lives. Not just the work place, but family life and friends, Facebook and Twitter. As we scratch our heads over the problem of hoodlum teenagers and their antisocial habits, and ponder how to inject some respect into the adolescent population, maybe we should take a look at ourselves. Let’s start to smile at people, give way to other drivers and say please and thank you. Remember, we’re in the events industry and should be leading by example – you never know, we might just be able to start a revolution!