As a kid, we can clearly remember that every time we were invited to a friend’s house for a visit – Mom only had one, but very clear instruction, for what kind of behaviour she expected of us while we were a guest in somebody else’s home.

“Remember to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you'”. That was the only instruction she ever gave, but as always – this sage advice was all that was necessary. It sounds counterintuitive to say it now – in a world dominated by strategy and suggestions on how to ‘win’ – but saying a simple ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ is a remarkable tactic of leverage.

Amanda Palmer’s Mom obviously gave her the same wisdom too.

Here’s her 2013 TED talk on the Art of Asking:

All too often for some reason, business strategy tends to be so caught up in clever tactics that extract the basic humanity out of a transaction rather than just simply going back to what all of our mothers taught us all as kids. Manners maketh a man, and we would argue maketh a business too. Just because you’re immersed in ideas of technology and cutting edge innovation doesn’t mean that you can forget your manners.

Saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ seems so random – it’s almost revolutionary. How weird is that?