The past few days I’ve been thinking a lot about common courtesy and the actions of others. In today’s world of technology and the ability to both stalk and dodge people, I think society is loosing site on the rules of common courtesy. It is too easy to forget to show gratitude and too easy to avoid an uncomfortable situation by hiding behind a computer or letting it go to voicemail. Seriously, let’s just go back to the basic principles of please and thank-you, and embracing human interaction.
Here are some examples I’d like to share:
- When someone calls, answer it…or call them back if you miss it. It isn’t nice to ignore calls or just listen to a voicemail and forget it happened. The same goes for emails. If someone tries to sell you something and you aren’t interested, just tell them you aren’t interested (unless it’s spam and they ask for your personal details for the Royal Bank of Scotland). If it’s a friend and you are in a dispute, call them back and deal with it. It’s called life and it happens.
- If someone goes out of their way for you, thank them. Seriously, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like my efforts to go above and beyond weren’t acknowledged. I don’t need a skywriter to provide a thank-you note, just a simple thank-you and recognition that I did something beyond what is expected. Trust me, that “thank-you” will go a long way the next time the opportunity to go beyond comes along. Also, don’t take advantage of kindness, instead return the favor.
- If you say you are going to do it, do it. If you weren’t going to do it, then why did you say you were int he first place? In general, if you declare you are going to do something, please do it. If you run into a barrier or experience complications, make that known. Most people are forgiving when they understand the circumstances, but they can’t be understanding if they are uniformed.
Basically, these three actions boil down to using effective communications. It’s about speaking with people, listening to people, and responding when it makes sense. It is also the difference between saying you are going to do something and actually do it. These common courtesy principles are getting lost in the technology shuffle and it is just unacceptable!