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The Death of Common Courtesy

A little sincerity can go a long way.

Click for AUDIO version.

The other day we had a new FedEx driver make a delivery at our office in Palm Harbor. Since I happened to be by the front door, I opened it and watched him approach. He wore a scowl on his face as if he had been having a bad day. I opened the door, greeted him warmly, shook his hand and asked how his day was going. As I signed for the delivery, the driver looked at me strangely. I asked him if there was a problem. He said, no, it was just that I was the first person that day to be friendly to him and actually ask how he was doing. He said in most companies he visits he's pretty much taken for granted and treated rudely.

I asked if he thought this was something unique to him as an individual. He said, no, the other drivers often speak of the callousness of their clientele. Come to think of it, I have seen evidence of this elsewhere. For example, when I go to a restaurant, the waiters and waitresses are often taken aback when I kid with them and ask them about their day. Often they look at me like I might have some ulterior motive. But once they get past this, they warm up to me and we have a good working relationship.

This made me stop and think about today's corporate work place. Have we become so jaded and insensitive as to disregard the interpersonal relationships of our employees, our customers, and our vendors? Have we become so self-centered and aloof that we no longer care how we treat other people?

You know, I learned a long time ago that you can catch a heckova lot more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. A little courtesy and hospitality can go a long way with people. For example, I learned the virtues of a firm handshake some time ago. I don't just give them some wishy-washy handshake and look through the person. I look them squarely in the eyes, shake their hand and tell them how glad I am to see them. Something as simple as a sincere handshake can work miracles.

We must remember that we don't conduct our business with inanimate objects, but rather with human beings. Sharpening our people skills is incredibly important to accomplish anything worthwhile in life. Simple common courtesy is a big part of this. Try it. Next time that FedEx or UPS driver comes to your door or a waitress to your table, look up at them, greet them with a smile and ask them how they're doing; heck, even often them a handshake. You will be pleasantly surprised with the service you'll get in return. I'll tell you this; we have no problems with shipments or deliveries at our office. How about yours?

Keep the Faith!

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Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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