“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” – Emily Post
Several recent communications have made me sit back and think a minute about the topic of courtesy and consideration:
- Within the first two weeks of school resuming, I received an email from our school’s principal asking parents to “please refrain from beeping their horns and swearing at other parents and staff members” while in the drop off line.
- I was forwarded a news story from a friend about two airline passengers getting into a fight over a reclining seat back.
- At Lead Star, we have received an influx of requests regarding civility training within the workforce to build respect-based cultures.
This raises an important question in my mind: Are we all so focused on our individual needs and wants, that we cannot display simple courtesy to others in our daily interactions?
While we can’t control the actions of others, we can always control our own. Courtesy and consideration begins with us. We can start by practicing service-based leadership:
- Instead of focusing on how someone’s actions are inconveniencing you, think about how you could assist them. This could be as simple as asking them how they’re doing (or how their family is doing) to learn more about any challenges they might be experiencing.
- Inviting a colleague to lunch or a cup of coffee could be a great catalyst for a productive discussion about difficulties they may be experiencing with a colleague or on a recent assignment. Ask how you can assist them and express empathy for their challenges.
If we all went about our day with an attitude of service-based leadership, we might be surprised at the results.