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Professional Courtesy


Robby

When we are young, our parents teach us how to say “Please” and “Thank you.” They explain how to share our toys and not to interrupt when others are speaking. What happens to courtesy when we reach the workplace?

For some, it seems that basic kindness is thrown out the window at work. In some respects, this might be a predictable reaction to the competitive environment of American business. But just because it’s a fierce fight out there to win customers and deliver great products, that doesn’t mean we should be rude to each other. Rather, it means that it’s even more important to treat others with dignity.

As a small business owner, the area of professional courtesy where I see the most challenge is in maintaining correspondence. I leave voicemail messages which are never returned. I send emails which seem to vanish into an abyss. I know that people are busy, and furthermore I know that people may not have time to have a conversation right now. However, I do my best to return every message that is sent to me. At the very least, I try to politely decline.

Perhaps the most essential element of courtesy is how it enables us to be human. Consider a few kind words of greeting, a straightforward apology and the phrase, “thanks, but I’ll pass.”  This will make the day that much easier for others. Work can be productive, but it can also be kind.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Wed, June 29 2011 » Corporate Culture, Success Consciousness

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