Courtesy - excellence of manners or social conduct; polite behavior. A courteous, respectful, or considerate act or expression.
I have had the conversation on too many occasions lately, "Has common courtesy disappeared?" I have been too and hosted events where more than 150 people were invited to the event and less than 30 % responded.
From the discussions we came to the conclusion that common courtesy has taken a backseat. Today, when you email someone internally or externally from your company it’s a 50/50 chance they will respond in a timely manner or at all. The same seems to be the case when leaving a voice message, and the odds drop I would say to less than 30 % response rate when sending someone an Evite. Has technology been slowly eating away at our common courtesy?
Put common courtesy back on your to do list, and hopefully it will have the butterfly effect. I am positive that if we show each other respect/courtesy, our colleagues, our prospects, our friends and our current clients will be happier and business service internally and externally will improve.
- Return voice messages within 24 hrs (do not respond ALL when it is not necessary)
- Respond to ALL email requests within 24 hrs (48 hrs max)
- Respond to all invitations prior to the RSVP date (even if not going). If you say attending and then cannot, let the host(s) know asap don't just be a no show. (Hosts put time in putting events together, and have invited you for a reason. Have the courtesy to respond)
- Say thank you and please (if you have children teach them early of benefits of showing respect)
- If you are on vacation, have an out of office message on your voicemail and email
- Don’t have your phone 'out' while having a conversation (definitely no texting)
- Turn off your phone ‘ringer’ when in meetings
- Be on time to your meetings (aim to be 10 minutes early)
- If you are running late (sometimes unavoidable), let whomever you are meeting know
- If you have someone coming to your office, and your current appointment is running long let your next appointment know (e.g.would it not be nice if your doctor's office called/ text you to let you know they are running late and please come 30 min later) Treat everyone's time with respect.
- Don't play pokemon when you are with others
- Check your emails for spelling errors prior to sending (been guilty)
- If you say you are going get 'something' done by a certain date or time make sure it gets done. If you cannot complete by promised day/time let the person who is expecting the 'something' know. (under-promise over-deliver)
I am sure you have many additional courtesies that you miss. What is important to you to you? Please feel free to add in comments.
"The true greatness of a person, in my view, is evident in the way he or she treats those with whom courtesy and kindness are not required." Joseph B. Wirthlin
May common courtesy once again raise its head, and become the norm.
Thank you for taking the time in reading the article.