Yesterday I was traveling for work with a young coworker, and we had stopped for food on our way home. My coworker ordered, said please and thank you, and oddly enough, I noticed. Why did I notice? Because I don’t hear it much anymore.
In my free time, I tend to hang with a bunch of parents of pre-teen and teenagers. I’ve started to see parents not correcting their children for being abrupt, demanding, or not asking nicely for things. I once saw my good friend’s daughter scream directly in her face and literally bark orders. Honestly, If parents don’t teach our young people how to be nice/polite, it will spill into their jobs, their relationships, and become part of the way they communicate, and ultimately, into our society.
With all the fast new technology and the instant methods of communication, today our busy, no rest, ‘get it done’ lifestyles demand short succinct communication, and sadly, we have lost the art of common courtesy. We are inevitably headed backwards in our methods of speech. If something is not done, with all the cellphone staring, fast-paced everything, demanding stressful way of life, we WILL go back to the dark ages, with short bouts of demanding words that feel like you got clubbed in the head, like a caveman.
Niceties and politeness have been lost, on the job, as well. I went back to work after raising my kids, and my first week back in corporate america was a literal rude awakening. Everyone was pushy, demanding and exquisitely impolite. I would get these emails with no personal address, no signature, no please, no beating around the bush, with a coarse tone. It shocked me, and I ultimately had to ask my coworkers to ask nicely or I wouldn’t do what they wanted. On the job, everyone’s plates are spilling over, and people are in rush, rush, rush mode. And somewhere along the way, we stopped asking nicely. We stopped saying please, thank you, excuse me or you’re welcome.
That is not good. Pretty soon, no one will want to talk to each other and all we’ll do is grunt (ironically like cavemen). Losing all aspects of polite in life and on the job.
Trust me, you will get more out of your employees or just people in general if common courtesy is used. I don’t care who you are. From the president to the intern to your next door neighbor. Could you please be nice? Ask politely? No demands, no grunts, just a simple “hello,” “please,” and “thank you” will do. Everyone can still “get it done,” but with a little more positivity. It makes doing the job and just living life a whole heck of a lot easier and it won’t feel like we have reverted to the communication of cavemen.