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Daily Leadership Thought #169 – How We Treat Others

July 8, 2011

Free Cheerful multiethnic businesswomen shaking hands in modern office Stock Photo

It feels like as a society we have become too self-obsessed and forgotten how to treat others.

I am regularly surprised by the lack of manners in our daily business interactions these days.  Simple things like saying “please” and “thank you”, returning phone calls/emails in a timely manner, and living up to your word/promises have fallen by the wayside.  I’m not sure why this is, although there are certainly many theories ranging from declining cultural values to increasing workload stress.  However, I do know that this phenomenon is creating significant problems in the workplace and as with everything, it starts at the top.

The simple fact is that people respond better when they feel respected, and you treat them well.  It doesn’t matter whether it is a client, business partner or direct staff report.  Of course, a disrespectful experience leads to a similarly negative response (sometimes passive or even worse aggressive).  Unless you are the one business who has figured out a way to be successful despite your staff and/or customers not because of them, then you are simply creating unnecessary obstacles on your own path to success.

Do yourself a favor – model the positive manners and behavior you want to see in others and yourself.  Make people feel good about their interactions with you.  Act like you genuinely care about the other person, even if the message at times needs to be a difficult one.   Treat them as you would like to be treated. I have no doubt that the end-result of this behavior will be positive for you personally and professionally.  Change always starts one person at a time and someone needs to take the imitative.  Why not begin with the leader (you)?   The good news is that positive behaviors can be infectious, and you will quickly notice the difference in how people respond to you and your company.