Courtesy – life’s game changer (Part 2)

The world is all dressed up for Christmas. Christmas lights and decor create a positive and a vibrant vibe. Most workplaces go into a holiday mode. Christmas parties are happening all over the place. There are celebrations galore. Many take a break at this time, especially with the trend of revenge travel after 2 years of holding back during the pandemic. As the year ends we all start to reflect on the year gone by and wonder what lies ahead of us. Then of course the new year brings resolutions. How do we become a better version of ourselves? What will we stop doing and what will we start doing?

This is where most of us evolve into a new mindset. We delve into a mindset circle of change. The more I write this column- ‘Destination Mindset’, the more I see its different dimensions. Mindset is our natural attitude which results in how we behave. This behavior inspires action which affects the way we act and perform and therefore create the results of what we do. In other words, our mindset = performance and results. Have you ever thought of it that way?

In my previous article we saw how courtesy is life’s game changer and how you should rewire yourself to a courtesy mindset for sustainable success. We also examined how courtesy is going beyond just being polite. We also listed out simple tenets of courtesy. Let’s now look at other aspects of courtesy which are important in making our life better and impactful.

Courtesy in communication

When we interact with colleagues, clients, family and friends we use communications as a mode to converse. Messages, e mails, calls etc .There are simple ways to bring courtesy in your communications to show mutual respect and build relationships. The biggest basic expectation here is a suitable response. When you get an email, acknowledge it if you will take time to respond but make sure you do. The person who has sent you the written communication wants a reply. We are quick to respond to a client but keep our colleague’s response low in priority. You can respond to your personal messages and communications at your own pace but do respond to business communication quickly whether to your client or colleague. This is fundamental business courtesy!

Dining etiquette

Dining with your client or colleagues is still part of workplace custom today. Many meetings happen which are followed by lunch. We attend conferences where lunch or dinner breaks provide valuable networking platforms. However, these events are not at your home with your family or a get together with friends! There is a work culture here too. If it’s a sit down lunch or dinner, remember to eat neatly and noiselessly. Try not to eat with your mouth open and mind your table manners. Stand up buffets are popular, where you have to be mindful how you balance your plate, cutlery, food – eat and talk. There are two simple unsaid rules here. Do not talk with food in your mouth or just barge into a group standing around and conversing! Always ask if you can join them. It’s also courteous when you are the host to ask your guests what they would like to eat, rather than order your own hot favourites without consulting them!

Maintaining a culture of mutual respect

All through any interaction ensure a culture of mutual respect and courtesy. Have an ear for everyone. Do not listen to reply, but listen to understand. Successful organizations are made of successful teams and successful teams follow an open culture where everyone’s suggestions are taken into consideration on merit. It’s a courtesy mindset that promotes equal opportunity and giving credit where it is deserved. It’s a leader’s responsibility to create a fair and supportive work environment. After all, an employee spends most of his time at work. And he richly deserves workplace etiquette and courtesy.

“Courtesy is a small act but it packs a mighty wallop” Lewis Carrol

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Amitesh Banerjee
Amitesh is a seasoned positive integrated communications disruptor with several years of multi- country/multi- domain experience. He has worked for reputed organisations in senior leadership positions including JWT, ITC, New Zealand Dairy Board, Seychelles Marketing Board, Perfect Relations, Genesis BCW, Adfactors, Della Group, H+K Strategies among others. Amitesh is Senior Vice President of Beanstalk Asia- a leading Integrated Marketing Communications firm.

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