When I founded my marketing company MindZoo in 2001, three of my five Core Values were as follows:
- Value all people as individuals – with individual goals, desires and lives.
- Regard clients, vendors, affiliates and business partners as deserving of an equal level of respect.
- Inspire someone else every day.
Am I naïve to believe these core values should remain intact and unchanged? Does my company, established on an optimistic foundation of positive work interactions, creativity and professional civility, possess values that are still valid and engaging in the today’s hyperactive electronic age?
Of course, not only is RediscoverCourtesy.org’s mission to encourage a more chivalrous workplace but, in my view, scores of divergent issues fall under the umbrella where professional courtesy reigns.
Chief among these are our character, morals and ethics. There’s also the way we communicate with each other and the recurrent use of both proactive- and critical-thinking skills to enhance that communication. Of course, in a world ruled by time management, courtesy is demonstrated in the efficient use of our time as reflected in the increased proficiency of those who professionally rely on us. Trust versus trepidation; fact versus instinct; action versus thought—all attributes of professional courtesy with each, in its own way, helping to perpetuate a never-ending balancing act.
More than “please” and “thank you,” professional courtesy is seen in the way we teach, learn, listen, and respond.
I am fortunate that my inner circle includes Rob Bogosian—a man whose voice of experience has helped me navigate more than one interpersonal business challenge.
Underlying our core human values are the beliefs that we hold true. If we believe that all human beings, whether in a personal or business setting, deserve both dignity and respect, then we are well on our way to treating people with both—no matter what.
Dr. Robert Bogosian, Leadership and Team Development Expert, Boston, MA
In my humble opinion, positive interactions and courtesy are mandatory for a successful business model. For example, fear-based management, so prevalent today, only serves to dampen spirits, restrict the free flow of information, and prohibit potential star performers, of any age, from becoming stars.
Allow me to restate my supposition in language that every business professional understands: declining workplace courtesy is negatively affecting your bottom line. Until good manners and respect are universally regarded as critical components of everyone’s business practices, we’re all losing money.
For instance, as one of the primary services provided by my company is “creative” in nature, I have a healthy respect for the fact that creativity only thrives in a positive and well-mannered environment. Anything less chokes the creative process and paralyzes the creative thinker.
I can’t fix everything and I’m far from perfect myself. Today’s business world will still be volatile and unpredictable for the foreseeable future. And certainly, our economy is based on the concept of fair competition which, by its very nature, is never going to bring out the best in everyone.
But if I can make a few people think before they strike, then I’m doing my job.
Regardless, in our current economy, to guarantee ongoing success, I still say creativity should be king—no matter how or where we need to apply it.
On behalf of myself and RediscoverCourtesy.org, until next time, please watch your language.
Humorist, Editorial Writer, Speaker, and Entrepreneur Randall Kenneth Jones is the creator of professional-courtesy initiative, RediscoverCourtesy.org, and the “confessional development” chronicle, AttackBunnies.com. His creative communications agency, MindZoo, is dedicated to the development of highly targeted and innovative written and visual communications for use across today’s wide spectrum of online and offline media.
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