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Excuse for Discourtesy

By Janet Adetu

Many people still ask if manners are really important, for them they just cannot be bothered with all the fuss. Others are well aware of the need to have manners and exhibit in the right places but the outer mind supersedes the inner mind. A lot of what tend to see around us today has a lot to do with old habits dying hard. What I am trying to express is a case of personal and professional demeanor (attitude) taking over ones brand. Some people are comfortable being perpetually rude and almost do not see the extent of their rudeness as it affects another person. If asked I guess they will always have a resounding excuse for their actions.

What happened to the “Golden Rule?

“Do not do onto others what you would not have done to you”. Will there always be an excuse for bad behavior? Poor customer service witnessed today has largely to do with employees being rude and having excuses for their discourtesy. What happened to leading by example?

Imagine a customer has called you four times today, you think they are beginning to become a nuisance and troublesome chasing you with their calls, so you have decided not to pick the call consciously. The customer now bombards you consistently with more calls, then you have made your situation worse.  Again on a normal working day as you greeted your colleague he or she replied hello but you did not hear, and decided to take offense for what you thought was a slight to you. You escalate your disappointment to rumor mongering, eyeing and malice. You have now created an atmosphere of strife and workplace incivility, raising emotional tension on both sides. Yet again on another fresh day, you have a meeting with a client and casually got up in a much slower manner than your normal routine. You are very much aware that you are likely to be late but you casually stroll in an hour and a half late, with no apology for your lateness and no advanced warning. You leave your client thinking of you with negativity and the lack of credibility. I can go on could this be you? As a team member you decided to take your work casually thereby you fall behind your expected delivery deadline. You offer no apology but reign untenable excuses that indicate you lack team spirit and lack integrity towards productivity. Finally your boss is calling you frantically but because you are busy you decide not to pick the call but decide to call back when convenient for you with readymade excuses.

Ultimately with the scenarios above the repercussion to your workplace or social environment are unhappiness, relationship discord, disruption of teams, poor communication, demoralization and reduced productivity. The real reason for courtesy and its importance is to use manners, kindness, respect and consideration to promote relationship building. The bottom line of every organization relies on the coordination of team players, satisfaction of customers, organizational growth, and business sustenance. Without good manners, this will be difficult to hold. The whole idea is to ensure that the culture of the organization is void of rudeness, one that encourages etiquette, polite behavior and courteousness.

Quick Steps to Encouraging Courtesy in the Workplace:

1.Stipulate appropriate acceptable work behavior in the office.

2.Be clear on discipline procedures for defaulters

3.Operate a staff feedback style for consistency

4.Have in a place a proper conflict resolution system

  1. Encourage training and team building activities

6.Make polite communication part of the organization culture

  1. Be open to listening to comments and suggestions.

To encourage a healthy work environment and team cordiality, leave no room for excuses when discourtesy is shown. Allow for the sharing of experiences and the ability for everyone to learn from their mistakes. The bottom line is there is no excuse for discourtesy.

All the Best!


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