Here are 3 reasons why courtesy is cool and makes you cool and employable.
3 Reasons Why Courtesy is Cool and Makes You Cool and Employable
I was listening to a recorded lecture by the late poet John O’Donahue. This poet, priest and philosopher said something that caught my attention: He said that we needed to be “courteous to ourselves”.
Courtesy is not a word we use often in my generation. It fell away during the 1960’s and 70’s when my generation ditched etiquette because we saw too many people who could BEHAVE politely but had poisonous souls. We wanted to be *real*. (*What you see is what you get!*)
So my generation was real but many of us became *real* selfish, *real* harsh, *real* unkind, *real* ungrounded. Courtesy wasn’t enough if someone was *fake*. But no-courtesy had bad results, too.
Now, many decades later, we are finding out that old-fashioned words like *courtesy* don’t actually have that much to do with the rigid systems of etiquette like we were taught by our parents. Rather, *courtesy* is a synonym for *kindness, compassion, thoughtfulness, virtuous practices*.
AND it’s back! Here are 3 reasons why courtesy is cool and makes you cool… and employable.
*Courtesy is cool because it is in the Urban Dictionary: a thoughtful gesture or action. Example: Don’t forget to do that courtesy thing I told you about before we came over.
*Courtesy is cool because it is biologically good for you. Doing courteous acts or even WATCHING courteous acts raises your oxytocin levels (a calming, feel better hormone). It also activates your parasympathetic nervous system which tells your body to *Calm down!*
*Courtesy is cool because it makes you more employable. Many employers have found that courteous people often make better employees. They have found that backbiting, negative, critical team members decrease productivity, creativity and cohesiveness of the team. On the other hand team members who exhibit positive and virtuous practices experience:
- Better team relationships
- More creativity
- Less blaming, more forgiving
- Inspiring others
- Find more meaning in work
Who should you show courtesy to?
*Yourself! Negative self-talk causes shrinkage on your brain cells. Truthful, kind, positive self-talk does exactly the opposite! Like John O’Donohue said, “Be courteous to yourself.”
*Strangers! Random acts of kindness are simply acts of courtesy. These are good for the giver and the receiver of the kindness. Try:
- Holding doors open for people
- Smiling and saying *thank you* to cashiers
- Standing back and allowing people that are exiting leave before you enter a room or building
*Friends and family! Here’s a simple way to put it: If what you are doing fits the instruction *be nice* it’s probably courtesy.
*Colleagues! Try some of these *team builders*:
- Smile as you walk into a room
- Thank admins and people who help you
- Compliment team members
- Find the positive whenever possible
Courtesy is cool. It makes you cool. And it helps you be employable. Make it a habit!
If you’d like to work more on this, other job skills, or life transitions, contact me. We can coach in person, via phone or Skype.