Being civil

by Rod Smith

The Mercury / Thursday

Being civil doesn’t cost much:

• Say please and thank you a lot – this may help you get over any feelings of entitlement if you have any.

• Return calls, respond to emails, do what you say you are going to do – this may help others trust you more than they already do and it may do some repair if they don’t.

• Be nice to people and you will usually get their cooperation – really, does anyone enjoy working with unpleasant people?

• Don’t exaggerate or lie to get the best deal or the lowest price – you may save a little cash or cut a deal but lose your integrity, and once you go down that road there’s no knowing what compromises you will make.

• Listen more than you talk and you may actually learn something new – regarding everyone as your potential teacher despite age or rank or wealth can be very refreshing.

• Clean up after yourself – making life easier for others will probably make it easier for you, too.

• Look for ways to serve rather than to be served – and you’ll be amazed at how quickly the tables may turn in your favor.

• Be on time for appointments. This is about respecting other people’s time. Most friends will accommodate the occasional lapse and most people understand that there are variables beyond your control but do all you can to be on time. It’s the civil thing to do.

(By the way, it’s always a letter to self, first)

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