Considerate – careful not to cause inconvenience or hurt to others.
Courtesy– the showing of politeness in one’s attitude and behaviour towards others.
Synonyms: attentive, thoughtful, concerned, solicitous, mindful, heedful, obliging, accommodating, helpful, cooperative, patient, kind, kindly, decent, unselfish, compassionate, sympathetic, caring, charitable, altruistic, generous, polite, sensitive, civil, tactful, diplomatic
A repercussion of our increasing fast pace of life, and overwhelming multiplication of our knowledge base, is we are becoming more and more inward and self-focused. It has been one of those slow erosions that go unnoticed until it’s too late. Well, we are close to the too late stage.
A problem with being too self-focused, or if I can put it bluntly, “being selfish” is that we don’t see it. It is like any value in our value system, whether that be personal, community, cultural or global, that is slowly choked by other influences. If we do pay deliberate attention to it, it slowly dissolves right under our nose.
Why worry about it anyway?
Regardless of your education, upbringing, culture, religion, knowledge & training or personal value system – we all want to be treated with respect, kindness and consideration. We like to be considered.
Hopefully by now you have picked up that soft skills and life skills are all about how we interact with others, and a major key in this is responsiveness.
As the old English proverb says: “you will catch more flys with honey than vinegar”
Meaning you will make more friends by being nice than being rude. Now while your intent may not to be rude, being ‘selfish’ does the same thing. If you want people to show you favour, to give you a chance, to extend you grace when you make mistakes, consider you for a position or promotion, which behaviour will invite this?
Again Im not saying we have deliberately become ‘selfish’, it has just evolved. However we do need to do something about it if we want to be a happier and more content human race.
In the topic about interviewing well, I spoke about: smiling, using peoples name, thanking them, asking questions about them, being positive etc, this is honey! Remember the ‘law of reciprocity’ it is exactly what i’m talking about here. If you are considerate and courteous to others, they will be courteous and considerate back to you. It’s human nature and we all want it.
Did you listen to my story in about topic of ‘Law of Reciprocity’?
Learning to be courteous and considerate to others, will win you more favour, get you further ahead in your career and give you a happier life than any amount of knowledge or experience, or money will.
Even better than that! You can often make a huge difference in the lives of others without even knowing. For those that have this as part of your value system.
Here is a challenge for you:
There is something called the 21day challenge and it is used in many contexts. Before I propose one let’s understand what it is. We are told by psychologists that you don’t break a habit, you replace it with a new one. To create a new habit you need to do it 21 days in succession. Which means if you get to day 17 and you blow it, you’re straight back to day 1. OK here’s your 21 day challenge.
Every day I will find an opportunity to show someone consideration and courtesy.
Mark each day off in your notebook or calendar and see how you go. Have fun with it and it’s ok to have to start over, and over, and over 🙂 Make this one of your values and see the benefits come flooding into your life. Like this one: