I am a member of a group called Consultants’ Corner, which is comprised of 12 image and etiquette consultants. The speaker for this week was P.M. Forni, an award-winning professor of Italian literature at Johns Hopkins University. Professor Forni has written two books on civility. His latest, The Civility Solution: What to Do When People Are Rude, was just published, and he was on Oprah’s show just last month!
Why do I bring this up? It seems that civility, etiquette and good manners have disappeared from America’s fast-paced, high-tech existence. I used to hear how rude the French were, but now everyone complains everywhere about lack of customer service and just plain mindfulness.
No matter where you go, people are rude. Whether it’s road rage, stress at work, or just ignorance, I miss the good ole days of chivalry. When is the last time someone smiled or said hello when they walked into an elevator? When is the last time someone held the door for you when you were carrying your handbag, your computer, and whatever other paraphernalia we carry to go to work?
In the business world, work overload is no longer the No. 1 cause of stress. It’s co-workers! We can’t even be civil to one another in the workplace! What is this world coming to?
Now more than ever, because of the downturn of the economy, the financial bailouts and all the lay-offs on Wall Street, Main Street and Side Street, we need to edge out our competition and always be a click above others in the way we dress, the way we comport ourselves, and the way we treat other people. It’s all about the Golden Rule. Treat others as you want to be treated. Try it and start smiling at strangers! They will smile back and you will both feel better!