There is a terrific article in the Globe and Mail that talks about the huge impact that a focus on courtesy has on peoples’ success. (see the story here) The back story is even more interesting.
The editor-in-chief of high-society magazine Tatler, Kate Reardon, had given a graduation speech at a private girls’ school in Gloucestershire. The context of the speech was that good manners were at least as important, if not more important, than good grades. Ms. Reardon’s comments were instantly taken to task, with one prominent blogger referring to it as “sexist crap.”
The fact is, Reardon is absolutely correct. When you study highly successful people, it doesn’t take long to see that knowledge and skill are only part of their success story. The other part – and sometimes the larger part – is the ability to connect with and engage the people around you. As the Globe article points out, courtesy, etiquette and interpersonal skills are pretty much absent from the education process these days.
And we wonder why customer service, which is founded on the principles of interpersonal skills, seems to be on the decline.
How anyone can equate courtesy with sexism is absolutely beyond me.