A Core Value Worth Embracing

“Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.”
“I appreciate you.”
“Thanks again.”

Isn’t it amazing how a handful of words can make such a dramatic difference in our day? Such words flow out of courtesy.

Courtesy is defined as: the showing of politeness in one’s attitude and behavior toward others. It is derived from the adjective “courteous” which means polite, respectful, or considerate in manner.

Although courtesy is essentially non-existent in the slate of reality and politically-slanted television shows that plague our culture, it can be embraced and modeled as a core value in local government.

Courtesy as a core value can be modeled:

  • By executive leadership – Those in position of executive leadership should remember to say, “Thanks” as often as an opportunity is provided. If you’re too busy to say, “Thank you” to your support staff, then you’re too busy.
  • By managers – Managers are responsible for encouraging others to work to their full potential. Courteous managers are far more likely to accomplish that. Why? Because a non-courteous manager will probably have fewer workers to encourage.
  • By supervisors – No one is born a supervisor. Supervisors do not develop leadership skills in a vacuum. Remember your pre-supervisor days and those words and phrases that motivated you and those that made you search through job postings. Stay away from the latter when supervising your direct reports.
  • By frontline personnel – By the time many of your customers get to you, they are worn out. No matter what, politeness, respect, and consideration are much more exemplary of the word “servant” in the phrase “public servant” and are much more likely to yield a positive response when dealing with internal and external customers.

Try a little experiment. Today, make it a goal to express courtesy to at least ten different people. Do the same thing again tomorrow and the next day. Write the word “courtesy” on a sticky-note and place it on your computer monitor, or on the visor of your work truck. Embrace courtesy as a personal core value even if it is not a stated value within your organization’s core values.

By the way, “Thanks so much for reading today’s blog post!”

Got to run – nine more expressions of courtesy to go :).

Greg Anderson
Written by:
Greg Anderson
President of Online Learning, Strategic Government Resources
Follow Greg on Twitter!@SGRGreg

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