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Courtesy - a forgotten art form?

Do you raise your hand saying “thanks” to a car that stops at the crosswalk? If you sit in the car and someone thanks you for stopping – do you wave back? Do you see people who need help? Do you say “thank you” when someone holds the door for you? Do you apologize when you bump into someone on the street?

Plain simple courtesy that begins on the street with people you will not meet again is often the main key to avoiding unnecessary conflicts with others. Politeness is ultimately about living in a civilized way and respecting other people.

Courtesy rules at work could look like this:

• Keep your environment nice and tidy. It's unpleasant for others to have to clean up after you or look for things that you misplaced.
•”Thank you” is a word that never gets worn out. Use it frequently.
• Stop demanding things by using words like ”I want”. It sounds rude.”I would like” or ”I would really be grateful if” sounds much nicer.
• Avoid the word ”you” when you criticize someone. Instead of ”You've made a mistake”, you can say: ”There seems to have been a mistake.” Be simple and neutral rather than threatening.
• Provide help when you see people who need it.
• Praise other people.
• Let others finish speaking.
• See yourself as a role model for the behavior of others. If you act polite and nice to others, there is a good chance they will treat you in the same manner.
• Be involved and share the tasks that belong to everyone.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.