I have been a huge fan of communication and it often makes me wonder how powerful these words can be and the importance of choosing these words carefully. One of the biggest compliment I have heard was from my team mate who said – “Vinay, I have seen you do a lot of stupid things but you are always very very careful with the words you use”. I did feel very proud of it, of course I managed to completely ignore the stupid part ;).
But it is that strongly I feel about communication and the impact it has. If I look back at all the so called successes I have had in life, I would probably point it all towards communication.
The power of please and Thank you!
I have had the opportunity to work with a few Europeans and esp people from UK and the first thing you notice with them is how polite they are. One of my friends Bikram had recently commented on a post as to how he had learnt using Thank you and sorry for every little thing, sometimes to that extent that his friends start making fun of him. But I would completely side with him on this.
It is very natural for us to take a few things for granted. For example someone at the hotel gives you an on time delivery of food, or a courier service makes sure the delivery has happened on time or a shop assistant helps you pick up the right gift for your loved one and you just take it from them and move to the billing counter, pay the money and then head out. Job well done right?
Just relook at the situation and see if it could have been handled any better. How would they have felt if you had smiled at them? How would they feel if you talked to them a bit or better yet thanked them? I am not saying that they expect that but I am saying that there is a great delight in doing something when people don’t expect it at all!
What is in it for me?
Well you may say that you would use please and thank you whenever you can and ask me what is the great value add for your life from that! Well, for that I would say – It is a really nice question. I am not really sure what exactly you would be looking at as a direct consequence from this. And I am also not advocating to do this because it is a nice thing to do. Like everything we do in life, at each point of time we leave a trail as to who we are as a person. The trail may be in the form of kindness, a smile, an offer to help someone out in trouble, a desire to be there for someone in trouble, not because we can make a great difference but because it is a part of our responsibility, a part of our requirement to the conduct – not to the society but to owe it to ourselves. What would you feel if you help someone out and they casually move on with their life without even a Thank you phone call?
It stings right? Wouldn’t it be the same for the other person as well?
And everyone in this world is busy with their own lives, doing things they find right fulfilling their own obligations to life and to be very honest and fair none of them owe us anything in life and nor do we. But we do expect a service industry to treat us with smile, we do expect our family to respect our decisions but in turn is it that wrong if they expect a Thank you or a please?
I know what you might be thinking, that I am trying to push in a lame point about being polite. And you might also say that your family and your environment is very different. But that is hardly an answer for not being sensitive to other’s plight?
Think about it, do you actually think a sorry or a thank you is not going to make a difference?
If you do, then please have a look at the photograph in this post, it may make you think again 🙂