The cover of Newsweek has declared that the recession is over. For many people and businesses, it doesn’t feel much like it. Stressful times continue, and anxious people can be rude or abusive.
Now is the ideal time to think about the principles of etiquette: honesty, respect and consideration. They keep personal and professional relationships solid, says Peggy Post, director of the Emily Post Institute.
- Consider your own behavior. Be more patient and understanding than those who are rude or gruff.
- Understand that some people aren’t coping well with their money problems. A sleepless night could mean they will doze off in a meeting or avoid conversation with co-workers. If you know them well, reach out and be a good listener. Be careful not to reveal a confidence.
- Look ahead to better times. Predict boom rather than gloom, advises professor P.M. Forni, founder of the Civility Institute. Watch for hopeful developments. Optimistic conversation creates a more positive mood for everyone at home or at work.
- Offer reassurance. Ask a friend how he is doing. Let co-workers know your relationship is in good standing. Talk to your kids about a situation that will affect them. Continue to have family fun like roasting hot dogs in the park.
- Talk to your people. If you’re the boss, give them candid information but include something positive. If you’re not the boss, listen carefully.
Post and Forni remind us that this is a resilient nation and much better times are coming.
Kind, respectful and considerate behavior will help to get us there.
Post and Forni were recently interviewed by USA Weekend.