by Diego Nascimento
I am an observer of human reactions inside and outside the workplace. One of the elements I most treasure is politeness. Forget the educational degrees for a moment and just focus on the “kind way about them” type of people. This is the kind of politeness I am talking about.

Have you had a chance to live with people facing outside problems who see you as a real lightning rod to take on bitterness, moodiness and indecision? Amazingly, this is more common than you might imagine. Some people think that a lack of kindness and politeness are a sign of authority or superiority. That’s a sad mistake. Contrary to what many may think, attitudes like that reflect individuals who have dealt with some longstanding annoyances. The worst thing is, it alienates people, whether it is at home, at work or even while buying something at the store. I call it mediocrity.

Often I am asked to refer people who would be good in positions in different companies. In addition to qualities such as attitudes, communication skills and being proactive, relationship skills is a key factor. Emotional intelligence is invaluable and will never be proven through a resume. Living and/or working together is the only option for an accurate diagnosis.

I recently read a scientific paper produced by Professor Jean-François Chanlat, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales of Montreal, Canada. Although it was published in 1992, the study substantiates the claim that remains real today in our everyday human relations:  “The world turns into a reflection of themselves. The relationships they develop with others are impregnated with coldness, detachment and instrumentality. Such attitudes have a lot in common with the characteristics of university’s techno- bureaucrats where being impersonal, functional and calculating reign as masters.”

Being polite, especially at work, contributes significantly to harmony over hours and hours of activities. Try to be remembered for being a bridge between people and never a barrier or someone who makes people anxious.  Whatever your position, salary or time at home, I suggest the following:  Smile! Escaping from a mediocre lifestyle is a matter of choice!

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