“Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.”
– Eric Hoffer, social writer and philosopher
Is it me or does it seem people, in general, are becoming ruder and more ill-mannered than ever before? And I’m not referring to strangers on the highway or at a ball-game. I’m talking about customers and prospects and business interactions.
A recent email we received is a classic example of the downward trend of what many people think is appropriate behavior. I won’t go into the details, but the sender, who was a new customer, sent in a curt and quite frankly rude email message that was completely inappropriate.
His facts were wrong and his tone and word choices were improper for any type of interaction, including a customer-vendor one. Simply purchasing a product does not give one the right to be rude and this particular gentleman was way out of line.
Unfortunately in this day and age, where one can hide behind a computer or phone, there’s a tendency to act in ways most people would never do face-to-face. It’s like Hoffer says… there’s an imitation of strength.
But it doesn’t stop there either. Watch any news broadcast (especially the ones on Black Friday) and you can see almost daily examples of discourteous and rude behavior rampant in society.
I suppose you can blame some of this trend on the current economic environment. Everybody is stressed and on-edge and the main-stream media sure doesn’t help. But using the what’s going on in the world as an excuse only goes so far.
Being kind and respectful should not be affected by the situation, interaction or environment. It should be a foundational behavior and trait deep within all of us and one not easily swayed. The golden rule still applies.
With this in mind, I would like to offer a few suggestions on the topic of rude people in business and open up a dialog to hear your thoughts on this topic.
- Remember the golden rule and treat others as you expect to be treated.
- Remember, you can destroy a relationship in a matter of seconds with a rude email, phone call or interaction.
- Double check all the facts before you communicate.
- Treat email interactions no differently then face-to-face interactions.
- Don’t fall into the trap of responding to rudeness with rudeness and as hard as it may be at the time, reply with kindness and respect.
- Just be nice – life is way too short to be rude.
How do you deal with rude people?
Do you kill them with kindness?
Do you give them a taste of their own medicine?
Or do you just let it roll off your back and ignore them?
I want to hear from you, so leave your thoughts below!