Because Oprah Told Me To

Everyone yearns to be treated like royalty…

Call me old fashioned but I still believe in the concept of common courtesy in all situations—family, personal and professional.

I’m no angel. Sure, I was raised in Missouri and fervently believe I am a “Southern Gentleman” at heart but I have also been known to get so wrapped up in hearing my own voice that I have failed to appropriately recognize the gift of someone’s time or wisdom.

And on my last visit to iHop, I’m pretty sure a mouthful of pancakes trumped my need to respond to the “How-Is-Everything” inquiry from my very attentive server.

I really love iHop — I hope they let me back in.

But at a time when displays of good manners seem to be on the decline, my biggest fears are—does anyone even notice any more? Is “terse” the new standard operating procedure in today’s over-stimulated business world?

There’s only one thing I know for certain: everyone yearns to be treated like royalty as opposed to being royally dismissed.

A few months ago, like millions of others devotees, I sat despondently in front of my flat-screen to bid adien to my beloved  Oprah’s 25 year daytime-TV reign. And though I half expected Oprah to make a last-minute humanitarian pitch to my grieving, vulnerable psyche, I didn’t expect this comment to pack such a personal wallop:

“Wherever you are, that is your platform, your stage, your circle of influence. That is your talk show, and that is where your power lies.”

Oprah Winfrey
The Oprah Winfrey Show
May 25, 2011

Basically, Oprah told me to take the topic I’m most passionate about and “talk” about it.  And considering the frustrations so many of us feel when contemplating the state of workplace civility and communication, I know I have chosen my “stage” very wisely.

Of course, Oprah’s new platform is a television network. Mine is this website.

However, add in my planned Rediscover Courtesy YouTube channel and I will actually have a “network” too—at least that’s what I have convinced myself.

With regard to Professional Courtesy itself, I certainly do not have all the answers—I’m the one who still has an iHop employee waiting to hear from me. I’m also keenly aware that tackling this overlooked but potentially passion-filled topic places me squarely in a professional glass house just waiting to shatter around me and rip me to shreds.

To that I say, bring it on.

But above all, I want start a positive, productive dialogue on Professional Courtesy—a combination of rants, rhetoric, stories and solutions.

Somebody has to do it.

Welcome to ResdiscoverCourtesy.Org

  • Editorial: focusing on the helpful, humorous and harmful sides of courtesy (or lack thereof) in the workplace: among colleagues, between business representatives and their customers, and between organizations and their chosen vendor/partners;
  • Guest Bloggers: featuring experts in various related fields sounding off on Professional Courtesy Issues;
  • Discussion Board: enabling visitors to post their questions and comments, not just to the team, but to the media and business community at large;
  • Hall of Fame: showcasing reader-provided stories celebrating those people and organizations who have epitomized Professional Courtesy;

Plus, if there’s a bus barreling down the Professional Courtesy highway, I’ll be the first to throw myself under it. Just as I have often stated in my popular “Confessional Development” blog, ATTACK BUNNIES, I promise to share the good, the bad, the ugly and the bunny no matter how much it hurts.

If I can make a few people re-evaluate the “professional I have become” from “the professional I want to be,” and laugh at themselves in the process, then I have done my job.

Thank you for reading my inaugural Rediscover Courtesy post. And remember, watch your language.

The first step in improving professional courtesy is now in your hands. Please provide your comments/feedback below and share this post with your various online networks.

Spread the Word—it’s time to START A REVOLUTION and REDISCOVER COURTESY!

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Marketing-company entrepreneur, humorist, editorial writer and speaker,  
Randall Kenneth Jones
, is on a mission—to restore professional courtesy to today’s somewhat thank-you-repressed workplace.

A project of Jones’s Naples, Florida-based agency, hopes to shed a positive light on the benefitsof professional courtesy relating to business relationships, written and verbal communication, profitability, proactive thinking, ethics, loyalty and business operations.


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