Politeness stems from a person's ability to respect and be cordial to others, irrespective of who they are. The mark of the truly great is to be able to make people feel at ease around you. Politeness leaves a far more lasting mark on those we interact with than nasty, difficult behaviors.
Isn't it a wonder that most people tend to be impolite, yet seek to be remembered as having made a positive impact on the lives of others? Perhaps the most important determinant of a real legacy is how pleasant and positive we are to the people we meet. It was Maya Angelou who said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." It is thus important to put one's self in another's shoes and have some manners in our dealings with fellow human beings.
From a business stand point, smart entrepreneurs understand that the world is small and everyone knows someone. Business can come from places you didn't expect. Seeds of 'niceness' sown today may develop into long lasting business benefits tomorrow.
Relationships are never 'useless', people cross your path for various reasons … sometimes just to test you, at other times to lead you to a blessing. Often times, we have missed out on great opportunities and encountered failure because the turn-around or break-through we were hoping for came through someone we disrespected or treated badly, and that link was forever lost.
I remember this lady Nicky I met at a time when I was looking for a video-grapher to edit a video for a charity event we were hosting. Nicky's husband did that job for us. A year later when we started our network marketing business, I thought about her. I called Nicky up and presented the opportunity to her. She got involved and absolutely blew the opportunity out of the waters. She became the first Senior Vice President in the company out of the Atlanta market, she was a top producer for a long time and was well responsible for a huge part of our organization. The only reason why Nicky had granted us an audience in the first place to listen to "this opportunity", and fostered a partnership with us was because of a previous relationship that had been established years before … a relationship that had been respectable and dignified. Everybody in your life is a star of some sort. It costs us nothing to be courteous and the fruits of politeness certainly remain ever green over a lifetime.
Many a relationship have been broken because someone wasn't interested in your business, product or service. I have learned to never, ever sever a personal relationship over business. The fact is, you will probably not be focused on your business your whole life, what happens when you look back one day and great relationships you once had are all gone, just because you had been paying attention to this one area and everything else fell apart?
Life is a journey, opportunities metamorphose into other things, life is forever changing just as the world spins round and round, today you may be up, tomorrow down, on the right and then on the left. One day you just might find yourself needing help, support or even just a nice chat with someone you had once brushed aside or ridiculed as being insignificant.
The polite and humble individual builds true relationships. Rude individuals are always only tolerated for what they have to offer. People put-up with unpleasantness and arrogance for as long as they have to and then cut loose these individuals as soon as the benefits derived from that relationship are no longer needed, or wanted. Whether you are a boss, manager or in any position of 'power' this applies to you … are you building solid relationships or ones that exist just because there's a job to be done?
You might have a particular 'status' today, but of what essence if tomorrow you are 'lonely' and friendless and everyone avoids you because you have now become nasty and arrogant?
Everyone is influential in their own way, there are no 'no-bodies', everybody is somebody, even the lawnmower, the cashier, the waiter, etc. The one thing I have noticed is that truly self-confident people have no need to be unpleasant, they are controlled and always polite. It is often those with insecurities who hide behind unpleasant behaviors.
A broken relationship is a far greater loss than any millions lost in the stock market or other bad business deals. A nice smile, an encouraging word, respect for fellow human beings, even when you don't feel like it earns you points … especially in heaven.