Be Courteous

Today is Friday, so this post is on interpersonal competence.

Carolyn Hawver is a friend and client.  Last week, I was in New York.  We had a meeting scheduled for 10:00 on Thursday.  At 7:00 that morning, I received an e mail from her that said:


I know we have a meeting scheduled for 10:00, but I am having computer problems and the IT guy can see me at 10:00 only.  It should take only about 15 minutes.  Can we move our meeting to 10:15?  I don’t want you to have to waste your time while the IT guy looks at my computer.

I’m sorry to do this, but I hope you understand.


Sure I understood.  Emergencies, especially IT emergencies happen all the time, and IT emergencies usually need to get fixed as soon as possible.

However, more than understanding, I really appreciated Carolyn’s e mail.  In the scheme of things, 15 minutes isn’t a big deal.  I know several people who have offices near hers, so I could have visited with them. 

The point here is that Carolyn took the time to inform me that she would be running late.  By her e mail, she demonstrated that she was aware of, and cared about my time.  That’s one of the reasons why Carolyn Hawver is an interpersonally competent person.  She is aware of how her actions impact other people.  She does what she can to inconvenience others as little as possible. 

Last Friday, I mentioned that building strong collaborative relationships with the people in your life is an important key to becoming an interpersonally competent person.  I also said that I would spend some time in future posts discussing how to build collaborative relationships. 

The common sense point here is simple.  If you want to build strong, collaborative relationships with the people in your life, follow Carolyn’s example.  Be aware of how your actions impact other people.  Do everything you can to not inconvenience them.  When you do inconvenience another person, apologize and promise to try to avoid doing so in the future.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  I am not posting regularly on my blog right now, as I want to concentrate on this one.  It is still up though. Please don’t cancel your RSS feed as I will be posting there occasionally.  And, you can still get a free ebook version of my book 4 Secrets of High Performing Organizations by visiting . 

I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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