Leadership Lessons: Politeness is Better
What startled me was the rudeness and disrespect that came out of the mouths of seemingly presentable people. It started with the people on the floor above us. Now, this place was pricey so you would expect there to be some extra padding between floors. Not there.
The next day, with limited sleep I watched kids, happy, playful puppy-like kids pushing each other and using words that were restricted to street fights only a few decades ago. Then my five year old granddaughter came to complain about a nine year old named Joey. “He pushed me to get to the sledding hill first” she stated in an angry tone; and he called me a jerk”. “You just tell him it’s not okay to push you or call you names.” was my mediocre reply. “No, grand mom” she looked me in the eye, “you don’t get it, he should not push anyone or call anyone a jerk”. And with that she went to tell Joey a thing or two about rudeness and politeness.
I began to think about how and when we became such an uncivil society. We are brash, mean-spirited and vengeful; even the little ones reflect this type of behavior. Now, some of the change was really needed. We used to cloak our hostility and anger in polite phrases and talk about each other behind closed doors.
Getting our fears and differences into the open is good. However, we seem to have made a swing to the polar opposite and are not yet moving to center. In our Total Leadership Connections program we talk about the old fight, flight, freeze patterns that reside in the lower parts of the brain, in the amygdala.Continued on the next page