By Sean Dowdall, General Manager & CMO
Vancouver, British Columbia, is the politest city in the world. At least based on my recent experience there.
My husband and I just traveled to Vancouver for a long 4th of July weekend. When we first planned the trip, we had no idea it would be Canada Day – Canada’s official founding day. And, it was Canada’s 150th anniversary!
Along with its incredible beauty, the most striking thing about Vancouver is that everyone is so polite. The service is amazing, drivers follow traffic rules, pedestrians and bike riders stay in their designated pathways – nearly every encounter is a cordial one. For the Canada Day festivities, there were massive crowds without incident. Hordes of people had fun without craziness and after spectacular fireworks, the crowds dispersed in an orderly fashion.
Vancouver really got me thinking about how politeness works to make communications more effective. Some observations:
- Politeness attracts positive attention. People notice mannerisms and tend to respond in kind. Seeing a smile or hearing one tends to make you smile too.
- Politeness gives tough situations a chance to get turned around. We had a service issue at a restaurant. The manager apologized, acknowledged our point of view, took our suggestions under advisement and bought us lunch – all with a smile and calming anecdotes. We left as happy customers
- Politeness gets your message delivered and responded to in the ways you want. When you communicate with courtesy and with a posture that seeks a positive outcome, that will likely get your message across without push back or dismissal. A polite person (or company) will have a stronger, more persuasive brand.
My trip to Vancouver impressed me. Since getting back, I’ve been very aware of how I can be politer. That’s my challenge to you and to my fellow Americans. How can we each individually and collectively as a nation be more polite? I think we’d all get a lot more accomplished and be happier too.
We don’t have to look far to get the world’s best example!
When has politeness led to a positive outcome for you? Leave a comment below or tweet @LandisComm.