Peruvian generosity by pixabay

These days, it’s not hard to find impolite individuals. You’ll encounter them at home, school, university and even in the workplace. From snarky comments on social media to combative chatter on the news or simply walking down the street, it can feel like society is less courteous.

September is National Courtesy Month, and what better way to honor it than to flip our mindsets and think before reacting with anger, rudeness or disrespect. Put the Platinum Rule into practice and strive for a harmonious way of living to “treat others the way they wish to be treated.” According to LIVEScience, people respond better when treated courteously. So many conflicts could be resolved quickly and easily by simply responding with consideration.

Here are 3 tips on how to up your courtesy game, both at the office and at home:

  • Meditate. According to ABC News, it has been shown that meditation not only helps reduce stress, but also helps control anger and frustration. Try out one of these apps, or simply sit in a quiet space for 5-10 minutes daily.
  • Think first. The old adage to count to 10 before responding (not reacting) is wise and something that many of us practice and improve.
  • Smile more. Unless your job is remote-based, you are likely sharing your working space with other people. It is believed that simple acts of kindness, like making someone smile can really make a positive change. Set yourself the goal to smile more, and make co-workers smile more too.
  • Compliment co-workers and employees. It is easy to forget how good it feels to receive compliments from your co-workers or bosses. Apply the Platinum Rule mentioned above. Compliment the good work of others. It will make a considerable  impact in the way others perceive you and the synergy of the working space.


Sharon Schweitzer and Sophie Echeverry co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre and the Intercultural Communication Institute, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fortune. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards and the 2017 New York City Big Book Award for Multicultural Nonfiction.

Sophie Echeverry is the corporate marketing manager and event coordinator at Access to Culture. Born and raised in Colombia, she’s a 2018 graduate with a B.B.A. in International Business and Marketing from Hult International Business School in San Francisco, CA. Connect with her on LinkedIn.