Tuesday, November 29, 2011
By Dave Matlow
Fifty-five percent of Americans think that rudeness is a permanent quality of our society, according to Westonite Sara Hacala.
The author of “Saving Civility, 52 Ways to Tame Rude, Crude and Attitude for a Polite Planet” was guest speaker today at the Rotary Club’s weekly meeting at the Inn at Longshore.
Hacala, a certified etiquette and protocol consultant defines civility as being a good citizen. She said that “rush, stress and over-scheduled lives” are primary instigators of rudeness.
“With everyone on their smart phones and Internet access so frequent, many individuals overlook the balance between technology and personal interaction,” she said.
Hacala said that better manners and empathy begin with parents and recommends that families have dinner together at least three or four times a week.
“Social skills are learned early in life and that’s not just about table manners,” she said. “It even includes knowing how to have a firm handshake and make eye contact.”
Her concerns and philosophy apply to the workplace too. She said many mom and pop businesses as well as corporations establish guidelines for how employees need to treat one another.
She added that billions of dollars are lost through reduced productivity because co-workers unknowingly hurt one another through insensitivity.
Hacala said that she has tried to get her book into the hands of Congress with the hope that it would encourage civil discourse.
Meanwhile, even on a local level, Hacala believes that progress can be accomplished.
She cited one group in the Westport area that gets together regularly to have conversations about what can be done locally to improve civility.
Posted 11/29/11 at 10:50 PM Permalink