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As I look around this week at the extra traffic on the road, I realize schools started up and the school buses are back on the road. This week, I also have received a couple requests from companies asking me to come in and do “Courtesy” training for their employees. This leads me to thinking, how is it that children grow up and become employees, yet they don’t know how to be courteous?

Courtesy training must start with parents using the words “please” and “thank you”. Courtesy training must start with those in role model positions exhibiting the behaviors of good customer service. For example: as a child starts elementary school they start interacting with other adults besides their parents. The first and last person they meet in their school day is the bus driver. Therefore, courtesy begins with the school bus drivers thinking of the students as their customers and looking thru their lens. Part of looking through the lens of the customer is to identify with their emotions and then meet their needs. Think of the different emotions a bus driver encounters with his customers: the anxiousness of the kindergartener’s first day at school, the nervousness of the parents, the excitement of the football players on game day…. Courtesy is the bus driver carefully pulling up to the side of the road avoiding puddles, acknowledging with a greeting or nod of the head as students embark, driving safely to steer clear of bumps and unnecessary jostling, arriving timely, and wishing the students well in their day as they disembark.

Everyday interactions reinforce courteous actions throughout our lives. Whether teacher, restaurant server, bank teller, store clerk, realtor, convenience store attendant, it doesn’t matter, what matters is the little niceties that we each do for each other that ultimately becomes a part of how we treat others. Being courteous should be second nature, shouldn’t it?

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