Monday, June 2, 2014

Politeness – the Simplest Virtue - Part 1

By Pascal Dennis

Somebody who is polite to you but rude to the waiter is not a nice person.

Politeness is the simplest virtue and the gateway to the Great Virtues.

Here at Lean Pathways it’s a core value & standard. We treat one another with respect, even as we challenge one another’s ideas.


We’re the same with clients. Some people have the mistaken idea that “change” requires abuse – shouting, humiliation and the like.

(More on that in an upcoming blog.)

Rudeness in a potential client is a deal-breaker for us. Our rationale?

If somebody is rude about small things, like returning phone calls, showing up on time, treating subordinates politely, how will they be with big things?

At our old Toyota plant, during visits to prospective suppliers, our senseis would inevitably veer off the ‘parade route’.

We ignored the PowerPoints and related flash. We’d check seemingly unimportant things – fire extinguishers, forklift maintenance records, basic cleanliness and the like.

During one visit I found fire extinguishers were not checked to the monthly standard. I sharing my finding with our sensei, who brought the visit to a close.

This and other evidence confirmed the supplier was not Toyota material.

Were we too harsh? If an organization can’t satisfy basic standards like fire safety, can they be trusted to provide high quality parts just in time?

Teaching politeness is especially important with children. Repetition of the form, over time, turns into the genuine virtue. It’s called raising your kids.

“Little” things, like politeness, matter.

Best,

Pascal


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