Courtesy Checklist: 10 Superior Ways to Succeed! #peopleskills

Courtesy Checklist: 10 Superior Ways to Lead, Serve, & Collaborate

Courtesy Checklist: Image is Jar of Honey w/ a honey twister.

Courtesy Checklist: Superior Ways to Lead, Serve, Collaborate. Image licensed from

Image licensed from

Courtesy Checklist: Do you do these every day?

  1. Greet politely and/or warmly. Welcome new teammates on their first day and you set teamwork in motion. Greet potential and current customers with courtesy and enthusiasm. You give them a picture of many positive experiences ahead. Engage employees at the beginning of a meeting. You overcome the typical meeting apathy.

  2. Start a request with please. It was everywhere in decades past. Has it slipped away? Grab hold of it and put it back in every request. This one small word communicates respect that prevents requests from being misconstrued as disguised orders. In leadership, teamwork, and customer service, this one is an essential on your courtesy checklist!

  3. Give sincere and abundant thank yous. The gift of gratitude is free yet far from cheap. People hold gratitude in high regard. It is quite dear. Leaders’ appreciation goes far beyond the instance of thanks. It creates a culture of gratitude that sustains customer relationships and employee morale. Leaders, help get this one on everyone’s courtesy checklist!

  4. Interact with an open mind. Many don’t think of open-mindedness as a part of courtesy. It is! Any behavior that considers others and eases interaction is courtesy. When working with customers, teammates, or employees very different from you, your open mind welcomes them in. Solutions and success come from openness!

  5. Eliminate common rudeness. There are habits that most people consider rude: talking too loud, slurping drinks, smacking lips when eating, clinking utensils, eating while you’re on the phone, going through a door and not holding it behind you for the next person, and the list goes on. Beyond these habits, learn cultural norms when working with people around the globe. It is the essence of courtesy in global business.

  6. Adapt to personality types. Most people think of the driver personality type when they read this on the courtesy checklist. Yet it is applies to all types. Amiables, analytics, and expressives, can be just as extreme in their behavior as the driver type. Extreme behavior tips toward discourteous. Seek balance. Consider others’ needs and flex. You can’t change your type yet you can adapt your behavior. This is courtesy!

  7. Show interest but don’t pry. Showing interest in customers is a courtesy that warms the relationship. Prying into their lives with intrusive questions will slam the door shut. Asking teammates about their weekend can start the week off well. Grilling them with personal questions builds walls that stop success. An important distinction on the courtesy checklist.

  8. Share information. Don’t gossip. Every time a customer service rep tells a customer how much trouble another customer was, it mars the professional image. Even if the customer you are telling agrees with you, they wonder what you will say about them to someone else. This is a perilous detour from positive customer relationships. Stay on the road of courtesy and professional behavior.

  9. Smile don’t sneer, snicker, or smirk. Non-verbal communication is on the courtesy checklist. Derisive gestures and looks, demean others. In their mildest form they are rude. In their extreme form, they can constitute bullying. Treating people badly — discourtesy — pushes people away. Simple, respectful behavior keeps everyone engaged. Once again courtesy is always a winner in business.

  10. Guard generalizations. Generalizations about people will almost always disrespect someone. One day, I heard an employee state that people who work in government are lazy. He didn’t consider that his co-workers had friends and family who worked in the public sector. Besides painting himself in a bad light, his discourteous remark marred work relationships and teamwork. Honor individuality and diversity. That’s on the courtesy checklist!

Courtesy never goes out of fashion. It feels great to receive it. In business, it’s not just a nicety. It’s a necessity for leadership, teamwork, sales, and customer service.

Far more than a pleasantry, courtesy opens doors, impresses in first meetings, shows respect, expresses care, smooths rough moments, defuses tension, bridges gaps, and feeds business relationships.

Courtesy — considering others’ needs and easing the way — gives you superior ways to succeed.

What other items are on your courtesy checklist?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
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Avoid 8 Common Causes of People Skills Mistakes
The 25 Worst Customer Service Stories to Train the Best CSRs

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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13 Responses to “Courtesy Checklist: 10 Superior Ways to Succeed! #peopleskills”

  1. Karen says:

    This is related to interacting with an open mind: Listen. Listen to what a person is saying before you reply. Jumping to a conclusion about what they are about to say and cutting them off with your answer will not produce a positive outcome. In fact, it will almost assuredly incite an argument. Many CSRs are working from a script and if the customer deviates from the script the CSR’s answers are not relevant to the customer’s problem.

    • Jay Remer says:

      Listening is a downfall for many people. Listening with the intent to understand, rather than listening with the intent to respond is a valuable skill well worth honing!

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Great point Karen. Even courteously worded CSR scripts can be discourteous because they are monologues instead of true dialogues. Some use scripts as guidelines to interact. Other call centers require reps to strictly adhere to the words. That’s trouble.

      Many thanks for adding this dimension to the discussion!

  2. Jay Remer says:

    Kate, these are all on my list, too! I would add one more to the list, which I find annoying, and also find myself guilty of occasionally. Resist the temptation to talk about yourself. Finding out about the other person shows interest and respect. Talking about oneself conveys insecurity (oddly enough) and disregard for those around one.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Jay,
      To me, balance is key! Showing interest in others is very important and then sharing something of yourself is also respectful. Grilling someone about their life and sharing nothing of yours — extreme and possibly rude.

      I am so glad you have raised this issue Jay.

      Warmest thanks,

  3. Alli Polin says:

    Wonderful list, Kate! Many of these get passed down from generation to generation too. As parents do we thank our children, model please and I’m sorry, stay at the table until everyone finishes their meal? Whether we’re at the office or in our homes these lessons should not be lost.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      This is so true Allie. When we model it as leaders and managers, the culture takes root. I recently read (can’t remember where) about leaders in a company, who started walking through work areas and cleaning up as they went along. The next thing you know … they had the employees engaged in a workplace maintenance program that all the marketing money in the world couldn’t have achieved.

      And please/thank you is a lot easier than that 🙂


  4. Khalid says:

    Wonderful post as usual Kate.

    I would add, sorry doesn’t mean you are weak. By taking ownership of your faults should present you as a strong person and win respect of the other party.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Very very true Khalid. In fact, it takes great strength of character to give a sincere apology w/ no defensive side-winding.

      Great addition!

  5. Thank you Kate, these are great tips!

    Nothing is more appreciated by customers than a manager or owner of a business reaching out to ask about the customer’s experience.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      You are most welcome Kattia and mutual thanks for contributing to this post discussion.

      I extend to you a warm welcome and invitation to comment on any post of interest and post any questions where I can be of help to you and your organization’s service excellence.

      Best wishes,

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