There have been many blog posts written by both Realtors® and famous bloggers about civility and professionalism. I’ve seen posts by Realtors® that complain about their colleagues not returning phone calls or being too abrasive. I’ve also seen articles about bloggers posting rude comments on the blog posts of others. People often complain about comments from braggers or those who sell their own services and self-promote on someone else’s blog.
I was reading an old post written by Seth Godin recently. In it, he states that “Anonymity is the enemy of civility.”
What the heck does that mean? Well, I think he means that when we can remain anonymous and when we are not acquainted with the individual with whom we are having dealings (or when we do not have to provide our own name and be accountable), then it is easier to act in a way that is less than civil.
For example, I HATE (well, hate is a little strong, but you get what I mean) when I am in the express line at the supermarket and there is someone at the front of the line who is paying with a check. It drives me bananas. Usually, the individual who is writing the check does not pull out his or her checkbook until after the cashier has completed ringing up the order. Perhaps this individual does not even have a pen handy. This makes me absolutely crazy because generally an express line is created for individuals who have only a few items and it is designed so that people can get out quickly.
So, how does this relate to civility and Seth Godin? Well, I’m wondering … if I was acquainted with the individual who was writing the check, would I be more tolerant? If this was an old friend or a colleague, would I even be angry or impatient?
And, what about when I comment on a blog post? When I comment on a blog post, my photo and my name are connected with my comment. So, it is crucial that I am civil, professional and polite—even when I disagree.
I am wondering (and I do not know the answer to this question)… if we all knew each other and were on a first name basis, would the world generally be more civil? Would the issues that other bloggers are complaining about essentially be eradicated? Would the agent who does not return your phone call actually return your call if s/he knew you?
I’m not trying to preach peace and love (although that wouldn’t be too bad). I’m just trying to point out that I agree with Godin when he states “Anonymity is the enemy of civility”. If we all kept that in mind, it might improve upon the way we do business.
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