Why respect matters

by Ron Wain, Joint Managing Director, Deep South Media

You and I, we work in an culture of increasing immediacy.

Of real-time responses.

Where information can be shared with a global audience in seconds.

Where we berate ourselves if an email is not replied to within 24 hours, 12 hours, 60 minutes, often much less.

Where we become anxious if we don’t stand attendant on the wi-fi devices which hum with a productive connectivity unthinkable a few years ago.

In this arms race to hyper-efficiency, in the zoom-zoom-zoom of the digital superhighway, it can be easy to forget our manners before we hit ‘Send’ on the next email.

Which is why each email should be written as if we are addressing the recipient in person, including starting the message with a simple ‘Hi’ or ‘Good morning’ and ending with ‘thank you’ or ‘kind regards’.

Courtesy, you see, implies respect – and respect and respectful behaviour are foundations of good business.

Which is why the 11 news professionals here at Deep South Media will always be unfailingly courteous in all forms of communications, to clients, the media, suppliers and visitors.

But why the reflection on the R word?

I’ve just returned from a leavers’ assembly, which my wife Jenny and I watched through hot tears of mixed emotion from 16 years’ worth of daily school runs and involvement.

It was our third and youngest child to have gone through the primary school years, when the ground rules of how to behave in society are instilled.

Our 11-year-old daughter and her classmates stood up and summed up what gives their school its own particular spirit.

Their words rang out loud and true in the hall: “Respect”, “well behaved”, “smiling faces”, “inclusion”, “optimistic”, “team work”, “positivity”, “effort”, “thoughtfulness”, “kindness”, “equality”, “nature”, “responsibility”, “democracy”, “effort” and “heart”.

In the grown-up world you and I inhabit, where cynicism pervades, this was a joyful reconnection to what we were and should be.

These attributes should guide our typing hands, so we don’t fall prey to the abruptness that blights our digital age.

Indeed, if you don’t know your Rs from your elbow, the losers will be your company’s bottom line and your own sense of worth.