Keyboard Courage

A Reminder: Manners Count

Be nice, lose the mean February 21, 2021

Considering who you are and how you interact with others is important.

Since Covid, the environment changed, and the landscape for all roads of communication transformed for most of us. However, this change should not mean the tone of how we communicate with one another should change.

You may not be going into an office as much, if at all. Interacting face to face with friends and family members might be less, and big conversations on a computer screen are happening more. However you choose to interact with the people in your world, I am reminding you to always be considerate, no matter what the message is or how it is delivered. BE RESPECTFUL.

Why I am writing this column: Three Recent Signs

1. I had a heartfelt conversation with one of my dear friends who manages a group of people for her work. She conveyed to me how much the dynamics have been challenging on her team as of late with a lot of antagonistic behavior and quasi bullying. She has been frustrated, not only with her charges, but also with her bosses for delivering directives and orders in a very sly, deliberately mean way. “Why can’t everyone be nice?” she asked me.

Sound familiar? 

2. A group that I work with regularly recently had some challenges on their board. It revolved around the way in which members were speaking with each other through email. Condescending, judgemental and inconsiderate.

Can you relate?

3. A recent local situation on Facebook presented itself in which a supercharged topic turned into a war of name-calling, slander and inappropriate innuendos from good people toward good people. Is this real? 

Seen any of that going on?

I am writing today because these communicationally challenged situations are disconcerting to me. During such a tumultuous and unprecedented time, don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s okay to berate people or antagonize folks on either a public or private platform, verbally or nonverbally. Express opinions mindfully, respectfully and above board.

Don’t fall victim to keyboard courage.  I am here to tell you nothing good will come of it, and it will only make things worse.

It’s not okay to name call. It’s not okay to be disrespectful, and it’s not okay to be mean in person or through a screen. 

And to those of you watching it unfold, it’s not funny — it’s really sad.

Before sending that email, posting that post or blaming the blame, think through it with kindness. Don’t get sucked into a vortex of negativity. 

Remember who you are. You are a good person.

Message for the week: Play nice. Be considerate. Think and measure before you write.