What is courtesy?

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Courtesy is important, because it enables people to interact with each other so that each person and their actions are valued, acknowledged and respected.

Courtesy improves the quality of our lives by eliminating much needless stress and friction – it makes life more enjoyable.

Examples of courteous actions

  • using please when requesting something
  • making the effort to thank people
  • greeting and acknowledging peoplelending a hand when you can see someone needs help
  • holding doors open for people
  • giving up your seat to someone who needs it
  • letting someone go in front of you in a queue
  • apologising when something goes wrong
  • showing respect when talking to a person
  • showing that you recognise a person’s efforts
  • being polite to people at all times

Courtesy is not only about actions, it’s about your attitude towards other people – it’s a way of life.

As well as improving quality of life for individuals, it can boost business performance too – for free.

What’s more, when we all try to be more courteous, there are no losers – everyone can enjoy the benefits.

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Courtesy toolkit

See the other polite prompts in our please and thanks courtesy toolkit.