On the Euro Coach List, Denise Taylor recently started a discussion on “Are some people rude or thoughtless”, following on from her blog posting of the same title (at http://www.amazingpeople.co.uk/blog/index.php/2010/11/09/are-people-rude-or-thoughtless/)
Here is my own contribution to the discussion, relating Denise’s question to what is happening on-line
Could it be that our altruistic ‘genes’ developed when we lived in small groups? If someone did you a favour you’d better return the favour or they’d never help you again. It made sense to ‘keep score’
Nowadays, with billions of people, many very mobile, it doesn’t make as much sense any more. What you might call “communities of location” aren’t working as well as they used to. They have become too big and too fluid
On a hopeful note, we are now seeing many communities of interest (like the Euro Coach List) developing. We are coming together based on what they are interested in. We are learning to work together in new ways. Just think of open source software, Wikipedia, Barak Obama’s election campaign, the Euro Coach List Conference and even on-line gaming
Marketing is more and more about being truly helpful. I recently heard the expression “good customer care is the new marketing”. The idea is that you look after your clients well, so they will do the marketing for you through word of mouth advertising.
We have come full circle. Years ago, if a baker cheated his customers the whole village would find out very quickly. So the baker made sure to do a good job. With people moving into cities and more mobile, this link got lost. Thanks to the Internet, and especially social media, the world has shrunk again. If a global company mistreats their workers they may lose customers on the opposite side of the world. Once again it makes good business sense to be a good business
Hopefully the tide is turning and people will become more and more gracious and helpful over the coming years