I’m not sure if all of you feel this way, but I have felt a disturbing trend in America on how we treat each other. It seems to me that our society has gotten to a point that being selfish, inappropriate and inconsiderate are now not only popular, but a show of strength. It doesn’t feel right to me.
Social media and emails are a normal way of life. It now only takes seconds to really hurt a person or company by throwing something out there just to see what kind of reaction it gets. Many times, emails are sent before really considering the tone of the communication. Sometimes it’s nearly impossible to read the correct tone in written form.
I believe it’s different at home today too. I remember when I was in high school (way back in the early 80’s) if I did something wrong the punishment from my teachers/principal would be nothing in comparison to the uncomfortable feeling I received (and deserved) at home. I’m guessing that this doesn’t happen that much anymore, and while I didn’t enjoy it back then, I think that it made me a better person. Inappropriate behavior wasn’t acceptable in my house growing up and I hope that our two sons would say the same.
What happened to the day when we tried to create “win/win” solutions? What happened to the day that we would compromise to get things done? What happened to the days that two people would sit down and talk an issue out instead of just hammering away on Twitter? I miss those days, and I hope to see them return someday.
The next time something is bothering you, pick up the phone and offer to buy the person a cup of coffee at your favorite coffee shop. I’m extremely confident that this is a great way to improve the relationship both now and going forward. In many cases you will find that your goals are similar and that there is a common ground. Find that common ground and nourish it.
Scott Huedepohl is the President of Community State Bank, and has been a community banker for over 30 years.