It is a season of reckless utterances. On the local scene, Governor Simon Lalong drew the ire of mourners in Benue State by claiming to have warned his brother governor, Samuel Ortom, against the anti-grazing bill which has led to an orgy of unprecedented violence. On the international scene, Nigeria’s foremost playwright, Prof. Ola Rotimi must have had Donald Trump in mind when he took a swipe at the phrenic opportunists who dominate the political landscape, in his satirical drama, Our Husband has Gone Mad Again. The United States president continues to out-do himself in his tragicomedy series. This time, his disdain for African nations took a new dimension in the most vulgar expression, sparking global outrage among many African nations, who summoned US envoys over the disparaging remark.
While Governor Lalong has tendered an unreserved apology, claiming he was quoted out of context, President Donald Trump has denied condescending to vulgarity, claiming he merely used “strong” words to give vent to his frustration over illegal migration.
The increased need to take cognizance of the sensitivities of people has never been more acute than now. Communication, the live wire of human interaction, has become far more complicated in the 21st century than ever before. The advancement in technology has made the scope of the challenge more profound.
In this dispensation, etiquette is no longer a case of “it’s nice to have skills.” Civility is now a major determinant of success, crowding out of the circle any deficiency in this regard.
On a normal day, Governor Lalong’s comment would simply be viewed as a personal opinion. But angry respondents wanted his head on the chopping board because the sermon was not only in bad taste but ill-timed. Etiquette guides us on what do and how to act in any given situation. At a time when the people of Benue State were burying 73 people in one day was not a time to add insult to injury by indirectly blaming the government for the establishment of the anti-grazing law. Granting the interview shortly after his meeting with the President, Governor Lalong was accused of playing to the gallery in a tactless attempt to score cheap political points at the expense of grieving fellow citizens.
Donald Trump’s xenophobic remark is clearly in keeping with his campaign promises, but the use of coarse words was out of bounds which stirred African nations to rise from the traditional stupor to voice out in strongest terms their condemnation of Trump’s unprintable language. The lack of finesse was the mainspring of the backlash.
In the year, it is imperative therefore to make proper conduct and good manners top priority as we strive to implement and sustain the resolutions for self-improvement.
Purposiveness is no doubt in top gear, predictably some may be floundering, depending on the level of discipline and staying power. Interestingly people craft resolutions oblivious of the role social graces will play. A local proverb goes thus, ‘Whatever plan you may have, Mr. Death demands you factor him into the equation.’
In the same vein, our dreams and aspirations must have social skills as an active ingredient. Whether you are retooling, improving in some area, scaling up in whatever form, you need etiquette to actualize it. Your idea is subject to the reception or buy-in of other people. Even if you created a robot as a frontline staff, its performance is predicated upon human interface. if it doesn’t satisfy the law of human relationship in the form of courtesy, decorum and consideration, then that novel or laudable idea is dead on arrival.
Actions, words, appearance, affect your relationship with other people. Consciously or otherwise, you are communicating through these three vital elements which play a pivotal role in how you are perceived. This is the linchpin of the value people ascribe to you. Ultimately how rich or poor you end up is based on how much people are willing to pay for knowing you or what you represent! Need we say more on the importance of etiquette?
“The leader who can’t communicate can’t create the conditions that motivate. The genius who can’t communicate is intellectually impotent. The organization that can’t communicate can’t change, and the corporation that can’t change is dead,” said postulated Nido R. Queben.
Be strategic, make elegancies and politeness the hallmark of your brand.
Whatever your goal is, spice it up with social graces. Success is guaranteed!