This week I hosted a “Synergize” call with several of my colleagues, all graduates from the Protocol School of Washington. Our monthly conference call involves colleagues from across the globe – London, Shanghai, Ottawa, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Menlo Park, California and Montreal.
Our guest speaker Bernard Salt, business advisor and columnist spoke of trends and the changing landscape and in particular the motivation to launch his Face book pages – Society for Normal People and the Society for Business Courtesy.
Given this area is the bedrock of the “Synergise” vision - to focus on building peoples’ social skills for everyday life – developing stronger relationships through intercultural intelligence, modern etiquette, international protocols and communication, Bernard’s presentation was inspiring and enlightening for us all.
Bernard spoke on trends and the development of a society of people who have been brought up to believe they are special. In the traditional, larger families of previous generations the family group were larger and children learnt tolerance, patience and kindness. Today where there is a society with predominately one or two children, there is a lack of manners and an emphasis on affirmation woven throughout every aspect of the children’s everyday lives.
The environment means children get extra care and as a consequence are often self centered, self indulgent, taught they are special and in turn demonstrate a lack of common courtesies and manners.
When these children mature to adults and find life does not always treat them as well or as special people, clever or unique it becomes a challenge. They have lost touch with reality and find it hard to adjust to changing circumstances.
Conversely this can also lead to becoming a victim when they find they are not always special and life becomes too hard - the realization you need to work hard to be successful.
This huge sense of entitlement leads to a crisis for some and the consequences include side effects such as depression and potentially for some, self - harm that is reflected in the current statistics for teenage girls in particular.
Bernard publications include the "Big Tilt" – what happens when the baby boomers bust and the Xers and Ys inherit the earth.
Look out for Bernard's next publication due out in June 2013