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Wednesday, December 12 , 2018, 11:39 pm | Fog/Mist 49º


John Daly: 11 Traits of a Respectful Person Equal Success

In working with teens, I’ve found that it clearly helps them get a grip when they understand why being respectful matters. Too often we assume they know these things when they actually don’t.

This was brought into sharp focus in a recent class I was teaching. In this case, actions spoke much louder than words. Kids were texting and talking among themselves on top of not watching me while I was teaching. One boy was sleeping. Several were even rolling their eyes. This was the last straw.

“This class is about respect for people as much as it’s about learning the basics of a good handshake,” I said.

I was firm and direct. I came down on them without talking down to them.

“How would you feel if you were in my place as the teacher and, with my body language, I let you know I couldn’t care less about what you were saying?”

They all agreed that, as they put it, “It sucks the way we’re acting.” I explained to them that I have a lot of respect for them and what they are going through during this time in their lives.

“I’m only trying to help you and ask for the same respect back from all of you.”

I stressed how we can have conversations or disagreements with respect for each other without yelling or talking down, and that was what I was trying to illustrate to them at that moment. I smiled and announced, “Next time someone falls asleep in class, I’ll ask him to excuse himself and go to the office to take a nap.” It was important for them to know what I wouldn’t tolerate.

Next, I challenged them with, “What do you think are the qualities of a respectful person?”

The comments were, “Respect your elders, be nice, blah, blah, blah.”

My response: “Really? You think respect is only about being nice to your elders? Boy, have I got some details for you! Let’s look at the traits of a respectful person and how having them will get you what you want in life.”

Trait No. 1: They’re honest. They don’t lie. People can depend on them. Think of the heroes we admire in books, movies and real life. Don’t they act with honesty and integrity?

Trait No. 2: They don’t lose their tempers, scream, yell or strike out against others when things don’t go their way. In other words, they rarely lose control. When negative things happen to them, they remain positive. They treat people as they would like to be treated.

Trait No. 3: They are tenacious. They don’t give up easily. They become resourceful when the going gets rough. They totally get that they can’t change other people or the circumstances, but that they can change their attitudes about situations.

Trait No. 4: They admit when they’re wrong. Instead of sticking to their guns (no matter what) just to be “right,” they fess up to their mistakes, particularly when it lets another person “off the hook” or eases a situation.

Trait No. 5: They aren’t lazy; they strive. They are hard workers who always want to “get it right.”

Trait No. 6: They have their priorities straight. They put what is truly important, what will really help others or a situation, above their own needs.

Trait No. 7: They have an inner sense of right and wrong. They innately know the right thing to do, and they understand clearly when an injustice is being served.

Trait No. 8: They tend to be role models for other people. Others admire and look up to them.

Trait No. 9: They are givers. Most successful people are. They know the “secret” that the more you give, the more you receive when you are genuine about your gifts. We’re talking not so much about money but time and expertise. They operate on Zig Ziglar’s quote, “You will get all you want in life if you help enough people get what they want.”

Trait No. 10: They have high self-esteem. They believe they deserve success and know they can do anything they go after. They know that a mistake is something they do and not who they are. They keep a positive self-image because they know that self-esteem is a state of mind that they have chosen.

Trait No. 11: They are loyal, even when it’s tough to be. They stand behind those with whom they have forged relationships and don’t betray them.

At this point, my students were all listening intently. I explained further. “If a person has all these traits, how will that help him be successful? Isn’t it obvious? These are the qualities of highly successful people in our society — I’m talking Bill Gates, Oprah, Warren Buffet, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and the like. It isn’t a coincidence that both highly respected and highly successful people possess these traits.”

The student who fell asleep raised his hand and asked, “So, by being a respectful person and having the traits you listed, success will find me?”

“Exactly,” I replied. “Like an oncoming train!”

Great Video Information

(Hal Sandick video)

Get the Book

Etiquette expert John Daly is kicking off a series of signings for his book, The Key Class — The Keys to Job Search Success, this week and will provide participants with tips for holiday etiquette. Tips will include what not to do at an office party, how to handle holiday dinners, gift giving, and answers to questions that challenge us all during the holiday season!

Daly will be at Granada Books, 1224 State St. in downtown Santa Barbara, from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, and at Porch, 3823 Santa Claus Lane in Carpinteria, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16.

Social Life Skills 101

Want the Keys to lifelong success for your children? The Key Class will teach them Social Life Skills 101!

Register your child for The Key Class today! Just four classes — on table manners, meet and greet, respect and making others at ease with them. For those seeking jobs, we’ll teach how to create résumés and cover letters!

Held from 6 to 8 p.m. every Thursday at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, 1535 Santa Barbara St.

Click here to register online, or contact John Daly at 805.452.2747
 or [email protected].

John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for job search success. Click here to learn more about The Key Class or get information on Thursday night classes in Santa Barbara. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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