Thursday, February 22 , 2018, 7:06 am | Fair 34º


John Daly: What’s Hot and What’s Not

Trends come and go, but knowing how to relate to others never gets old.

It’s the little things, the soft skills that really count in today’s society. Why? Because they aren’t always practiced that much as they should be, and when they are, the person exhibiting them stands out.

Take, for instance, a story that my wife, Marti, related to me recently over coffee.

She went to the pharmacy to fill a prescription. While standing in line, the man in front of her stepped out and went over to grab something else off a shelf.

When he returned, he got behind her (she was last in line). Marti motioned for him to jump in front of her. “You were here first.” 

The gentleman (and I say that with emphasis) merely shook his head and said, “No, ladies first.” Marti questioned, “Are you sure?”

The kind man smiled and said, “Yes, absolutely. As I was growing up, my Mama always taught me to be polite and courteous to others. And she told me that ladies are always first!”

Marti thanked the gentleman and told him how much she appreciated his kindness. It made a big impression on her, and she was excited to tell me.

Does that type of behavior ever go out of style?

What about the small things that can either elevate or disappoint others? The simple holding a door for another person is a perfect example. Hypothetically, you are on your way into the gym. You open the door, and a snippy young man blasts past you before you can walk through it. Make you a bit angry? Does me.

On the other hand, you are striding up to the gym door, and the person in front of you opens it and then holds it for you to enter. Your immediate response is to say “thank you!” Why? Because it is a simple, thoughtful gesture of respect. It makes you feel good about yourself.

When you do this for others, how do you think it makes them feel? I don’t think I’ve ever opened the door for another and not gotten a sign of appreciation in return.

Then, there’s saying sorry when you are wrong. Have you ever experienced being bumped into and then told to “watch what you are doing!”? The person who causes the problem should always apologize for creating the problem.

All of this got me to thinking about what’s hot and what’s not.

Here’s my HOT List:

» Showing respect and consideration for others (as in the examples above)

» Helping someone when they need it (and especially if the person doesn’t ask)

» Waiting your turn in line

» Letting others know when you will be late

» Doing something nice for someone just because you want them to feel good

» Being a real friend to your friends

» Remaining loyal and honest to family, friends and business associates

» Giving others your trust

» Finding time for others, even when you are swamped with everyday life

The list goes on, but you get the picture, I hope. 

And what’s on my NOT list? That’s easy. Doing the exact opposite of all of the above.

— John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for good manners and job search success. Click to learn more about The Key Class, or to buy the book.  Follow John on Facebook and Twitter @johnjdalyjr. Do you have an etiquette question? ASK John at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

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