Tag Archives: courtesy

Can You Accept a Compliment Graciously?

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iStock_000058964220_LargeMarch 1st was World Compliment Day although I am not sure how many people were aware of it. Did you receive a compliment then or do you even remember? If so, how did you handle someone saying something nice to or about you? Did it make you feel good or did you find it awkward?

Many people say they have a hard time receiving compliments. They don’t know how to respond and will attempt to brush off a kind remark. Some people have told me that when they receive compliments, they attempt to deny, deflect, explain away, apologize or end up sticking their foot in their mouth with some weird comment.

Why do we react negatively to compliments? Sometimes it is because of our own inadequate feelings about ourselves. It could be that we don’t trust the person who is saying nice things to us. Do they want something from us? On the other hand, it may be the fear of appearing arrogant if we accept the compliment.

The way you handle a compliment says a lot about you and your self-esteem. Apologizing, blushing, looking away or appearing uncomfortable tells people that you don’t have a high opinion of yourself.

So how do you respond to a compliment? With sincere appreciation for the time and the kind words. Make eye contact with the other person, smile and simply say “Thank you.” Once you develop the habit of thanking people for their thoughtfulness, it will become easy to reply with confidence and add a comment.

After you say “thank you,” then add a bit of personal information.  When someone says, “That is a really beautiful necklace;” you respond with “Thank you, it was a gift from a good friend.”

Another option is to share your feelings about the subject. “That was a wonderful presentation you gave our team.” “Thank you, it was my pleasure.”

Say “thank you,” and repay the compliment. “That project you worked on so hard turned out to be a huge hit. “Thank you.  That means a lot, coming from you.”

The confident professional person appreciates a compliment and receives it graciously. The confident professional also gives compliments. They make other people feel good about themselves—and also the one who offers the kind words.  After all, showing kindness, courtesy and respect for others is what etiquette and manners are all about.

I agree with Mark Twain who said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”

Photo from Savannah magazine

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions. Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com

Left Handers Day

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Did you know that there is such a thing as “Left Handers Day?” This is an event, which recognizes the 10% of people in the world who are left-handed, and is celebrated across the globe on August 13th. Mark your calendars so you don’t miss it.

In my training sessions, particularly when I am speaking about shaking hands or table manners, the left handers in the group are quick to point out the challenges they face in trying to be well-mannered in a right-handed world. For example. when shaking hands anywhere in the world, the right hand is extended. Lefties have learned to adjust. Studies show that they are generally more flexible and adaptable than right handers. Of course, they have little choice.

The rules of dining also offer challenges. Left handers have to be careful not to commandeer their neighbor’s bread and butter plate which is always positioned on the left side of the place setting. Left handers are often tempted to put their glass of water, tea  or wine down on the left side of the place setting rather than the right where beverages belong. It is more convenient and manageable for them but causes confusion for the person seated on their left.

Lefties, given a choice, will take the seat at the end of the table where there is no one on their left. The reason for this–when a left-handed person has a right-handed person on their left, the two run the risk of bumping elbows during the meal.

If you want to learn more about left handers and the challenges they face, check out their website.

My favorite quote from the site is “Right handed people operate in the left side of the brain. Left handed people use the right side. Therefore, only left-handed people are in their right mind.”

As a matter of courtesy and respect, we right handers need to be more sensitive of left handers and their daily trials.

Additional information on being courteous and respectful of others can be found in my book, Manners That Sell – Adding the Polish That Builds Profits.

Photo from Savannah magazine

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com

No Good Deed Goes Unrewarded

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business etiquetteToday I made my semi-annual trek to Sam’s Club to lay in supplies for the last half of the year. I try not to go any more often because I am not a fan of warehouse stores. I do appreciate good savings.

A close friend and I make this trip together and then treat ourselves to a nice lunch in a calm environment afterwards. Come to think of it, it has turned out to be such an entertaining adventure that we might even consider going quarterly.

After piling our carts high with all the bargains we could manage, we headed for the checkout. She fell behind so when I picked out what I strategically thought would be the quickest line, a young man followed in behind me and then my friend took her place. When I glanced back at the man’s cart, I saw that he only had four or five items. I invited him to go ahead of me. For a moment we played the “Are you sure? Yes, I’m sure” game, but he acquiesced and accepted my offer.

As he was checking out, he looked back at me and said, “Do you like cupcakes?” Silly question. Who doesn’t? He invited me by his store for a free cupcake. His “cupcakerie” it seems was just around the corner and has only been open a month. It coincidentally was just a few doors from where we had planned lunch. Continue reading