18th Aug , 2017

As we work our way through the holiday season each year, we find ourselves spending a great deal of time shopping for gifts, attending holiday and Christmas parties and getting together with friends and family.

We realize that another year has passed and a new year is upon us. We are always amazed at how quickly each year passes by. The older we get, the faster they go. Each year brings changes to our lives; some for the better and some for the worse. Some of the changes are things over which we have no control. However, there are a great many things over which we do have control—and it is they over which that control can be exercised. They are the things we each can choose to do—on our own.

They are the choices we each can make about ourselves to improve upon our personal character and presentation skills. After all, most of what makes us successful in life are our people skills. Therefore, this New Years, let us take stock of ourselves and examine how we carry ourselves, how we act and what we can do to make 2013 a year of success.

I would like to present some tips to consider while doing so. Less is more: Anything that is scarce is perceived as more valuable. This includes people. If you are a non-stop talker or are the first to arrive/last to leave, people will grow
tired of you. If you wish for people to perceive you as valuable, speak less and don’t stay long. Leave people wanting more of you, not less.

Put your cell phone away: No need to be attached to your phone 24/7. Put it away or on silent and don’t check your e-mails or texts when you are speaking with others. The real person with whom you are speaking should always be given priority over anything on your phone. Send a written note: If you make a new connection with someone and want to seal the deal, send a brief written note instead of an e-mail. E-mails are a penny a dozen, but a written note is rare these days and will be appreciated and remembered. What’s more,
people keep them.

Follow through: Our word is our most important asset. It establishes who we are and our reputation. It affects how others perceive us. If we say we are going to do something or complete a given task, we must follow through with our commitment to do so.

Show up: Whether it is a special occasion, a birthday, a school or sport event, or even a funeral. Show up! While you don’t have to stay long, just showing up shows your respect for the other person or people and will be remembered and appreciated. Demonstrate humility: Self-praise stinks. Want everyone to honor you? Then be gracious to all; thank everyone and anyone for anything; defer to others and never presume. You will get more attention and respect than the one who does not.

Each of the preceding is a thing that we each can do and things over which we have complete control. Ultimately, when we combine all facets of good character and demonstrate them to others consistently, it will do more for us in life than any degree hanging upon our wall. Because the overwhelming majority of our success comes from our people skills, let’s each examine our character and make the conscious decision this New Year to put our best face forward and be the very best that we can be. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and peace to all on earth!

COLLECTION OF THOUGHTS BY BRIAN HAGGERTY

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