Ways to Differentiate YOU from Your Competition!

In Education on July 25, 2011 at 10:14 am

By Joanna Parris

A return to Traditional Values has re-inserted the words graciousness & etiquette into our vocabulary. For quite some time it seemed that many business people had forgotten how to be polite and accommodating.

Fortunately, there are those who have always conducted business in the old school fashion – with courtesy and politeness. Those who are and have been gracious will have a head start. If you have not been, you can easily catch up and stand out.

Timely tips to help differentiate you from your competitors:

1. Accept Praise – a sure sign of a gracious person is their ability to accept praise, and not make excuses or try to ‘play down’ the compliment.
2. Adopt a positive attitude – be upbeat – positivity is contagious and we, as human beings, are more attracted to positive as opposed to negative people.

3. Acknowledge deeds – anyone who gives good service should be acknowledged. Go a step further by speaking to the person’s supervisor or manager and express your positive experience.

4. Be congruent – match your words to your actions; be sure that your body language agrees with what you are saying.

5. Be extraordinary – complete a job early, play fairy god mother/father to someone in need. Go the extra mile whenever you can.
6. Be positive – in your outlook, opinion and actions; find the good in each situation.
7. Competition – there can only be one winner, if that person is not you, congratulate the winner, smile, applaud and more important – appear genuine.
8. Competing with the star of the show – as an audience member respect the speaker – do not participate in conversation with other attendees. It is distracting to the speaker and the attendee.
9. Communicate openly and easily – share ideas and suggestions as to how something can be done differently and better.

 10. Control your emotions – when you are  overwhelmed or upset, take a deep breath and center yourself before giving an opinion or making a statement.

11. Dining etiquette – always taste your food before adding seasoning. It is a sign of respect to the host.

12. Give of yourself – write a thank you note, send flowers or something creative; make a call or visit in person.

13. Leaving your mark – show consideration to your host(ess) by removing some of your lipstick before using a cloth napkin.

14. Lift someone’s spirit – leave little notes of inspiration and or cheer for loved ones and co-workers.

15. Make an effort – to personify “grace under pressure” – the way you handle pressure is noticed by the people with whom you interact.

16. Make and hold eye contact – without staring; smile when appropriate; show interest; make the person feel that they are important.

17. Observe – what’s happening around you; offer compassion, without being nosy.

18. Please and Thank you – have magical powers that still work.

19. Praise others – genuine praise makes others feel special and it usually encourages them go the extra mile to do better.

20. Punctuality – occasions arise when one is unavoidably late; if you are aware that you are going to be late call and give an approximate time of arrival.
21. Respect – show respect to everyone with whom you come into contact, it comes back to you.
22. RSVP – means please reply – let me know if you are attending or not. Remember the person who sent the invitation would like to know how many people to expect.

23. Silence – quell an awkward situation by saying something like “I value your opinion” rather than starting an argument.
24. Smile a true smile – one that lights up your face, shines in your eyes and offers warmth to the recipient.
Gracious IS as Gracious does…..Graciousness has its own rewards. Go out and reap yours!

Joanna Parris is a certified Image & Etiquette expert. She can be contacted at joanna@bossselfpro.com.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: