Business and personal relationships can turn sour over the smallest actions or cues, so it’s important to follow some simple rules.
These might seem basic to you. If so, congratulations, because your parents taught you how to do things. For everybody else, get your act together.
Never Arrive Empty Handed
You’ve been invited over somebody’s home, and there is no clear indication that you should bring something, right? Wrong, you always bring something… a bottle of wine, dessert, a small gift that shows you put thought into it.
Something! You are thanking your host for their hospitality. Oh, and if the plate of brownies or case of beer you brought are not all gone, you still don’t touch them, you savage. You don’t take some of your thank you back.
Be on Time
Are you one of those people that is perpetually late, and you like to play it off as being a thing you can’t help? That’s not charming or cute – it is jackass behavior. You don’t have to miss flights, hold up meetings, keep lunch companions waiting, or show up late to work.
The secret solution here is to leave earlier. Wasn’t that easy?
Respond to People
An email or a text comes in, or maybe an invite. Don’t ignore it. That’s obnoxious and careless. Acknowledge when somebody reaches out to you. Feeling overwhelmed? Work some efficiencies into your day, so you are on top of things.
You are not too busy to do it. You’re too selfish.
Honor Your Word
You made a commitment to do something, be somewhere, handle a task, or whatever. Do it. That’s the end of the story. Don’t forget to put things in your calendar. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t look for scapegoats to get you off the hook.
Say what you mean and do what you say.
I knew a person once who joked that they were a much better guest than a host, so they didn’t bother hosting. The punchline was that they were also a lousy guest – the late, empty handed kind who may or may not show up when they say they will.
After a while, I noticed that they were not being invited to social functions anymore. And just for the record, it does not take any special skill to host. It takes effort, care, and consideration.
If you agree to have something done by February 1, there are two times that are acceptable to finish, and they are by the deadline or before it. Don’t turn your lack of planning into somebody else’s emergency. Instead, plan out how long something will take, and prioritize it.
Deadlines make the world go around. Failure to meet them is a personal failure.
The good news is that it’s the start of the new year. You can pretend these are resolutions or whatever nonsense you want to call them. The important thing is that you cut out your bad habits and get yourself right.
This article appeared in issue 33 of FeedFront magazine.