It is the beginning of a new year. Let’s plan to be more powerful this year!
More Powerful? What is power? Is it strong muscles, being able to bench press 250 pounds, 6 pack abs or holding a high powered job? Maybe you have other definitions.
Napoleon Hill author of “Think and Grow Rich” says:
“Power is organized and intelligently directed knowledge”.
This definition vastly differed from my thoughts about power. However, I have embraced this definition and applied it to the work I do. As an etiquette and protocol expert I give people the knowledge to avoid unintentional and preventable blunders in business and social situations (or tips to recover with skill and grace). Etiquette and protocol are organized and intelligently directed bodies of knowledge that provide tools and skills for living and working with others. In thinking about the Hill definition, we coined the phrase, EtiQuettePower™ to describe the confidence that results from knowing how to navigate business and social situations using proven relationship and leadership skills.
Many people think of etiquette as tips for dining. However, this knowledge is more than the correct fork. It is for every day, from the gum wrapper you put in the trash to the door you hold for the person behind you, to the way you speak to your children, your co-workers and your employees.
Etiquette is about valuing relationships and results.
I believe having etiquette knowledge is like having an insurance policy. It helps you know what to do before a situation arises. The result is confidence and power and being more powerful is the goal for 2013.
We all have relationship and leadership tools, skills, and knowledge that we have learned over time. It starts in the play group when Mom said, “Be nice or we are going home”, or when the kindergarten teacher said, “Don’t bite Bobby, use your words”, or your boss says, “This is how we work in this company”. Somewhere along the way it got a little muddled and we lost perspective, for example, don’t bite Bobby when you are being “nice”, but you can bite him if you want to win the game or the contract (just apologize and say it isn’t personal or that you misspoke).
How do we use our etiquette knowledge and skill especially in gray areas to create a more respectful and productive workplace and society?
In our fast paced, diverse, social media driven and confrontational society, conflict happens at an alarming rate. I am sure you listen to talk shows and read the newspaper. Rudeness and misunderstanding have become epidemic. What can we do individually, on a daily basis, to change this situation?
My call to action is that we use our confidence, relationship and leadership knowledge, our EtiQuettePower™, to resolve conflict with diplomatic skill.
It is powerful to resolve conflict in a way that values relationships and still resolves differences, whether the differences are everyday irritations (two people need the same computer at the same time) or serious challenges—a co-worker takes sole credit for a joint collaboration.
In 2013, make a commitment to increase your knowledge of how to resolve conflict with poise, skill and grace.
I offer the following 5 key steps:
- Redefine conflict to see it as a positive that brings about needed change.
- Recognize that conflict begins with the small thing we prefer to ignore rather than the current thinking that when it explodes it is conflict.
- Address the issue sooner rather than later.
- Develop a plan and a script. Think through what you believe happened, develop questions, choose respectful language and practice your script alone and maybe with someone you trust.
- Determine a respectful and mutually beneficial location to have the conversation.
- Get over it and move on if it does not go your way. Use the lesson learned to increase your EtiQuettePower for the next time.
The benefits of this approach are better problem solving, contributing to a respectful and civil work, home and social environment as well as mastering your EtiQuettePower™ in 2013.
Let me know what you think about recognizing and resolving conflict. Write to me at Doris@DorisYoungBoyer.com
Doris Young Boyer is an author, keynote speaker and global etiquette and protocol expert and founder and CEO of A Sense of Grace International, a training company that provides programs in communications and leadership.
She is a contributing author to the anthology MASTERING THE ART OF SUCCESS with authors Les Brown, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen and is a thought leader who speaks and writes about EtiQuettePowerTM and Mastering Success.
Doris has been quoted in business publications, magazines and newspapers and has appeared on radio and television.
Ms. Boyer works with organizations who want a workplace culture of civility, dynamic performance and profitability. and with people who want the poise, polish and confidence to put their best foot forward in business and social situations. Her clients benefit from her exposure to all levels of the corporate experience and her international business travel for Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Doris has over 20 years business experience, a Masters Degree in Education and a Certification in Corporate Etiquette and International Protocol from the Protocol School of Washington.
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