As we jot down our resolutions and set goals for the upcoming year, it's the perfect moment to think about self-improvement, particularly in how we connect with others. Here are five easy-to-implement tips to elevate your interpersonal game and build stronger connections before the clock strikes midnight.
Embrace the Timeless Touch of Handwritten Thank You:
In a digital age dominated by quick texts and emails, there's something special about a handwritten thank-you note. It adds a personal touch that goes a long way in expressing gratitude. This is one of my favorite etiquette tips to share with my students, along with sharing ideas on how to word thank-you notes.
ProTip: Set up an appreciation station on your desk or wherever you sort your mail. Take a basket, and fill it with beautiful thank you notes, your favorite pen, and stamps. Your future thank-you-note-writing self will thank you!
Be the RSVP Rockstar
Party planning can be stressful, so be that guest everyone loves by responding promptly. As soon as you receive an invitation, check your calendar and respond to the host within 24 hours. If you're unable to attend, thank them for the invitation and explain if you feel comfortable. If you can attend, let the host know ASAP. A timely reply shows respect for the event and the host's efforts.
Prioritize the People in the Room
Challenge yourself to be fully present in your interactions. Minimize distractions at work by focusing on your colleagues' conversations instead of catching up on email, and make sure to silence your phone. At home, consider enjoying screen-free meals (yes, that includes the TV!). Being fully engaged not only demonstrates respect but also promises to nurture deeper and more meaningful relationships in the coming year, I promise.
Master the Art of Conversation
Boost your conversational intelligence by embracing the art of asking questions. Inquire about others' interests, seek advice, or invite them to share their experiences. Stay informed about current events, trends, and entertainment—interesting people are genuinely interested.
Break Free from Gossip
Every conversation is a chance to build relationships. While gossip may be tempting, it often hinders more than it helps. To shut it down, either disengage—say nothing and embrace that awkward silence—or counter by saying, 'Oh, that doesn't sound like so-and-so; maybe they were having a bad day.' Invest your time in positive conversations to strengthen connections, and you'll be amazed at how much more fulfilling your relationships become in 2024.
Making these etiquette tips a part of your day and year isn't just about improving yourself; it's about making the world around us more considerate and connected. Here's to a year filled with those little positive moments and meaningful relationships that truly make life special!