Welcome to my ClassyTip for this week which focuses on:
- Being a Good Guest – Tip #27
Our social calendar is filled with activities that require a level of expertise at being a good guest. When we accept an invitation, whether for a business related social event, or a friendly neighborhood gathering, we’re agreeing to ‘participate’.
- Arriving in the ‘right frame of mind’
If we’re not already in a ‘social state of mind’, we need to re-adjust our ‘mindset’ before we arrive. This means beginning to think positive thoughts and expectations about what is ahead, including being relaxed, and ready to join in with the host, hostess, and other guests.
Perhaps we’ve had an especially stressful day that’s put us in an anti-social mood. But actually taking a mental break from the worrying and stress will have a beneficial effect. By participating positively in this social break, we’ll be psychologically refreshed and in a better frame of mind to tackle the challenges we face in today’s fast paced world.
No one wants to be around negative people, and if we focus on our own problems, that means we can’t enjoy carrying on pleasant conversations with others. I have found time after time that we just never know when a short conversation may bring us into contact with someone who has the answers we’re looking for. But that conversation may not take place if we arrive in a distracted, negative, or grumpy mood.
- Introducing ourselves
We need to always be comfortable enough to extend a handshake and introduce ourselves to a stranger. Often we’ll attend social gatherings where we already know everyone. But there will also be the times when we arrive, and discover that we don’t recognize a single face. Being able to comfortably approach a small group and join in their conversation will allow us to participate in the festivities, as well as make new acquaintances.
When approaching a group of people engaged in a conversation, we don’t interrupt to introduce ourselves. Rather, we listen, and join in when an opportunity presents itself. When the topic is completed and there’s a pause, we can then take that opportunity to make our introduction. If it’s a large group, we may only introduce ourselves to the people standing closest to us.
Sometimes we may arrive at an event and the conversations don’t easily permit our introductions. This can occasionally occur at the beginning of the function, when everyone has gathered into just one or two groups. When this happens, we’ll wait until the conversation or the group has reached the point that our introduction fits into the flow.
- Conversational topics
We’ve talked about this before, so we know which topics are appropriate and which ones to avoid. What we do want though, is fresh information so we can carry on good conversations. New, fresh information gives our voice an uplifting energy when we talk to someone. We can achieve this by taking the time to read a few current news events, an interesting story about a travel destination, how a local sports team is doing, and noticing what movies are currently playing in town.
- Paying attention to the time
We also want to be cognizant of the event’s schedule. By being aware we’ll arrive and depart at the appropriate times. A sit-down dinner has different requirements than a casual cocktail party. We don’t want to be late for a dinner party, which can cause real complications for the host and hostess. And, it is best not to be the very last person to leave a large cocktail party, forcing the bar to remain open past the designated ending time.
When we attend a function with our spouse, date, or co-worker, together we need to plan our time. I’ve been at functions when my husband and I didn’t do this; and he was waiting for me to say the "goodnight, it’s been a lovely party" and I was waiting for him to say it.
Consequently, we now have a plan:
For business events, the person who received the invitation should begin the "thank you, we enjoyed attending" departing comments.
For social events, whoever senses that it’s time to leave, starts the departing comments. This is an especially helpful plan if one of us has an extremely busy schedule the next day, or still has a report to write once we get home.
With proper planning, we can both relax and enjoy the function knowing we’re not each waiting for the other to start saying the ‘good byes’.
The classy person enjoys attending functions and participating in a positive manner, whether they are business related or purely social in nature. By mentally preparing to have a good time at the functions we attend and arriving with a positive attitude, every gathering becomes an enjoyable event to remember, and we can look forward to new ones in the future.
I'm Looking forward to sending you another of my ClassyTips next week. Until then, have a great week, and don't forget to visit my Forum where you can ask your questions on 'Becoming the Best You Can Be'.
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