Monthly Blog - November 2017

Are You Safely Socialized?

Ready, Set... Time to Say Please and Thank You Again.

Build a Longer Table: The Four Legs of the Table

Put Your Best Foot Forward
How Good Manners Enhance your professional and personal life.

“If you are more fortunate than others,
it is better to build a longer table than a taller fence.”

Are You Safely Socialized?

None of us lives within a vacuum.

We are all part of a bigger social spectrum, one in which we work, play and raise our families.

And most of us would like to believe we are properly socialized, which means we follow the rules and make a contribution to the society in which we live.

But sometimes we don’t make a difference.

Here’s why:

About Face

Some of the most important decisions we make—how much to bid for a house, hiring the right person, saving money for retirement–are influenced by our mind, which tends to play tricks on us. People still have difficulty grasping and understanding that we all have built-in biases.
Mahzarin Banaji and colleagues at Harvard University have launched a new project to understand how your mind works so you can learn to outsmart it.

“Learning brings awareness and understanding. It cannot itself put an end to the errors we make, according to research fellow Olivia Kang. “To achieve corrections that will matter to society, we must learn to behave differently.”

We are not bad people for having built-in biases. We all have them.

We need to remember that hidden biases are a product of how we’re wired and the culture in which we live. We need to use this information to enhance the daily decisions we make in life and work.

How to Change Minds in a Mannerly Way

Blaise Pascal, French physicist, philosopher, inventor, mathematician (1623-1662) arrived at a great truth about the secret of persuasion. He came to see that the surest way of defeating the erroneous views of others was not to bombard their self-righteousness, but to slip through the backdoor of their beliefs.

The three elements of persuasion: attunement, buoyancy, and clarity.

  1. Attunement: the ability to take another’s point of view.
  2. Buoyancy: remaining resilient in the face of rejection.
  3. Clarity: helping others make it through the murk of information.

In order to be persuasive in a mannerly way, one needs to have an empathic insight into the context and concerns in the other person’s mind.

Eloquence…persuades by sweetness, not by authority. Eloquence is an art of saying things in such a way—1) those to whom we speak may listen without pain and with pleasure; 2) that they feel themselves interested…

Eloquence required the please and the real; but the pleasant must itself be drawn from the true.

Eloquence is a painting of thought; and thus, those who, after having painted it, add something more, make a picture instead of a portrait.

The human experience can be rich and rewarding. By confronting our own hidden biases, making an about face and practicing persuasion in a mannerly way, will we be rewarded with a life of integrity.

Real life example: I have a built-in bias against facial hair/beards. I don’t care for facial hair. When I see someone with a full, bushy beard, I tend to think of stereotypical ideas such as, “Does he not like to look his best?” “Is he trying to prove his manliness?” “Is he just trying to be popular and gain attention?”

All of these ideas are built-in biases. It would be very unfair of me to judge someone simply by physical looks.

When I am talking to someone with a beard, I consciously work at listening even more carefully to the words being said, and responding to those words in an effective and meaningful way.

Are you safely socialized?


Ready, Set…time to say please and thank you again.


Remember: Share your goodness, far and wide, as much as you can, with as many people as you can, for as long as you can, with as much respect as you can.

Ready, Set…Time to Say Please and Thank You again.