Yes, there is an art to being gracious, but first, it begins with the desire to be gracious. So this means precisely what you’re asking?
Here are my thoughts:
- Being gracious means sincerely thanking someone for a less than desirable gift when deep down you wish they had given you a gift card instead
- Being gracious is letting someone cut in front of you without giving them the “look” (or tripping them!)
- Being gracious is making eye contact and saying “thank you” when someone hands you something, anything – maybe your coffee at Starbucks, for example
- Being gracious is treating your guest(s) to lunch, dinner, drinks with absolutely no expectation of reciprocation
- Being gracious is responding with a simple “thank you,” “that’s kind of you” upon receiving a compliment rather than dismissing their comment or delving into an extended detailed response
- Being gracious means you introduce people to each other who have never met rather than letting them feel awkward as they stand there
- Being gracious means you take the time to acknowledge people – on elevators, in the hallways, in meetings (virtual meetings too) – “good morning,” “hello,” nod of the head, a smile
- Being gracious requires being aware of your inside voice and your vocal impact on others around you – you may need to bring it down a bit (yes, you!)
- Being gracious means, you can artfully move a conversation away from negativity and gossip without insulting anyone’s ego
- Being gracious means, you help facilitate small talk recognizing some people are shy and uncomfortable and don’t know what to say
- Being gracious means, you know how to give your opinions without being belittling or condescending to those with whom you disagree
- Being gracious means, you use more words that show respect and thoughtfulness than is the norm in today’s world of increased brevity
- Being gracious means, you know how to be in the moment to grab and fulfill each gracious opportunity
I would love to hear from you with your “being gracious” additions!