At the end of this year I started to think about values that are of importance to me. These ideas are continuing to flow and I want to share them with you over the next few weeks.

May I wish you and yours a Happy New Year.

1. Look for the good in everyone; you will be sure to find some.

2. Use honesty with kindness and tactfulness when dealing with others.

3. It is a moral obligation to be responsible for your moods and not heap the negative ones onto others. Everyone has moods, but they belong to no one else but you.

4. Avoid giving unsolicited advice. It is seldom appreciated. Often people like to come to their own conclusions as only they know all of their issues.

5. Criticize constructively, never with anger or spite.

6. Disagree without being disagreeable. A powerful statement is, “Let's agree to disagree.” Move toward a positive solution, away from the problem.

7. Be open to the ideas of others. Never limit their rights to their thoughts, feelings, and opinions that are based on their experiences and insight, which is unlike anyone else.

8. Each person has the right to be heard, listened to and respected. Each person owns the right to his dialogue, and is responsible for his own acts and responses in communication.

10. Each individual has a unique presence, not an image that one can be expected to fulfill for others. Honor that uniqueness in creating rapport.

11. Someone once said that "Tact is the intelligence of the heart."

12. It is not just the words, but the tone of the voice that has the strongest impact. Hurtful words coupled with anger can harm irreparably.

13. Responsibility of actions affects many, other than self. We are not a world unto ourselves.

14. Words can build or destroy. Use restraint and always say less than you think.

15. Etiquette is a code of behavior that sharpens personal and professional skills and helps one to be responsible for his actions and behavior while using kindness and consideration of others.

16. Kindness, consideration, respect and restraint are the ultimate goals of civility. (PM Forni, “Choosing Civility.”

17. In conversations and building relationships, be interested and interesting. The most important is to be interested in others; their work, hobbies, homes and families.

18. Know how to “zig-zag” in conversations where the speaker and listener reverse roles. Avoid dominating a conversation. On the other hand, know your responsibility and contribution.

19. Exchange thoughts and feelings, not just words and ideas, in order to build relationships.

20. Approach the world with a positive attitude, enthusiasm, and amazement. It's contagious and is appreciated. Everyone loves to be around happy people.

21. To encourage conversation, use: Who? What? Where? When? How? Why?

22. Sharing, openness and transparency help to build relationships. Also be a caring listener. Listen with your ears and your heart.

23. People don't care until you care first. Be the one to extend yourself first to the other person.

24. Smiling creates a friendly, appealing presence. Good posture indicates intelligence, credibility and charisma.

25. Diplomacy is not only conveying what is kind and correct, but leaving unsaid something that may be hurtful at the most tempting moment.

26. Creating instant rapport, with empathy, is essential to good relationships. Experience the situation through the other person's eyes. Understand that person's reality, which may be unlike yours.

27. Forgiveness: Acknowledge your hurt and know that we are all flawed and imperfect. Avoid giving the other person power over you. Release the pain. It will be a gift to the other person, but mostly to yourself.

28. Listening to someone, completely, is a way to validate his value and enrich the relationship. A great human need is to feel important and valuable.

29. Each day, look for three things for which you are grateful. Write them down. At the end of the week, read all 21 of them. Gratefulness is a characteristic of a happy person.

30. Words can build or destroy. Always use restraint with your words and actions. Avoid putting someone on the defensive with blame, shame and criticism.

31. It is more important to be happy than to always be right. Treat others the way that you would like to be treated.

Get in touch DIANA OLSON, MA AICI CIP is an Image/Etiquette & Civility Specialist. She is available for consultations and Seminars in Appearance, Behavior, and Communication Skills. Contact her through

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