FORGETFUL GENTLEMAN [fer-get-fuhl jen-tl-muhn] n. a classy, sophisticated, modern man whose busy lifestyle often interferes with his well intentioned plans

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

7 Ways to be a Gentleman in the Next 7 Days

By Nathan Tan

With our busy lives, being a gentleman often requires being intentional about our interaction with the world around us. Here are seven quick and easy, yet thoughtful, ways to be a gentleman this week. Enter them in your calendar, jot them on a post-it note or write them into your to-do list to remind yourself. Try to do at least one of these each day and then share with us any stories of how this impacts your week!

1. Encourage or compliment someone unexpectedly.

Take the time to intentionally build someone up. Tell a stranger on the street you like their style. Tell a loved one how much a recent interaction meant to you. Make sure a co-worker knows how much you appreciate their effort. Let your boss know you think he's doing a good job (the top can often a lonely, unappreciated place). Make whatever you say genuine, specific and unexpected and you'll absolutely make someone's day.

2. Do a favor.

And don't expect anything in return. You might even do it anonymously and without prompting.

3. Cook for someone.

It could be giving your wife or significant other the night off to just relax. It could be asking a friend over for dinner. If you're bold enough you could even invite a complete stranger to share a meal. Either way, food is often a precursor to developing and growing relationships.

4. Dress up your look a notch or two for no reason.

How we dress is a sign of respect to the people and environments we come into contact with. If you don't normally wear a tie, wear one. Work in a business casual office? Throw on a sport coat for the day. Put on the best version of yourself when you walk out the door and who knows, maybe you'll feel more confident. Maybe someone will take you more seriously. Or maybe not. Either way, it'll show everyone that you care and that, after all, is very gentlemanly.

5. Ask questions. Listen to answers.

We all like to talk about ourselves. Be intentional about carrying on a conversation where its all about the other person. Try not to talk about yourself at all. It's harder than it sounds!

6. Become well informed about an important issue.

Educate yourself on something important and then engage in the ongoing discussion. A gentleman is a man of substance and its good to have a firm position on an issue as long as its well informed and thoughtfully arrived at. Make sure you consider both sides, if you keep an open mind you might surprise yourself!

7. Send someone a handwritten note.

Nothing makes an impression like a handwritten note. And if you have trouble following through, we know a company that can help...