In honor of Father’s Day, we are paying special homage to dads who are loving role models, there to offer support and see the bright side of any situation. Here are a few ways a dad and a gentleman handle awkward situations with confidence and grace.
A gentleman knows how to:
- Be a good listener. Your goal should be to be more “interested” than “interesting”. Ask thoughtful questions and respond to what is being said. Building relationships (at home or in the office) is a skill that requires time and a genuine interest in what is being shared.
- Be a dedicated fan. Support your children at their games, showing your undivided attention by keeping your cell phone off and tucked away. Make time for family activities and create a routine (such as a family game night). You won’t regret setting this time aside.
- Respect boundaries. Be present as a loyal friend, parent and partner, but use your best judgment before giving unsolicited advice. Avoid asking invasive questions of friends and coworkers, respecting their privacy instead. Do the same with your children, unless it is for their safety and protection. Otherwise, who cares if your son chooses to wear tennis shoes over loafers to the school dance?
- Successfully handle a political discussion. If politics come up in casual conversation with acquaintances, coworkers or perfect strangers, avoid starting a debate. While politics make a lively topic at the family table with Uncle Joe, avoid expressing your personal opinions at a staff meeting or boardroom table. You are a big influencer at your dinner table as well.
- Host a business meal, and a family dinner. When you extend the invitation, graciously handle everything from the valet to the tip. Consider your guests likes, dietary restrictions and different personalities when planning a dinner party. Your attention to detail speaks volumes.
- Propose an eloquent toast. When you have the honor of giving a toast, keep your thoughts short and sweet, heartfelt and sincere. Look to see if everyone’s glass is full, and practice the 4 S’s – Stand up, Speak up, Say a few words, and Sit down. The secret to a perfect toast is practice.
- Exhibit good sportsmanship. The way you handle a loss mirrors the way you conduct your life. Whether you are watching your team play in your own living room, or at your favorite local grill, good manners are important. Wear your team jersey and cheer, but know how to accept a win or defeat with grace.
- Buy the perfect gift. Your gift should be personally selected with careful effort and planning. Prior consideration for your wife’s birthday, daughter’s recital or son’s graduation shows you care enough to plan for the perfect gift. Of course you can accept a little help, but the final decision should be yours.
- Be a courteous driver. Behind the wheel, you are not only responsible for your own life, but the well-being of all your passengers. Be a safe and mannerly driver; avoid tailgating, texting and aggressive behavior. Set the example for your kids to follow.
- Use discretion. Don’t kiss and tell (different from sharing how much you love and admire your wife to your friends and children). If you are dating, even if it doesn’t work out, keep your words positive and uplifting. A good friend is hard to find, and you never know when her best friend could be your future soul mate.