“If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world.” This is the importance in which graciousness can affect ones life. It's all about how you make the people around you feel. People are not born with gracious behavior, it must be taught and absorbed. Through constant and a conscious practice, it can be inculcated into your way of life. Gracious behavior, if taught starting from childhood, can lead towards the development of a successful human being. Graciousness may look easy, but of course it's not. Do not mistake mere manners for graciousness. Manners are rules, but graciousness reflects the art of being. Here are some ways to be more gracious:
When wandering the world, forget your business cards. Instead of looking for more contacts, observe the individuals around you. Say hello to the people you see everyday and stay interested in others. Look around, remember names, and be generous in your attentions. Life is about making memorable connections with other human beings. Not growing your contact list.
Presentation and execution are key. Wherever you go, square your shoulders to the people you meet. Make a handshake matter--make captivating eye contact, have established grip and remember to smile. If you can't smile, you can't be gracious. You are your own representation of yourself. You must attend and be present wherever you are. Stand when someone enters the room, look them in the eye and ask yourself if anyone needs an introduction. If so, before you start speaking anything about business, introduce them to others with pleasure in your voice. You cannot be gracious if you can't muster the enthusiasm for the people who are inducted into your life.
With that said, when you are in a conversation with anyone: listen. Be attentive to what people say and respond without interrupting. This is the gift of being gracious; you own the time in which you live. You grant it to others with no obligation. The return of this investment is the reputation you will earn, the character you will build, the curiosity of others, and the sense that people want to be in the room with you. What a gift that is.
Be forward with your help, another mark of a gracious man is knowing when to act without having to be asked. To help when asked is good, but to help when not even asked is better, and these are the signs of a gracious character. A gracious man is slow to take credit and quick to lavish praise. A gracious individual really doesn’t mind for who gets credit, so long as the job is done. Gracious men don’t keep score.
The essence of being gracious is being grace-full and extending your grace to others. Graciousness is to be kind and compassionate to another when they may be treating you with anger and hostility. Acting by example is a positive way to influence the poor behavior of others. Without saying a word, you are able to help them fathom their mistakes and poor attitude and help them realize that their character can be improved to live their lives just a little more graciously. A true gracious person is an equal opportunity grace giver. They don't cherry pick who receives grace but rather extends it to both family, friends, and strangers alike.
To be gracious is a character trait found and strongly encouraged in both men and women. Grace may possibly come easier for a woman..to be a gracious lady is something that is taught from a young age, as I was taught by the women who raised me to always be proper, poised and thankful for everything in my life. But in men, it doesn't seem as prominent, possibly because the word gracious doesn't sound masculine enough. But the rules of graciousness harmonize with the rules of always being a gentleman: Say 'please' and 'thank you', mind your manners and respect your elders. Stay well groomed, stand up straight, extend a firm handshake and always make eye contact. Work hard, keep your word and don't ever curse. Act chivalrous, love well and stay humble. These are the rules to live by to being a gracious gentleman.
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