A Call to be Gracious

Over the years, I’ve seen and experienced people treating each other in a way that I considered rude or improper.

Due to my background, I’ve blamed a majority of these interactions on “poor training”.

But I saw something today that made me think differently.

One of my Facebook friends posted about a positive business experience with a woman who happened to be a mutual acquaintance of mine.   My Facebook friend included a recommendation and a link to the woman’s website. 

My Facebook friend had three responses to her post.

One said “You lucky girl!”, the second was a follow up comment from my Facebook friend and the third said:

“Facebook friend  – -I’m happy for your experience, but wonder if you knew about my love for <what I sell>. You can have a <great business experience> with me as well. My desire is to share wonderful things with the women at <an upcoming event>. I’ve expanded my practice to include <yada yada yada things I do>.  I’m also studying <yada yada yada things I will do> and much more. Just thought I’d share.”

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Um…what is my Facebook friend supposed to do with that information?  And how gracious is that to the woman who was originally being given the highlight?  

It’s like honoring an award recipient and during the ceremony, some random person runs up on stage, grabs the mike and begins exclaiming why they should get the award instead.

Believe it or not, there was another disingenuous post right below that one.

My same Facebook friend posted a link that invited her friends to an upcoming event.  She noted to come “and enjoy some free wine and cheese” while browsing or shopping during the event.

There was one comment from a mutual friend of ours who sells wine.  Guess what it said?

“Where did the wine come from?”

Again, what is my Facebook friend supposed to do with that information?   Become defensive?  Perhaps feel slapped on the wrist for not buying wine from commenter?  Even if my friend didn’t mean to come across that way, this could have been asked privately and in a more gracious manner.

Whether or not this is a good tactic for getting people to remember to use your product or service next time, the truth is there are much more gracious ways to handle online (and offline) interactions.

Remember the quote from Maya Angelou –  “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Long after these Facebook comments fade…what will be the end result?  

Will my Facebook friend remember what her friends said, or will it be how they made her feel?  

Remember, this is a public setting and it’s like having an open conversation around a table during a networking event.

Let’s strive to be more courteous and gracious towards each other and in front of others, both online and offline.  

The feelings from gracious exchanges can go further than you may ever know.

5 responses to “A Call to be Gracious”

  1. Global Patriot

    Facebook has become a strange venue for conversation and promotion. So many comments should be handled via private communication, or left unsaid. I see more and more of these “random” messages that make me think WTF? Hopefully this trend will subside and people will get back to having meaningful conversations or leaving relevant comments – one can only hope.

  2. Patti DeNucci

    There are so many lessons in the situation you describe! Hopefully we can all learn from the less-than-gracious, so unattractive behavior of this person and strive to not ever behave this way, online or in-person.

  3. Lisa Kelly Zuba

    Ricci,
    Great post. However, I still think it goes back to poor or lack of training. Also, people do not think about how what they say will come across. It’s like table manners — eat with your mouth open, and I won’t want to invite you back!

  4. Susan K. Morrow

    Ricci–This is appalling to me! People can be incredibly thoughtless. Obviously, the “ungracious” posters are desperate to develop their businesses and saw these as opportunities to do so. What they didn’t recognize was just how bad that made them look to potential customers. If someone posted a glowing testimonial for an alleged competitor (alleged, because I know I’m unique), I might contact that person privately and offer something to entice her to post something nice about me, with no strings attached. OR, more than likely, I would simply go along my merry way. That Maya Angelou quote is right on–and it goes for making people feel good or bad. I know that I haven’t forgotten the person who never remembers me when we meet. I haven’t called her on it–remember, good manners first!–but I remember how insignificant that made me feel. We would all do well to remember that! Thanks for a great article!

  5. Brigitte

    Ricci, I love what you are doing!! Your personality shines through everything I have seen written by you. I agree that being gracious should be more than just a commodity. Not only on the social network sites but truly in general. When have you met a gracious child lately? When have you made the last observation of a parent teaching graciousness?

    So, thank you so much for putting this discussion on being gracious out in front!

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