Like most people, I suppose, I try to avoid seeming like a jerk.
Here are some strategies I try to use:
1. Offer meaningful compliments.
Emphasis on the "meaningful." I try to say things like, “You have a good memory” or “You obviously know a lot about this subject.” Empty, automatic compliments like “Great tie!” don’t count.
2. Give credit to others.
“The team did all the work,” “Pat came up with this idea.” Being generous with giving credit does not minimize your contribution.“
3. Ask questions and allow others to supply information.
I’ve seen good leaders ask questions to which they knew the answers, merely to allow others the chance to demonstrate what they know. This is a challenge for me. I find it hard to ask for help, to say, “I don’t know,” or keep quiet while others respond.
4. Admit error!
It’s so hard to say “You were right, I was wrong” or “This was my fault,” but so important. Also, it’s a key to leadership. As my father once told me, “If you’ll take responsibility for failure, you’ll be given responsibility for decisions.”
5. Remember other people’s names and some details of their lives.
How many times have you heard people complain that “So-and-so has met me five times, but never remembers me”? It hurts people’s feelings.
6. Call on others for their specific contributions.
“Pat is our expert on that,” “Lee, what do you think?”“
One way of showing fellow feeling is teasing people – gently. People liked to be joshed, but not about anything sensitive.
8. Remember your limits.
You’re just one person. You’re not infallible. It actually is possible that you’re wrong.
9. Don’t be a bore.
Don't assume that others are as interested in the minutiae of your life as you are.
10.Be courteous to others, no matter who they are.
William Lyon Phelps wrote, “The final test of a gentleman is his respect for those who can be of no possible service to him.” It's important to be nice to everyone.