|Be Ready For Your Thanksgiving Cornucopia – 6 Things to RememberThanksgiving is a time when we celebrate bounty with a variety of foods.This year, think about the bounty of people around your table. They bring a variety of appearances, religious beliefs, political views, attitudes and feelings.To enjoy this bounty, we offer six tips:1. Be welcoming. You may have a guest whose color, religion or politics is new to your household. Welcome your guest and plan to enjoy his or her presence. Take time during the introductions to repeat names and use them frequently.
2. Establish common ground. Make a statement about Thanksgiving or where you are gathering and ask a question, which requires more than one word to answer. For example: what’s your most memorable Thanksgiving? Tell us about your journey to get here.
3. Bring A “Talking Piece.” A study of MBA graduates found that 10 years after graduation it was not the grade-point average that had a bearing on their success. It was their ability to converse with others. Come prepared with a non-controversial piece for “show and tell.” Perhaps it’s a brochure from a recent museum you visited or a play you saw. Maybe it’s a cartoon in this week’s paper.
4. Listen.Be other-focused. When another person is talking to you, maintain eye contact. Don’t interrupt. However, if someone is dominating the conversation, add politely, “Let’s hear what Grandpa had to say about that from the old days.”
5. “Chunk and Check.” When it’s your turn to share, offer your thoughts in short “chunks,” and pause to see if others are interested, comfortable, and understanding. Refrain from dominating the conversation yourself. Give everyone equal time.
6. Be aware of your body language. Leaning forward suggests that you are listening. A relaxed pose suggests that you are at ease. Your stance can make others comfortable, too.
Most importantly, plan to learn and enjoy the sights and sounds around you, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Best Wishes from Carolyn and John
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