A couple of years back, I used to teach in my Spoken English class, how should we greet? And you will find some very informative and explanatory ways to do it on the web and books. But when I started looking at the why aspect of it, the how became much easier.
This blog will focus on exactly that – ‘How’ I discovered the ‘why’ aspect of greeting?
Looking back at school and college life, everyone has a favorite and a not so favorite teacher or professor in school or college. So did I.
My reason for liking one and not the other was quite unusual. While I appreciated the teaching skills of both of them, what I didn’t like was the greeting skill.
Prof. A would walk through the corridor with a lot of attitude and a condescending look without responding to the greetings of students. Prof. B, on the other hand, would reciprocate with a charming smile. That surely made him the winner.
Of late, I began to comprehend this when I noticed how some shopkeepers show this gesture of goodwill and it does have a huge positive impact on their sales.
Later, putting on my thinking cap, I realized it applies everywhere.
I had been brought up in an army environment and used to often wonder why the greeting business is taken up so seriously. It was mandatory for not only the officers but also the ladies and children to greet and respond to the greetings with utmost respect and dignity.
I figured why!! Because it helps build character, courteous behavior and that serves as the basis for developing good human relations. And this could probably be the reason why I fell for an army man later.
Then, as an educator, I observed how students made their first impression on me by this good show of gesture because tests and scores only came much later. Same would apply to me. I still have this memory. A student once made a portrait of me saying he loved my smile. I wondered why, because I had never been to his class or taught him. I just used to smile and wish him whenever he greeted me, probably! Why I say probably is because I acknowledged the greeting of all my students and he was probably one of them. I was touched beyond words. This effortless expression worked wonders for me.
I am sure, now you do understand that the value of greeting is felt everywhere, as an educator, as a student, in business, as a customer or any other role you play and in every possible situation you can think of.
What follows next is the question – Who greets first?
There are these established standards about juniors should initiate etc. But I don’t believe in them. I say, does it really make a difference? I feel, it should be a spontaneous involuntary act where you don’t have to force yourself. For those who take it on ego, well, they might be living in an illusion of superiority and attitude but the world will agree – they have none of it!
So go ahead, be that change you want to see in others, do greet with a smile- because you might not get a second chance to create that first impression again.
When to start?
This nature of greeting must be instilled in your lifestyle. It leads to great new beginnings. And you must start young because teaching 3 year old, greeting mannerisms is way easier and less embarrassing than pin pointing a 20 year old for not doing so.
Do it any which way – any language, but do it.
And my way, like most of my other ways, is about sticking to the roots especially when it has so much to offer.
I love the ‘Namaste’ greeting.
It gives a sense of warmth and it’s clean. You keep your germs to yourself, hence, lesser chances of infection. Being a yoga enthusiast, yog says – Namaste is a belief that there is a an eternal spark within each one of us located in our heart chakra, which is why hands must be placed close to that position. It allows 2 individuals to come close to each other energetically to a place of commonness without any ego-connection.
If you are one of those who think of returns – In my case, what I get in return – I always like being the likable one!!!