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Empathy 101: Ten Commandments of Human Relations

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- As the leader of your team, go through these commandments and consider how well you and everyone on your team abides by them. Encouraging their use just might smooth some ruffled feathers or diffuse a tense situation.

1. SPEAK TO PEOPLE

There's nothing like a cheerful word of greeting. To really connect, look them in the eye as you speak.

2. SMILE AT PEOPLE

It takes 72 muscles to frown and only 14 to smile. They can hear the difference in your voice - even over the phone.

3. CALL PEOPLE BY NAME

The sweetest music to anyone's ear is the sound of his own name. Be sure you say it correctly. Say it often.

4. BE FRIENDLY AND HELPFUL

To have friends and build relationships, be a friend first.

5. BE CORDIAL

Speak and act sincerely -- as if everything you do is a genuine pleasure.

6. BE GENUINELY INTERESTED IN PEOPLE

You can like almost everybody if you try. They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Be sure they know how much you care.

7. BE GENEROUS WITH PRAISE

Praise publicly, correct privately. Everyone wins this way.

8. BE CONSIDERATE

Be considerate of the feelings of others. There are usually three sides to a controversy: yours, the other person's and the right side. Keep ego and emotions in check.

9. BE ALERT

Be alert to give excellent service. What counts most is what we do for others rather than ourselves.

10. HAVE A GOOD SENSE OF HUMOR

Don't take yourself too seriously. When you add lots of patience, and humility, you'll have a recipe for enduring success.