The Etiquette of Enthusiasm

Have you ever had an idea so strong you felt like you could not wait to share it?

It seems most of us will agree, publicly at least, that we don’t like a “Donnie Downer” (surely you can appreciate the reason we don’t say “Debbie Downer”…), and yet very rarely do we think our enthusiasm may be “too much” or unwelcomed, or even “in bad form” from an etiquette perspective.

And yet, what we may perceive, and believe, to be passion but positive energy can be unwelcomed, or even unsettling, to some. 

While we are certainly empowered with interest and encouraged to be committed and supportive, is there an etiquette to conveying these emotion-packed ideas so they can be seen as leadership? 

When you have an idea that sparks your pursuit of having it heard, think of the following suggestions for effectively communicating your belief/idea:

• Watch your facial expressions and body language. At times when we want to share, we are often impatient and overly expressive. Instead, be direct in your purpose with smiles and awareness of what is happening. There is no point in phoniness or “acting.” Strength and kindness come from truly engaging with others positively.

• Be open, truly open. Listen to, and respect, others for their ideas and insights. You can learn from their perspective and the stories they share to demonstrate, or support, their views. By having an openness to situational emotions and people’s personal takes you will have a higher likeliness of others reciprocating.

• Know that you are a person and your audience are also people. We all tend to take things personally. Resist saying to anyone involved “You don’t understand,” “With all due respect” and/or “Since you don’t care, let me jump in.” In place of those thoughts, think about a position of gratitude. Say things like “Thanks for sharing” or “You may be right,” prior to your thoughts being vocalized.

• Keep your enthusiasm to enthusiasm, and do not let it rise to insistence. How you can do that is through writing, recording and drawing out ideas to demonstrate how your thought, or idea, would play out positively.

Sure, it can be challenging to keep good ideas percolating and that is not the point of the etiquette of enthusiasm. The purpose here is to think through a situation fully with emotional intelligence of self-awareness. 

If these tips for good, enthusiastic, etiquette sound similar to some of the guidelines for disagreements and/or difficult situations, they are. That’s because unbridled enthusiasm can feel like an attack on those who initially don’t know where you are going or disagree with your opinion, which can make people get defensive. Using the etiquette of enthusiasm allows you to direct that enthusiasm toward the outcome, and the impact you would like to evoke. So, share, share enthusiastically and share to get connected and get across your idea that you could not wait to share … yet did, with a process.

Debbie Lundberg is the founder and chief executive officer of the Florida-based firm Presenting Powerfully, where she delivers keynote speeches, facilitation, teaming and coaching. A 12-time published author, virtual presenter, life coach, leadership coach and image consultant, Lundberg co-hosts the Business Of Life Master Class Podcast. Her book, Remote Work Rockstar, is a guide for working and leading virtually. 

You May Also Like

The Business Case for DEI

Diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, is not only a good thing to do, but also a highly valuable business strategy. While the subject can be sensitive, we should understand

The Etiquette of Trust, or the ‘ABCs’ 

Trust is much desired and, perhaps, missed, the safety and desire to work somewhere in a trusting environment ranks high on most people’s lists when it comes personal, and professional,

Great questions … (and when to ask them)

In working with thousands of sales professionals in hundreds of organizations through the years, our message to each of them has been simple, “You’re a consultant, so behave like one.”

Is a DBA the new MBA? 

In the early 1900s, businesses were growing larger, and more complex, with more employees working in more varied divisions across more geographical boundaries. From this growth, demand for people who

Other Posts

Where did the time go?

New Year’s Day … Martin Luther King Jr. Day … Valentine’s Day … Super Bowl … President’s Day … St. Patrick’s Day … Passover … Easter … Kentucky Derby …

What Twitter 2.0’s algorithm release means for your visibility

On March 31, Twitter open-sourced its algorithm. Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Twitter, delivered on his promise of transparency by being the first major social media platform to publish

The etiquette of emotions in the workplace

Humans are a series of emotions, and habits. Our emotions can drive our commitment to well-serving habits and our habits can either quell, or enhance our emotional states in reaction,

How well do you know your buyer’s journey?

For sellers of professional goods, and services, in today’s competitive business environment, it’s important to understand your buyer’s journey before they make a purchasing decision.   We find that there are