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Over the past few years an epidemic of rudeness has swept America. Here's how to stop the disease.

1) Acknowledge people. Answer the phone. Return phone calls. Listen carefully when people talk to you. Be an active participant in conversations. Never use your cell phone when with others, especially in restaurants or other public places. Remember: acknowledgment satisfies a basic human need.

2) Show respect. Use people’s names when talking to them. Never invent nicknames or make fun of people’s names. Be on time. Treat people as if they were smarter than you. Let others speak first. Remember: respect is powerful because it gives people dignity.

3) Compliment. Seek the good in everything. Avoid gossip and people who gossip. Remind people about successes they had, even if decades ago. Focus on what works and what went well. Remember: warmth, attracts people.

4) Be positive. Master optimism. Accept change and new ideas. Always focus on success. Expect the best to happen. Think in terms of the future and how you can make it better. Use positive (or at least neutral) words. Remember: leaders sell hope.

5) Be mature. Manage your emotions. Speak softly. Seek solutions. Let other people do well. Let people tell you things that you know. Let other people win. Share information. Remember: mature behavior creates trust.

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