Good Habits #41: Begin with a Hardy Greeting

By | March 21, 2019

[March 21, 2019] I began this series on “good habits” several years ago out of a desire to give simple advice to up-and-coming leaders.1 Picking good daily habits for leaders is easy because there are many to choose from. Today, I’ll be focusing on the usefulness of beginning your day with a hardy greeting.

“One of the most telling things about a person is how they say hello, handshakes.” – Miguel, American singer and songwriter

My dad used to tell me to begin my day with a hardy greeting and to treat everyone that way. To him, it was being a good Christian. To others, they would receive it as a sign of respect. Either way, a person giving a sincere hello (or welcome) is seen as approachable and open to people and new ideas; all characteristics of great leadership.

I was walking across the Penn State University campus several years ago but I’d had a poor start to my morning routine. I’d slept late (unusual for me), missed my morning workout, and was late to class. Being late is not part of my mental makeup so it put me in a bad mood. The young lady sitting next to me in class gave me a big hello and a wink. My day turned around right at that moment.

I don’t recommend leaders giving random “winks” as part of their hardy greetings but anything we do that reflects in a positive manner is good. For example a firm handshake, a big smile, a “hello” said with gusto, and a firm body stance are all read by the receiver as something that is good. It works.

Try an experiment. Spend a day giving hardy greetings. See how the day goes. Then spend another day just looking at the ground as you go through your normal routine. I won’t take a rocket scientist to see you feel better about yourself and others in the first case.

Being a great leader means giving a hardy greeting to those you meet.


Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

22 thoughts on “Good Habits #41: Begin with a Hardy Greeting

  1. Tracey Brockman

    Thanks Gen. Satterfield for your long-running series on “good habits.” I have the list on my refrig.

    1. Mr. T.J. Asper

      I use this series to help my football players and High School students. They also make better grades, are better liked, and get into trouble much less. Building higher standards, one step at a time.

      1. Eva Easterbrook

        Thanks for teaching our young how to be better citizens.

  2. Willie Shrumburger

    A ‘hardy greeting’ helps build trust and confidence.

    1. Ronny Fisher

      Maybe that’s why it works so well. 🙂

  3. Jonathan B.

    In the medical field we always make it a policy to greet everyone entering our facilities. Why? Simple answer. Medical facilities are where people go who have a problem; usually serious. We need to help lift their spirits.

    1. Len Jakosky

      You can’t go wrong with a hardy greeting at the hospital. I agree.

  4. Eric Coda

    I took a friend to a gunshow last year in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a bit of a liberal, politically, so he thought that the people there would be a bunch of ‘knuckle draggers.” This is the classic stereotype and condescending attitude you often get from liberals. We were, however to his surprise, greeted at the door and everyone was super polite. I think I have a convert.

    1. Otto Z. Zuckermann

      I love gun shows. Go to them all the time. Picked up some good bargains. Yes, they greet you and everyone is polite and respectful.

  5. Georgie M.

    One thing often missing from people today is character. You can’t trust many folks because we are no longer taught to be good people. We are told to be selfish. Too bad. Begin with a hardy greeting … it is your first step away from selfishness and toward selfless service to others. That is the only real way to happiness and prosperity.

  6. Yusaf from Texas

    I could write about many times I’ve received a “hardy welcome” at events I’ve attended. I’m sure others here have the same type of stories. I live in the state of Texas. Texans, as we are known, are famous for their hospitality, warmth to strangers, and kindness. But they are also a tough bunch who expect you to do your part. I would rather be around people like that than the wishy washy types you find in liberal inner city conclaves in Los Angeles and the like.

    1. Gil Johnson

      Smart. We don’t hear from you as often Yusaf. I hope all has been well. My wife and I plan to move to Lubbock Texas sometime later this year to take another job. It pays less but we’re told that the panhandle of Texas is a little bit different than the eastern part. Thanks for being a good Texan!

      1. Wilson Cox

        Yes, but we do hope to hear more from him. Smart comments are always a pleasure to read.

  7. Greg Heyman

    My wife and I went to a “soup kitchen” last week to give back a little to our community. We expected that the volunteers would be overworked and not appreciated. Anyway, that is what we thought. Of course, it didn’t pan out that way. We were happily greeted by a large man who told us his own son was now helping out with us. The positive environment established by him was something we will never forget. Yes, it does work.

    1. Fred Weber

      Good story. Thanks Greg. I’m sure you’ll be going back. A simple greeting (one that is positive) is like instant feedback that you have done something good. Reward equals more of that same behavior.

  8. JT Patterson

    Good advice. What else is there to say. Too many young people have no idea how important this is.

Comments are closed.