10 Palace Principles - Etiquette Before Kings
In you lifetime, you will get to a point where your gift brings you before kings and people of major influence in society. You may not enter the real palace but for the sake of this document, I will look at etiquette considerations when you are meeting someone significant e.g. your mentor, minister, chief etc. The principles I share with you today apply to the real palace when you meet a real king or when you meet an authority figure. No longer will you live on assumption but you will be deliberate and intentional about some of the things you do. I have met influential people in my life before. For some it was unplanned but in a number of cases it was by invitation. As someone who groped in the dark and finally learned how not to behave before people of influence I picked a few principles or considerations which will help you as you move up the ladder of influence. As mentioned before greatness is every living human being's birthright hence you have to be looking forward to influence and significance in the journey of life. These principles will prepare you in advance for your palace experience. You will realize that I speak of the king but you are welcome to replace it with mentor or any other title befitting of someone in authority like a President of a company or nation.
Summarized Principles and Considerations
1. A king deserves your attention. - You have to realize that the king's time is precious. Take note that it is a privilege for you to even be entertained in his palace. Give him his place, to rule and decree. When he speaks, you listen attentively. You have to sharpen your listening abilities. When you show that you are taking note of what he is saying, it will encourage the king to say more. There is nothing as frustrating to a king as someone who takes the office for granted and decides to focus his attention on other "nice to see" things in the palace. You have come for counsel, pay attention.
2. A king requires order and structure - Being a governmental individual, a king or ruler is used to putting together structures of how to govern or rule the empire in an effective manner. In the case of a mentor, they probably have daily experiences of putting together structures in their business and restructuring their investments. As someone who has come to this high profile, structured and "governmental" figure, your matters have to have order. This calls for your preparation before you enter the palace. Exhibiting disorder before the king is a sure way not to be invited again. Your agenda and the flow of your meeting can not suddenly be interrupted by crazy thoughts you are coming up with. You have probably not come for a brain storming session with the king, present your case in a flowing, orderly and structured manner. Only then will you get specific, directed counsel. A king requires you to be specific and straigh to the point - Kings are busy people. You need to get to the point in the shortest possible time. Highlight the reason why you have come.
3. Keep the king's confidence - The goings on in the palace are not to be heard outside the courtyard, in the market place. Kings come across different cases, situations and experiences. You may stumble across privileged information while in the presence of the king. This should not excite you as "latest gossip" to start spreading. Once youÂ loose confidence you truncate chances of ever receiving counsel again. some of the information you may stumble on can bring instability to many who were not in the picture until your mouth opened to spread the "latest" gossip. One day you will rule and reign in high office and you shall feel the importance of keeping certain information to your chest. Swear to secrecy to a point of not even telling your wife. Information leakages happen not because you told the city but you you may have even told one person who loses control. As you become king or person of influence, pay attention to information security. Know what examples to give in your counsel that will not be treated as newsworthy.
4. No offense with the king - when you receive correction or when your otherwise "brilliant" proposals are thrown through the window, do not take offense. It may have been the manner in which you presented or the lack of depth in your research that caused the king to decide against what you put on the table. It is your role to re-look at what you brought and identify loopholes, lack of clarity so as to re-sharpen your presentation. It is easy to take offense at whatever the king speaks or rebukes you on. Separate the matters from the person. They have taken time to entertain you, give him/her time to contribute in any way, shape or form. Offense can easily be magnified to a point where all the good is swallowed up in the cloud. Be sober minded in the king's presence and find creative and effective ways to deal with your own frustrations and opinions away from the palace.
5. Kings have wisdom and experiential knowledge, tap into it. Be expectant each time you meet someone from a higher office than yours. Most of the time we do not learn or remember what has been said unless we write things down. Kings have gathered experiences and knowledge over time which they are sometimes willing to share. There is always something you can learn from the next person especially those that have gone ahead of you. It is not about how many university degrees the king has on the resume. It is way above that. Wisdom gathered from life experiences is more valuable. To combine that with formal education is excellent. Wisdom is one quality that kings are chosen on. The ability to judge a situation fairly and justly is an expectation mankind has for those in authority. The more they act in this manner, the more they gain credibility and respect. In the process, wisdom and influence increases.
6. A king must be addressed with dignity and honor - It is highly honorable and well respected and accepted to honor a king or a person in authority over you.Â Realize the importance of the king in that what they speak out has a direct effect on your life. When he decrees laws and passes judgment, your daily life processes are affected directly. It is always important to give honor to whom honor is due. Whatever you respect, you can extract value from. what you take for granted, loses value in your sight and hence you cease to benefit from it. When I went to school, whenever an authority figure entered our classroom, we stood up to honor them. I never used to appreciate this as no one took the liberty to explain to me why we did what we were doing.
7. It is not for you to correct the king - Sometimes we grow big heads and feel we now know more than the king. How you bring value to the table is very important. If your motive for making a contribution or suggestion is meant to "prove" to all that you now know better than the king then your contributions are misplaced. It is not your role to change the king. You can suggest, propose, appeal but not impose your idea on the king. It is up to the king to judge the contributions he/she receives and act on what they feel is of benefit to the greater body. Your motive can hinder the king from seeing the positive value in your proposals / suggestions. You did not appoint the king in the first place so you are not qualified to remove or correct him either. Am I saying kings will be right 100% of the time. Certainly not, they are human before they are kings.
8. Your own agenda come secondary after those you represent - It is easy to go before the king and focus on your own personal issues and challenges forgetting that you represent a whole constituency or a department. Picture this, the CEO calls you to his office to discuss staff welfare. Instead of pursuing your own raise you would rather focus on raising the lowest paid employee. In so doing you are shifting everyone else upwards. If you are in the palace on account of the needs of your followers please focus on that. Bringing your own issues will scuttle the agenda and will border on self gratification at the expense of a whole group of people. Meet the needs of others and yours will be met in the process. You are however not to neglect your day to responsibilities on account of this statement. Die to self, sacrifice your own agenda and see your influence grow.
9. Always seek to cover and not expose the king - This is in line with the information I mentioned above. I did mention that kings are first human before they get the title of king. As such they will make mistakes, gross errors of omission and commission combined. You can not be found among those who will slander the king. Your role as a follower of the king is to protect him/her, speak well of the king and cover him where there is exposure. The more you join the band wagon of slanderers, the more you will fail to see and accept any wisdom there is for your life. You will magnify the errors such that the good is overshadowed. Protect the king from physical abuse, from psycho-social fraud, from people who want to take advantage of the king and ruin the reputation built over time. I am not guaranteeing that kings will never scar you emotionally because that would be a false promise. If you get close to the king with the hope to be scarred, lo and behold, you will attract scars. The closer you get to the king you should realize that you will get personal with him/her. Separate the roles clearly and know the king is human enough to be angry and emotional.
10 Gratitude to the king is the best gift you can ever give - Appreciate the king's time with you. You can never pay enough for the counsel you get from a mentor or king. Sometimes they do it at their own cost. They sacrifice their own family and business time to entertain your matter. surely that counts for some appreciation and expression of gratitude. I mentioned in one article how no one can ever afford paying their own mothers for all they invested. Their invoice is way above monetary gains. It is the same with the king or mentor. Their counsel time can change your destiny forever. Now what is the price of forever, limitless. A wise person can find out in advance what the king likes, the king's special days (birthday, anniversary etc) and send through a card or present. Gratitude is not just what the ancient kings used to get but it is forever a hidden expectation and virtue that mankind carries without even being coached on it.