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The Fight to Build Character

As you began the New Year, many of you are setting New Year Resolutions to improve upon yourself, your family or your career. When you think about self improvement, and weigh the growth needed for the next faze of your journey; I invite you to think about the impressions you are making along the way. The biggest fight we will ever have is the fight within ourselves, to commit to building our charter and integrity, as much as our appearance.

Let’s dig into a new year resolution you might not have given much thought to, which could be the one thing you need to improve upon to support all your other goals this year.

Here are a few questions I ask my clients, and young people who take part in etiquette and civility training courses, they are not easy questions for many to answer because they normally reveal character flaws that we ignore from year to year, that can wreak havoc on our relationships personally and professionally.

Answer honestly, no one is judging you, and you don’t have to reveal your scores. Keep in mind that the number you get at the end is only a marker for you to know where you are currently and to make improvements. If your number is in the single digits at the end, you are on the right track, if your number is in the double digits, you have some work to do and that is ok, it's about growth not perfection.


1. How many lies did you tell in 2019? Only you will know the answer to this question, and when I speak about lies, I mean white lies, and bold elaborate stories made up from the depths of your imagination.

2. How many times were you late in 2019? I’m talking about late to work, late to family functions, late coming home from work, late to interviews, late to meetings, and even late to outings with friends.

3. How many times did you gossip about another person last year? It could be that you have laughs about a person you knew or didn’t know. Gossip is anything negative that breaks down another person when they are not around. It can be simple as poking fun at someones hair style.

4. How many times have you failed to follow up with work or a business lead? Often times in business, people burn out and simply lose momentum of getting things done, keeping this in check is a sure way to boost your success level professionally.

5. How many times have you decided not to like something on social media that you were inspired by? This is a big one in the social media world. You ever notice how YouTube videos have a million views and only 1000 likes? Have you ever been motivated by something but decided against liking it because you might be jealous? If so how many times?

6. How many times have you visited an upscale restaurant or event and felt a bit nervous about the etiquette required of you, so instead you pretended to know but felt uncomfortable most of the time?

7. How many times have you friends requested people on social media you had no intention of truly connecting with or actively supporting?

8. How many times last year did you decide to buy things of no value and ignore your bills, then lie to your bill collectors to get an extension?

9. How many times last year did you withhold a compliment from someone?

10.How many times last year did you discriminate against someone based on their race, religion, sex, or appearance?

Bonus Question

11. How many times during this test, did you write down less than the real number because the true number embarrassed you?


By: Zakiyyah Shakir Founder of Poise and Punctilio


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