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Serengeti Skill #7

Show your support for the Giraffes!

The graceful giraffe

The giraffe symbolizes the broad meaning of the word “grace”. While some see grace in human terms as one’s elegance or charm, for others it’s divine in origin and represents that indispensable gift for the development, improvement and expansion of one’s character and the ability to rise above the negative events of time.

The word “grace” tends to vary in meaning from one person or situation to another, often depending upon the context in which it is used. While many see the grace of the giraffe in human-like terms such as elegance, charm, or a positive attitude, others consider it to be divine in origin. They believe that it represents that indispensable gift for the development, improvement, and expansion of one’s character.

No matter how you see it, grace is a disposition that requires compassion toward others and the desire to extend goodwill. It incorporates the exercise of love and kindness—most importantly, to those who may not deserve it. Grace is as crucial in business as it is in life.

This truth is embedded in the fiber of who we are, what we believe, our appreciation, and the contribution we make to society. Gracious people exhibit the following characteristics:

  • They seek to make others feel like they’re the most important person with whom they can spend time, and always put the needs of others first.
  • They live according to personal standards that are higher than any given code of conduct, and incorporate dignity, honor, and respect in extending grace to others—even when things have not gone their way.

Whether it’s in our job or in personal matters, grace can open up a richer and more fulfilling life. It’s not an inherent quality that some people have and others do not; rather, grace is learned and acquired by observation and practice. It is first and foremost a skill that is centered on others—how we treat them and how we put their needs above our own without any consideration or expectation of a return in kind.

Our ability to develop grace isn’t based on what we have or don’t have. What matters in terms of grace is whether or not we appreciate what we do have, and how we interact with those around us.

Maximizing This Skill

The tone and approach you use with others impacts how you establish grace in your life. This quality comes through in your language, attitude and body movements – all of which express your true intent to others.

These qualities are acquired through a personal commitment to focus on changing your attitude toward others.  They are evident in the workplace with changes from:

  • Control to coaching
  • Managing to mentoring
  • Employing to empowering
  • Style to spirit

Graceful individuals develop interdependent relationships that are fostered through patience, self-discipline, dignity, honor and respect. They accomplish this by recognizing others’ strengths and weaknesses, and attempting to build them up. They realize how vital it is to nurture others without expecting recognition for it.

Grace represents style, finesse, kindness, and above all, doing the right thing – a quality that will always advance our purpose in life, no matter what it is.

  • Pingback: Giraffe Gallery | Surviving Your Serengeti()

  • Somehow I have the urge to go out and buy a handbag with a giraffe pattern…and perhaps even a giraffe scarf! 🙂

    • 🙂

      • Laura Flack

        I’m a giraffe – but I always feel like I’m getting eaten by the lion 🙁

  • A little gimmicky, but it’s interesting to take the short quiz to see what type of “animal” we are like in the Serengeti of Life! I’m the “graceful” giraffe . . . I like that!

  • Tall maybe, graceful not so much!

  • Love how you explain graceful leading (especially in the business world): coaching, mentoring, empowering and spirit.

    • Being graceful doesn’t mean no strength, or no determination. Being graceful is awesome!

  • I would not have guessed myself to be a giraffe. But reading about it, nail on the head! Now just apply to my business!

  • Oh my gosh, I really never thought of myself as this wonderful…but it’s something to aspire to!

  • Oh my gosh, I really never thought of myself as this wonderful…but it’s something to aspire to!

  • Oh my gosh, I really never thought of myself as this wonderful…but it’s something to aspire to!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for your wonderful speech at the KW family reunion. I immediately went back to my room and took the quiz on-line. I am looking forward to reading your book.

  • Giraffes of the world unite! Lets all send referrals to each other — that way we know our KW clients will receive the kind of care we ourselves would give them!

  • Grace, grace, grace…too funny…but I think reading this has reminded me to put MYSELF first;)

  • Me, a giraffe? That’s certainly not what I expected the results to show. Best adjust my business to the appropriate up-hill path.

  • Oh my goodness. I am absolutely awesome:-)

  • Oh my goodness. I am absolutely awesome. But I thought I was expecting a Lion. Besides my last name is Fo LAYAN for a reason:-)

  • I wasn’t sure what to expect…. but I was pleasantly surprised!!! A graceful giraffe is ok with me.

  • Finally…I know what I am! I am a graceful Giraffe!

  • Anonymous

    Very interesting…I was surprised to find that fewer of the sales force were predators and more were towards the calmer animals…

  • I’m a Giraffe! How cool! I’m looking forward to getting “Surviving the Serengeti” in the mail.

  • ❧Ah, I too am a Raffie… Had hoped to be a Strategic Lion, or an Enterprising Crocodile however I’ve learned that my traits are with people. After reading how to maximize my skills I’m thinking this is ok… Now I can’t wait to read the rest of the book! It’s a real winner..

  • A giraffe….who’dve thunk it….guess that explains why I wasn’t a very good landlord LOL

  • When I heard the word grace, I giggled, “Well, that’s not you” said my team leader. Then I took the quiz, “What”? i thought as up popped the giraffe. Then I read the definition, it was as if Mr. Swanepoel had described me and knew me better than a mother knows her child. I can’t wait to read the book and use the tools to help me help make the world a better place.

  • Wow Stefan, I feel like you know me (and not just through ActiveRain.) Very cool – look forward to reading your book! Oh, congratulations from another “graceful giraffe.”

  • I have just completed the short quiz “What Animal am I”, per the test I am a Giraffe here is a direct quote about the Giraffe.

    “Grace represents style, finesse, kindness, and above all, doing the right thing – a quality that will always advance our purpose in life, no matter what it is.”

    If you are interested to see what animal you are go to, let me know what animal you are.

  • I’m a Giraffe!!! What animal are you? Check it out here

  • Anonymous

    I am always the helper, uplifter, fixer…the Giraffe. I often support others to my own detriment. What animal do I need to add to my business team to complement this? I am married to a Cheetah, which explains why it’s a great fit. Maybe I need a Cheetah in business? Fun and interesting exercise! Thanks Stefan!

  • Anonymous

    WOW! Another Giraffe…..I was a little concerned about taking the quiz but I’m glad I stuck my “neck” out…

  • Anonymous

    WOW! Another Giraffe!…..I was a little concerned about taking this quiz but I’m glad I stuck my “neck” out….

  • THis is so funny -At a young age my family went to the Zoo and that night I had a very scary dream about the Giraffe! We lived in a two story house.In the center of the room was the window..I woke with the fear that the Giraffe was peeking in the window trying to get me. I have not been to see the Giraffe’s since then . I will now go and visit this awesome animal in such a different way ! Thanks

  • I was so moved by the results of this test. After taking it–I landed on Graceful Giraffe and as I read it a tear formed in my eye, with the notion what I was reading was speaking the script of my inner most self. Very moving indeed.

  • Grace represents style, finess, kindness, and above all doing the right thing – a quality that will always advance our purpose in life, no matter what it is. * They seek to make others feel like they’re the most important person with whom they can spend time, and always put the needs of others first.
    * They live according to personal standards that are higher than any given code of conduct, and incorporate dignity, honor, and respect in extending grace to others—even when things have not gone their way.
    Amazing how the test came up with this. I will have to read the book.

  • Everyone should take this quiz. Very insightful.

  • This seems very much like me. I’m not sure I am always graceful but I like the idea.

  • I like this quiz. Very insightful.

  • Interesting…..

  • Very nice

  • Very nice!

  • Despite being 5’1″ I am a giraff 🙂

  • Despite being 5’1″ I’m a giraffe!!

    • It’s the “inside” that counts – I know a few “short” but awesome giraffes!

    • Andaleeb Tobaccowala

      Hi there ! 5′ 1″ too …  and a giraffe , not too bad don’t you think? This is the closest we get to being tall:D

  • This surprised me. Now, I need to learn how to use this in other areas of my life. Surviving my serengeti is my challenge now. Daddy was right. I am too good for my own good.

  • I’m a giraffe, what are you?

  • I am a giraffe. Grace, finesse and kindness. These traits are needed in today’s business world.

  • Hmmm…. I think I like being a giraffe.

  • Yes that is definately me. I don’t always make as much money as some but feel good about the way I do business and the way I live my life:) If you want to work with this Giraffe give me a call!

    • Doing business the way you life your life is simply awesome. Congrats!

  • This was amazing I recommend everyone try it!

  • I’m not really surprised to find out I’m a Giraffe. I think the description fits me well.

  • Allen E. Green Jr.

    Damn!!!! If you don’t know you better ask somebody lmol.

  • Allen E. Green Jr.

    Wow, this is amazingly accurate!!!! Who wouldn’t want a Giraffe in their life?

  • Wow, this is amazingly accurate!!!! Who wouldn’t want a Giraffe in their life?

  • After listening to @Swanepoel:disqus’s presentation on @Michael Russer’s @Online Dominance on Monday, I read the description of the seven animals and concluded that I am a Girafee. The results of the quiz validated that. Thank you Stefan and Michael.

  • Donna Roukat

    Treat people the way you want to be treated.  No matter who they are.  It’s nice being a giraffe.
    Thank you Mr. Swanepoel for a wonderful book.  I will pass it on to my teenager (after my boss is finished with it).

  • I think that grace is born from empathy and that to be truely graceful in life we must learn to suspend judgement, this is also a learned trait that would make the world a more nurturing place for everyone.

  • I believe that grace is born of empathy and being mindful of judgement….

  • Diane

    This is new to me. So i am still thinking it over. It has got my attention, and i want know more. I will pass this one to my spehere of influence.

  • i like this.. I love mentoring and empowering others! it feels like success when I help others succeed 🙂 

  • About 15 years ago I completed a self assessment/discovery course that has played a major role in my self development. This is by far the most correct description of me. My name is Grace and I am the Graceful Giraffe!

  • Interesting and insightful

  • Interesting and insightful – if ou haven’t read Surviving the Serengeti I recommend Highly

  • Carole E. Rule

    Verry intereresting!!   Giraffe is OK…..

  • V Rocks21

    itS v GUD 😀

  • Awesome! Thanks for this quiz, it really does describe me well.

  • Awww I like being The graceful giraffe

  • Cindy Herring

    You will be speaking tomorrow at our convention  and I wanted to know which animal I am before I heard you speak.  I looked for your book tonight at the local bookstore, but was able to find a copy.  I will get one soon because I find this process very interesting.  I am looking forward to hearing you tomorrow.  Thanks  

  • Shelley

    Like my animal, but I’m not that graceful/gracious; however, I do frequently consider how other people feel before I speak or before I take action.  Not sure how grace enables survival, so I ‘ll read he book to find out.

    Fun.  Thank you.

  • Hm… I will have to wrap my head around this!  I have a hard time picturing myself as a “graceful giraffe”!  I bet once I read your book, I will think – WOW – that is SOOO me!

  • Susan Smith-riedel

    I was at your presentation at the Maine Assocation of Realtors Convention, yesterday.  I found your approach fascinating and am looking forward to reading your book.  What a great way to put together an effective team.  So far, I seem to be the only giraffe in my office. 

  • Twoputtin15

    I’m a Giraffe!  Who would of thunk???

  • farhan ahmed

    me “giraffe” too!! … 🙂

  • I´ve been at your presentation at the PMI Leadership Institute Meeting in Dallas. Congratulations!!!!!
    How can I get 12 sets from the animal cards, you left at the chairs?  I would like to use them in my next training sessions.

    By the way, I was sure being a mongoose and ended up being a giraffe. Fascinating.


    • I enjoyed the talk, chat and people at the PMI congress very much. Thanks for the kind words. Gerhard email to get copies of the 7 animal bookmarks.

  • David Djian

    Hi Stefan, I took the test again as advised by email, and I did come out as a giraffe, so I feel like I’m back in the 93% of accurate results 😉
    Thank you again for some very interesting discussions in Dallas.

  • Bridieog

    I am very suprised!  I was thinking more about things I like to do, like maybe a bird because I am obsessed with singing.  After reading about my result, Giraffe, I feel it is good 🙂 Thank you!

  • Leandro Siqueira

    I do feel like a giraffe. Nice test!

  • Kathy Engel

    This discribes who I am…. Amazing, now I’m definitely downloading your book….. Thank you!!!!”

    • Delighted the quiz accurately describes you..enjoy reading the book over Christmas.

  • Anne Oller

    Giraffe…who new?  This fits me to a T

  • Nancy Acreman

    A giraffe sounds right!

  • Kathy Ames

    Yes, a giraffe sounds right to me, but I don’t find it very easy to deal with many aspects of modern life.  Things move too fast, technology is not my friend, information overload is hard to deal with, and I am not at all good at negotiating or finding the best angle for me in any given situation.

    • Reservations often expressed by giraffes. Partner with a crocodile or lion that could either help teach you or work with you at improving your negotiating and planning skills.

  • Twsells

    I love being a giraffe!!

  • betty patterson

    I feel very graceful and thankful.

  • Chyrel

    Eager to read the book.  

    • Surviving Your Serengeti is a great read. Enjoy the read and post your comments on Amazon when you are finished. Thanks.

  • David

    Great book Stefan. I look forward to our interview tomorrow. David

  • Terrylynn

    It seems like the majority of comments are from Giraffes.  is it just that we are more vocal…or need to be heard? 

  • Lorna_wade

    Very interesting and pretty accurate.

  • Katie

    That looks like me. Good, Bad or otherwise…

  • Katie

    That looks like me. Good, Bad or otherwise…

  • Iseealot

    I took this quiz before and was a crocodile?  Am I changing personalities, or is it dependent upon how I feel at the time.  Both times I thought I was answering truthfully.

  • Pat Brewer

    Very interesting! I think I like myself even more now!

  • Sevierk

    I have always known that I am very empathetic and always put others before me no matter what, but graceful never crossed my mind.

  • Karen

    never would have guessed Giraffe right away but it does make sense. 

  • CattInc

    Hello other giraffe Buds! I am so glad to be here and to be a graceful giraffe. I can’t imagine how funny we would look as clumsey.

  • Pingback: Grace, Giraffes, Coincidence? | A Life Enchanted()

  • A giraffe is a good thing to be.

  • Marge

    I am a Giraffe!  Unbelievable!  I love the word ‘grace’ and I love giraffes.  The designs
    on them are so amazing–beautiful as all of God’s creatures–but also the giraffe is
    always graceful and commanding in appearance–glad I took the test–I will have to read the book!

  • Taeg8r

    Very interesting. I am pleased to be a giraffe.

  • Linda

    Amazingly right on ! 

  • Grakag

    what a great coincidence, that i am also called Grace? hmmm.

  • Although I found to be a Giraffe it certainly defines the core perhaps I have also some traits related to a Lion specially on the strategy arena. Maybe there is possible to have both, as long you keep learning the skills to enhance and leverage them. 

  • Tymae43va


  • Firo

    I never expected to be a giraffe, I don’t really mind giraffes are cool

  • Anndaugherty

    Giraffes are ful of grace in their gait and movement. I know little of the herd charateristics.

  • Katie Altrichter

    I could do worse. 😉

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  • Eva582003

    I’m not much of a ‘working with others’ person, I keep to myself, I love to put others’ feelings in front of my own, I don’t really have any ‘grace’ I’m more of a clutz instead, I’m very optimistic to others, I really like the giraffe but in my mom’s words im more of a ‘puffer fish’ I look beautiful but Im also deadly.
    Is there any other animal that hides its self from others?  

  • Melun J

    wow this is an amazing write up, applied in relationships, business, family and within ourselves. I am definitely looking at incorporating it more in my life. Twiga (giraffe in swahili)

  • Keysha Bass

    Great to connect with other giraffes!

  • Angela

    Ok so I now realize that I am rather wonderful graceful and one heck of a care taker!

  • Grapho

    If you want to see if you really do fit the giraffe personality profile you should look at your handwriting. If you have a tall handwriting with long upper loops this could be a sign. You can check it out at

Giraffe Gallery

giraffe giraffe10 giraffe11 giraffe12 giraffe13 giraffe14 giraffe15 giraffe16 giraffe17 giraffe18 giraffe19 giraffe2 giraffe20 giraffe21 giraffe22 giraffe3 giraffe4 giraffe5 giraffe6 giraffe7

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