“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use.” ~ Emily Post
When it comes to etiquette, there is a lot more to think about than just when to write a thank you note or which fork to use at a formal dinner. Proper etiquette involves knowing how to interact with people, and how to behave in any situation or environment.
According to etiquette expert Joanna Parris, using proper etiquette can help you make a great first impression, avoid business and social missteps and develop and build relationships. You’ll also set a great example for your kids.
The following guidelines should be considered regarding behaviour when you are at work, in social situations, at home and everywhere else in between.
• Be outstanding rather than stand out in public. Be the best person that you are.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze into your elbow.
• Stand when you are being introduced to someone, look directly at them, give a firm handshake, greet them and smile.
• Mingle, mix and make conversation in networking and business situations; don’t network with the people you came with.
• Remember if you are at a business event, it is not an eating event; if you drink at all, keep it to one or two.
• Teach your children table manners, respect and to be courteous; you are the best model for proper etiquette.
• What your mother told you was correct when dining: do not speak with food in your mouth, use your napkin, do not stretch across the table to reach something and do not slurp your food.
• Do not answer your phone while dining or meeting with someone. It is common courtesy to give the person you are with your full attention.
• Use slang or other colourful language when speaking with someone; don’t interrupt, brag about yourself or hog the conversation
• Over-do the perfume, jewelry or make-up. Be conservative, especially with the scent -others may be sensitive or can even become ill.
• Don’t dress like you are going to the bar or the beach when at work. Appropriate wardrobe choice is essential: dress for success.
• Write on a business card in front of the person who gives it to you, that is disrespectful. Look at it, read it and make a comment to the person about it.