If you think that etiquette extends only to what kind of fork a salad is right for or how to open a door for a girl, then you will be very surprised to find out how deeply, widely, and sometimes even philosophically this concept is.
Etiquette and business communication coach Oksana Zaretskaya shared with Happy Worthy Life the main tips that are now the most relevant. Indeed, you must admit that over time etiquette undergoes very significant changes.
There are 2 main rules in etiquette. And from them all the rest follow.
Rule number 1: You should strive not to offend anyone and not to embarrass. If offended, apologize.
Rule number 2: Wednesday dictates etiquette. It is necessary to adapt to the situation and environment and speak the language of the interlocutor.
- When talking with a person, it is better to look at him, regardless of the degree of acquaintance. Therefore, there is a rule to ban sunglasses, caps and hats during a conversation. Eyes should be visible.
- It is considered bad form to use intimate naming in people. All “babies” and “babies” will have to be left at home. In society, it is customary to contact by name or in a format in which other participants in the conversation are talking to the person.
Errors and comments
Do not pay attention to the weaknesses and mistakes of others – an important rule of etiquette. Someone dropped something, misplaced the accent, tripped, made a mistake with the door or the conjugation, did not fasten the button – we do not “see” this, do not discuss, do not make a remark. Correcting another person is a bad manners.
- The most correct in a situation where someone made a mistake in the statement of stress, would not notice this. But when you have the opportunity to pronounce the word, pronounce it correctly.
- If comments still cannot be avoided, do it face to face. Take the person aside and, asking for forgiveness, outline the situation in the format of an i-statement: “I am uncomfortable”, “I feel uncomfortable”, “I am excited / worried”. Add courtesy words: “could you”, “I would be grateful.”
- Interventions will be appropriate when the situation is critical or life-threatening. And when a person shows rudeness and interferes with others. And also in the case when the defect can be corrected at the same time. That is, to suggest that the girl has leaked mascara will be the norm. But talking about the unpleasant smell in a taxi will be incorrect, since the driver will not be able to correct this situation at the same moment.
Today, business etiquette insists on a more balanced attitude to work. Lingering after 18:00, returning to the office on weekends and “being available” during the holidays became a bad manners. Both from the side of the employee, and from the side of the leader requiring this.
- You need to teach yourself to disconnect and change activities. If possible, refuse business calls and messages in instant messengers after the end of the working day and on weekends.
- Even if you received a business message at 9 pm and it is “off”, postpone the reply until the morning. So you demonstrate to the author that you are ready to work only at a certain time.
- Mark your business hours on social networks and your business mail. For partners and customers, this will provide a direct indication of when you are available for business matters.
- If, as an exception, you have to work during your legal leave, there is no need to pretend that you like it. Normal, in terms of etiquette, would mention compensation.
At the corporate party
Corporate party is a separate and, perhaps, one of the most difficult topics of business etiquette. What will be right on the corporate party?
- To come on time. Being late, you can interrupt the boss’s toast, and this is very incorrect.
- Do not give up the first glass of champagne, even if then you are going to drink something else.
- Pour alcohol to girls should only be a man. Or a waiter.
- Do not talk about personal and work topics. All business matters remain within the office.
Of course, it all depends on how close you communicate with the guests. But there are general rules that must be followed.
- To offer slippers to guests is a bad manners and a relic of the past. In many European countries, visiting people do not take off their shoes at all. Of course, if there is slush, dirt, rain on the street, then in the house it is better to remove shoes.
- It is considered normal to indicate the dinner time in the invitation, and it does not matter how you invite guests – by phone or through social networks. For example: “We invite you from 7 to 10 in the evening.”
- If you do not like some ingredient in the dish, you should not focus on this: you can simply leave it on a plate. If you have a food allergy or a special diet, warn the owners in advance: they will prepare a separate dish for you, but, again, you should not focus on the attention of other guests and colorfully tell how you suffer from gastritis or gout.
- In order to show guests that the evening has come to an end, there are several tricks. Depending on the circumstances, you can get up from the table, turn off the music and start collecting dishes or send the children to sleep. And there is nothing reprehensible in expressing your desire directly: “Our evening is over. We were glad to see you.”
- It is indecent to defiantly offer your help – for example, washing dishes or laying the table. This is permissible only in a very close circle of family and old friends. In a unfamiliar company, your role is to be a pleasant and comfortable guest, that is, to be grateful and not create additional problems.
Times change, and with them the rules of etiquette. Nobody gossips behind her back when, for example, a woman walks alone in a cafe. But today virtual telephone etiquette is very relevant.
- Now the call can be perceived as an invasion of personal space, so you should give preference to messages in instant messengers, in addition to an emergency or the need to transfer important personal information. It is ideal to precede a business call with the question “When is it convenient for you to phone?”
- Do not split text messages into single words or write too long texts. Screen size – maximum message length: this way you can cover it with one glance.
- Do not talk on the phone when you pay at the checkout, drive a car, are in a crowded place, and you can be distracted by other conversations. A call should be abandoned even if the quality of communication is poor. In such situations, it is wiser to send a message.
Gift etiquette is fraught with many nuances. Especially uncomfortable is the situation when we need to refuse a gift or help. And if you do it tactlessly, you can offend a person.
- If you want to refuse a gift, the first thing to do is thank the one who offers it. Without fail with a smile and sincerely. Better to refuse with a smile than accept a gift with a sour face.
- It is also important to remember that it is not always possible to refuse a gift. According to the requirements of etiquette, it is not accepted to refuse gifts received from seniors by age / status / position. Rejecting them, you call into question the higher status of the giver.
- You can also refuse a beautiful gesture, for example, from paying your part of a bill in a restaurant, due to observance of subordination. In this case, you show the partner that you are on an equal footing with him. In business, we are primarily professionals, not men and women.
And a couple of nuances regarding gifts:
- Men can give flowers. Only the packaging should be concise and dark, and the shape should be more elongated. It is better to pick up large exotic flowers. A woman should not hand flowers to a man, unless this is a speech.
- In business bouquets it is better not to include roses and flowers with a bright aroma.
As for dinner and food in general, there are a lot of etiquette rules. But there are universal ones suitable for all cases:
- If you see a lot of appliances on the table and don’t know where to start, use the simple rule of table etiquette: move from the outer edge to the center. That is, from the edge there are devices with which it is worth starting a meal.
- If you are served gloves in the restaurant, then feel free to pull them on and enjoy the burger and vegetables. Remember the second main rule of etiquette: the environment dictates etiquette. If you are served a burger with appliances, you will have to arm yourself with them. Say, eating a burger with a knife and fork is impossible? Not so simple! Read on.
- To prevent the bun with layers from falling apart when it is eaten with a knife and fork, follow these rules: leave a skewer in the bun that holds all the layers together. Cut the pieces from the rolls along the edges, moving sequentially to the middle with a sharp knife with serrations. If the remnants of the burger lean threateningly, restore balance with the skewer located in the bun.
- Soft desserts – mousses, cakes, most pastries – are eaten only with a fork. Cutting them with a knife is bad manners. For desserts that are served in a tall bowl or contain liquid sauce, a spoon is used. Cookies and eclairs are taken by hand.
- The modern variety of drinks leaves the choice for you. Many combinations, such as white wine to fish, have long been irrelevant. By the way, you can drink champagne at any time of the day: in the morning, at lunch, at dinner. The only exception is sad dates and events. This wine is considered a drink of joy and happiness, therefore, during the period of mourning it is supposed to be abandoned.
To pass for a nice person, you must follow several etiquette rules with your neighbors.
Be the first to speak with a neighbor. All people, as a rule, are embarrassed to take the initiative; Thus, you will render a service to your neighbor and immediately place him to you.
To help relocate new neighbors is a rule of good form. Of course, you don’t need to drag all the things into the apartment, but grabbing a light box along the way is a great idea. In the meantime, you go up to the apartment, just have time to meet.
Another good technique that draws together is to find a common goal. Together lose weight, prepare dogs for competitions, go jogging, etc.
Riding in an elevator in silence is also not too right. You can talk about the weather or make a compliment. The person will be pleased.
How do you like the rule that workaholism is now not just out of fashion, but even considered a bad man?