“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”-Aristotle.
Many of my clients have a feeling that etiquette or manners are something that needs to be executed in public arenas. For example, polite and kind words like “Sorry”, “Please” and “Thank you” are meant for healthy business deal. They say, “Family doesn’t need this formality.” Who says that family members do not need to use these words? We unintentionally hurt our close ones, so we should be sorry for it. We should thank them when they help us to maintain our good healthy life and we should request them with the word “please” when we want them to help us around.
Manners are required at the time when no one is watching you. It shows that you are a Lady. It shows that you are civilized. It shows that you are considerate and have respect for others. It shows that you value everything that is around you. Your manners speak volumes about you.
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1. Hold the door for others
When you are the first to enter, hold the doors for others. By the way, it is not only a guy’s job. Also, when you enter the elevator and see somebody rushing to reach the elevator before it closes, it is a kind act to press the open button in the elevator so that the person can enter. Also, do not discuss your personal issues or cheap talks in the elevator. It is a public place and people can take it as personal comment and get offensive.
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2. Do not interrupt
Yes! That applies everywhere. No matter who is talking, it can be your child who wants to defend oneself or any salesperson, do not cut them and start speaking. Listening to others is an act of respect. If you don’t give respect to others, don’t expect the same.
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3. Make others comfortable by giving up your seat
This should be done for old people, pregnant women and women with a small child. Even when you host a party at home, show a specific seat for the guest to occupy.
4. Give and receive a compliment gracefully
I have observed people neither have a correct way to give a compliment nor can receive a compliment gracefully. While giving a compliment, use proper adjectives.
“Cute” should not be used for a grown and elegant woman. On receiving the compliment, replying like “I know” sounds rude and arrogant. Some key notes on compliments receiving techniques:
- Instead of interrupting the compliment with an inappropriate response, let the other person finish his or her sentence.
- Take care of your body language. Do not shrug or roll your eyes.
- When it comes to receiving compliments there is only one rule, just say Thank You and smile.
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5. Introduction Etiquette
A common situation occurs when you meet and want to introduce two unknown people and you are the common person. Follow the tips to avoid any embarrassing moments:
- Stand tall and make a healthy eye-contact.
- Introduce the senior one to the junior one or the most important person to the less important person. The reason is the senior or important person would be known to most of the people. For example: “Amitabh Bachchan, meet our company’s CEO Mr. XYZ.” Now, this is obvious that Mr. Bachchan does not need any introduction. So, follow the thumb rule: “Mr. Senior meet Mr. Junior”
6. Tea time
In India, we are offer teas and coffees more often than any other country. Whether we are engrossed in a social or professional conversation, never let your cup be in the air expressing your inner emotions. The movements of the hand holding cup should be limited and careful.
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7. Say Thank You
There are many places where even a wise adult may forget to say thank you. Say thank you for those who hold door for you. Say thank you to waiter, your beautician, the sales person who helped you and the most important say thank you to a child if he/she helped you in anything. This encourages them to return thanks whenever they feel someone has helped them.
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8. When you are offered food
Recently, I did a workshop on interview skills and one of the candidate asked me, what if the interviewer offers me food, should I accept or deny the offer. I would say, accepting a bit of the food is appropriate to show the respect towards the food and the person. So, that applies everywhere when someone offers you any food item just take a bit even if you don’t feel to have it. A Blunt No, shows disrespect.
Likewise, there are many day-to-day activities which are not ill-mannered but of course are not sophisticated either. It’s time to be more humble and kind to be a LADY!