2018 has begun. Our new year’s resolutions may or may not be calling us. We all have hopes and dreams for the year ahead of us. Civility, good naturedness and conviviality will make the grade, hopefully.
To assist you in reaching your goals and feeling good about yourself, consider these eight etiquette rules for 2018
- Introduce New People
Make a point of introducing people. It becomes uncomfortable to not include people, especially during a dining experience. Take the time. People will appreciate it.
When introducing someone, introduce younger people to older people, junior-ranking professionals to senior-ranking professionals, family members to business professionals and guests to the host.
As a sign of respect, introduce those of a lower status to those of a higher status whether it means social or professional status.
Under no circumstances should you use introduction rules to define people of another race, ethnicity, color, religion or sexual preference as someone of a lower status. This is just not okay.
When you meet someone new, shake their hand with a firm grip and say, “I’m pleased to meet you, [Joe]”. Use the person’s name at least twice to help you remember their name.
- Get Better at Small Talk
Small talk has an important function in establishing and building relationships. Formulate open-ended questions and statements that start with “what”, “when”, “where”, “how,” or “tell me more about that”. For example, “What brings you to this convention?” “What kind of work do you do?” “What do you like best about your work?”
Avoid questions that have “yes” or “no” answers. Encourage conversation by making your body language welcoming and open. Make eye contact and give the person your full attention.
- Choose the Right Words
Conversations with people tell more about us than anything else. Choose your language carefully. Avoid using slang, slurring your words, using profanity, speaking too loudly or talking only about yourself.
When we are thanked, avoid saying, “No problem.” When we say “no problem,” we insult the person who has thanked us. A much better response is, “Glad to help,” or “You’re welcome.”
- Dress for The Occasion If you aren’t sure what to wear for an occasion, err on the side of caution and dress one level up from what you think people will be wearing. You will never go wrong being slightly overdressed.
- Be Mindful of The Clock Be on time or a bit early. When you are late, you steal time from someone else, which is not fair. Respect others by showing up on time. If you are running a bit late because the kids are sick, babysitter didn’t show up, etc. call/text to say you are running late. Your hosts need to know you are safe.
- Practice Random Acts of Helping Be aware of what is going on around you as you go about your day. Watch for purposeful ways to help others, such as holding a door open or helping with heavy bags. Say hello to people. A little bit of kindness can make someone’s day brighter.
- Be Careful on Social Media
Think twice (or three times) before posting on social media. Increasingly, companies check out new people they are considering to hire or do business with to see if the individual has posted anything that may be embarrassing to the company or its client base.
It seems obvious, but don’t post anything on social media that you wouldn’t say in person.
- Show Your Gratitude
If someone does something nice for you, make the time to send a handwritten note. The handwritten note is still the gold standard. People love to receive a note that doesn’t require any action on their part. The hand written thank you note does the trick. It’s the least you can do for someone who has taken the time to think of you.
What to do when someone is behaving rudely towards you?
Firstly, remember that the majority of mistakes/affronts are unintentional. Someone shoving ahead of you in line or speaking loudly on a phone in a restaurant probably isn’t aware of how their behavior is affecting others.
If you are the one at fault, admit you made a mistake and apologize. Saying, “I’m sorry,” in a sincere way goes a very long way to making things right again.
We wish you the best 2018 possible. Blessings to you.
Etiquette Iowa/Agri Manners
P.O. Box 396
Adel Iowa 50003