What is etiquette? We hear that word a lot in society, especially in fancy gatherings and laces, but what exactly does the word mean, and what does it entail?
Etiquette, in its most basic form, is a code of behavior or social convention expected from a person by society and in certain situations. For example, you’re expected to act and speak a certain way depending on your social standing or profession. This may seem very old-fashioned and outdated in our modern society, but following etiquette is a sign of good manners, and having good manners will never become old-fashioned.
Because of this, there are several different types of etiquette made for different occasions and people.
Business etiquette Displaying proper etiquette will always help you on a business venture with another company or group, as this will always be part of your first impression. A handshake will always be appreciated, as well as introducing yourself properly, remembering names and generally being polite. Sometimes, if you’re dealing with someone with a different cultural background, an appropriate cultural greeting such as a bow when meeting Japanese people will also help you get appreciated by your business partner.
Meanwhile, in the office, it’s best to get along with your coworkers by dressing appropriately, respecting other peoples’ privacy, keeping your work area neat, and always asking before borrowing. This way you wont be viewed as a nuisance or a problematic worker.
International etiquette Etiquette in your hometown will not be the same as the behavioral codes in other countries, so keep this in mind if you’re planning to travel. It’s best to stay informed about how etiquette differs from culture to culture as not to offend people. When in doubt, do some research.
Netiquette With the ever-increasing popularity of the Internet, there’s also a need for unspoken rules of conduct. Just because you’re protected by the anonymity of the Internet doesn’t mean you can offend people as you please.
For example, typing in all caps and using large font sizes are considered obnoxious because these are viewed as the text equivalent of yelling, while posting off-topic and hijacking discussions in a forum thread are viewed as extremely rude and embarrassing to the topic’s original poster. Respecting someone’s privacy is also a must, so sharing information marked as private is always frowned upon.
Cell phone etiquette Have you seen all the warnings to turn off your phone before viewing a movie? There’s a good reason for that: A ringing cell phone can disrupt a movie experience for a lot of people, including yourself. This also goes for other social gatherings and places, such as weddings, libraries and doctor’s offices, since using a cell phone here will be viewed as rude and disruptive to the proceedings.
Answering your cell phone while speaking to someone else is also considered rude, even if you’re in a casual setting. After all, this can send the message that the other person is not as important to you as the one you’re currently speaking to on the phone.
Other important notes
• Physical appearance is important, no matter the situation. Dressing appropriately is a key factor in someone’s first impression of you. • Avoid nervous tics or bad habits. • Politeness and respectfulness goes a long way.