Manners Matter – Etiquette in an e-world
In this world of emails, evites, texts, messaging, and group chats …it’s easy to lose sight of basic decorum and etiquette. But there is NO EXCUSE for bad manners… none, no, not… especially with all this technology at your fingertips.
In fact, it’s easier than ever to be polite, to compose a timely reply, or a sincere thanks… it’s not like you need to dial a rotary phone and insert coins, send an aerogram or an owl post. Still, common sense is no longer common, and modern day manners are becoming the new rare old-school cool!
Consider these tactful tasteful tips on how to behave, be gracious and be kind!
- Always say “Please”, “Thank You” … pretty simple stuff your mom taught you (I hope) and Smile …makes a big impact!
- Learn people’s names… everyone’s favorite word is their own name…
- Look at people when they are speaking with you. Be engaged and attentive.
- When meeting someone, always offer your name. Even if you’ve met before, they may not recall your name… so subtly remind them. Conversely, if someone provides you their name, please reciprocate, “nice to see you again Dave, I’m Susan…”
If your phone rings in social situations, mute it or better yet turn your phone to silent or vibrate …surely you have heard of this thing called “voicemail”?!
Party Etiquette 101
- If you are invited to a party, a dinner, an event, RSVP! Whether its yes, maybe, or no, let the host know as soon as possible! RSVP in French means “respond if you would please” it’s très simple. Regrets needn’t be long, elaborate excuses, skip “the dog ate my homework” saga. Just politely reply promptly.
- If you are privileged enough to be invited – the invite is for you specifically and exclusively – not for you to share with others, not for you to ask if other people can go.
- Don’t assume who is invited, maybe the host has a different guest list in mind to introduce new people to you, and that is their prerogative. It’s not your place to takeover the guest list.
- Don’t ask the host “who else is going ?” We’re not in third grade anymore, grow up, make new friends, be receptive, gracious and grateful to be included.
- Politely decline if you have other people visiting. The host will then have the opportunity to include those additional people if they so choose but don’t put the host in the awkward position of having to answer whether you can bring your mom, your kids, your dog, your cousin…
- Once you’ve RSVP’d (in a timely fashion), put the event in your calendar, and don’t be a “better dealer” if something else comes along. Prioritize your first commitment.
- Don’t arrive empty-handed, even if the hostess says don’t bring a thing, at least bring a nice hostess gift, flowers, a candle or a bottle of wine. Also offer to help.
- Arrive on time, within 15 minutes of the requested time, but not earlier than the start time, and depart at the approximate end time indicated on the invitation.
- Be nice & say thanks twice, first as you depart. Then send a thank you note promptly, electronically or my favorite – handwritten and mailed – be sure the host knows how much you appreciate the hospitality.
- Reciprocate, don’t just say “our place is too small to entertain” or “I’m culinary challenged.” Truth: I’m not a great chef either, but I host some pretty fun parties… inviting people into your home is a really special gesture unlike any other!
- Reply to an email or voicemail within 24 hours, even if it’s to say, “message received, I will respond with a proper reply soon”… See?! That wasn’t so hard.
- Mind your CC’s and BCC’s – reply all when appropriate, but be mindful…. it’s not always necessary to include everyone in the chain.
- Write a subject line, pertinent and to the point. Blank subjects get buried in my box, if the spam filter even allows them through, your’s too?
- Proof your email and texts… we call this “netiquette”, just because its quick doesn’t mean its ok to be sloppy with typos. Also watch out for tone in email… your recipient might interpret your TONE differently than you intend…
- Don’t just forward an email message, explain why you have forwarded a message, and if there is a call to action.
- When leaving a voicemail, don’t just say “call me back”, leave some detail about why you are calling.
- Be specific in email & voicemail details, give the date versus “tomorrow” or “today”, reference a topic not just “in my previous email.” Avoid vaguery, use your vocabulary.
- If you receive an important call, step outside. It’s not cool to carry on a phone conversation in a restaurant, bar, store, chairlift, gondola, you get the drift.
- Social media social graces – don’t post something you wouldn’t want your mom, your boss, your kids, your ex, your in-laws to see.
10. Avoid bold religion and political statements, and other divisive topics on twitter, insta, and facebook. If you find yourself guilty of four or more of the above, perhaps a review of Emily Post’s 1922 Etiquette, and her family’s five-generations of 19 reiterations, is in order…
That’s all for now, be kind, be courteous, positive and attentive …
Good manners, like integrity, never go out of style.
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