"Etiquette must, if it is to be of more than trifling use, include ethics as well as manners."
- Emily Post 1922 Best-Selling Book 'Etiquette'
Growing up in a small town, I first learn about manners watching my parents behave, how they treat others, neighbours, friends, and people in the marketplace. From young, together with my other siblings, we were taught to take others into consideration or think about others before ourselves. We learned not to impose on others and we were taught not to make comments or give opinions unless invited to.
Have You ever met someone you thought was more elegant and poise than most people? Do you wonder what that person's secret is? You may be surprised by how simple it is.
"To write well, express yourself like the common people, but thinks like a wise man."
Firstly, what exactly is the difference between etiquette, manners, and ethics?
At the most fundamental ethics have a moral component. For instance, taking a sick leave when you aren't really feeling unwell is a moral issue. Stealing stationeries from your company and cheating someone who trusted you are moral choices and these are deliberate intentional actions. An unethical person chooses to take a certain action and is fully aware that the action is improper conduct but chooses to do it anyway. Ethics is derived from its root word 'ethos', which basically means character (the foundation of our moral nature).
Manners on the other hand don't have a moral component to them. Good manners teach you to be POLITE. You are more considerate of the feelings and emotions of others. Holding a door for another person does not include a moral component. Neither is filling the paper tray in the photocopier when it is empty. The action is done simply because it is the considerate and respectful thing to do, not because there is a moral choice.
Real manners are instinctive. You don't turn them on and off like a switch. Good manners define you as a person, while etiquette is what make you socially acceptable. They help you gain respect and create a good first and lasting impression.
"The rules of good manners are the traffic lights of human interaction. They make it so that we don't crash into one another in everyday behaviour."
-Pier Forni, the author of Choosing Civility: The twenty-five rules of considerate conduct.
Manners represent your inner self, whereas etiquette is what and how you portray yourself to the public. In brief, manners are the result of being kind. Etiquette is an orderly way of doing things and a customary code of conduct of good behaviour.
Manners make a person beautiful or look good, and it is wonderful to be around people who have manners. Manners of a man or a woman are the greatest test of his or her elegance and refinement. People who understand and has etiquette are often perceived as being classy, elegant, and cultured. You may not necessarily be born into a high status or nobility, it is a skill you can learn by watching people you admire, read books on etiquette, or engage an Image Consultant/coach.
"Etiquette helps to build stronger and better relationships with all the people in our lives."
Both 'Manners and Ethics' help us to interact with others, whereas 'Etiquette' helps us build stronger and better relationships with all the people in our lives. Saying "Please" and "Thank You", or common courtesies like holding a door for someone, or offering your seat to an elderly, a lady or disabled person, are some basic manners that we should all practise. They make you feel good. In the fast-moving digital world today, manners and etiquette as well as ethics are just as important (even with social distancing and work-from-home Zooming) and it will take you a long way in life.
10 Good Manners, Etiquette with Ethics to Win Relationships
1. Watch Your Words: Use words that express your ideas eloquently. A polished or refined man or woman does not require offensive language as it reflects your personality, and it also shows your lack of vocabulary and intellect.
2. Put down Your Phone: In the modern world, we spend pretty much of our lives on our phone, but when you're with someone, devote your time and energy to being present and engaged with them, instead of your device.
|Image Credit: Unsplash |
To improve digital well-being, put your phone down when having a meal, spending time with loved ones, and talking to others, to reclaim the happiness lost to digital activity. Companies need people's attention to thrive.
3. Learn how to Converse: When having a conversation with someone, do not steal the spotlight from others. Many people enjoy talking about themselves, so stay engaged, and do more of the listening.
|Image Credit: Unsplash by raeng |
A conversation is more than just talking. Commit to communicate with Kindness and be fully present in The Conversation.
4. Gives compliments sincerely and often: The first few words out of your mouth when you meet someone should be "you looking great". Whether you are in a relationship or in business, don't fall into the trap of taking him or her for granted: compliment him or her as if you were meeting the person all over again.
5. Dress well and appropriately: Dressing well is a form of good manners. From a casual meeting up to a keynote speech, a well-mannered person with etiquette and ethics shows respect to himself/herself, the host, and the audience by looking good. People will notice the difference in you, without saying too much.
6. Mind Your Table Manners: No matter what your lifestyle, knowing proper table manners will come in handy when you have to be "on" during a luncheon interview, a company lunch meeting, a business breakfast, a cocktail buffet, or even for a first date. Making the best impression in these situations includes not only how you look but how you manage yourself at the dining table. I'm not suggesting that you always have to practise proper table manners; only that you should always know how to when you need it.
|Image Credit: Pixabay |
Knowing the right behaviour at home, in a ballroom, or at a restaurant becomes reflected in your subtle air of confidence. In other words, when you have to turn it "on," you can!
7. Be Punctual: Try to be on time. This shows how much you value and respect you give to the other person. There is no excuse for being late. Respect other people's time. And as the saying goes," Respect given is Respect earned".
8. Make Eye Contact when talking: The way you behave and conduct yourself tells about your personality. Your eye-contact, the way you greet others, define your character, and the way you how you treat others can help influence your superiors, subordinates, peers, clients, and/business associates.
NB: The Golden Rule states: "Treat others the way you want to be treated".
9. Meet and Greet with a SMILE: A sincere SMILE is an asset. A genuine smile can play an important part in a good first impression, opening important doors in your life. Remember to smile the next time you meet that potential client of yours. Sometimes, we don't have to say something super intelligent, it's a hearty smile that makes a difference. It is something to do with the 'silent languages'.
|Image Credit: Pixabay |
A warm SMILE is the universal language of kindness. Let us always meet each other with a smile!
10. Always give credit and appreciation: Do give credit whenever is due. Never forget to give appreciation to others for their kindness or contribution to your success along the way.
|Image Credit: Pixabay|
Remember what most people want, more than anything else, that they are loved, valued, and appreciated.
Don't get offended by the lack of manners
Having manners is also about putting up with a lack of it in other people. It is easy to get offended when you've put in considerate effort in your manners but it seems that other people have not. It is also tempting to dismiss that person with 'he or she is so rude!". Even if someone behaves rudely with you, your manners and etiquette will stop you from over-reacting. You have better control of your emotions. It will help make you not only win but also make your relationships smoother and easier. Practising good manners makes you more confident too. It helps add charm to your persona and you become a magnet that draws and attract people towards you.
"Mannerism aren't something that should feel forced, they should make people around you feel good in your presence."
-#Best-selling book The Image Factor (authored by Teresa Dian Chew)
Remember Culture and Diversity to inspire Inclusiveness:
Ethics and Etiquette are related to the extent that they both apply to human behaviour.
Though Etiquette provides us with guidelines for social behaviour, each culture will have a set of guidelines that apply to their society. These should help to ensure that our social interactions don't make one another uncomfortable. Etiquette can cover from which fork to use to how you greet your friend's grandmother. We need to understand the rules of etiquette that apply to our society just as we need to understand the rules of the road when driving a car. If we know what is expected then we can navigate through any given social situation.
Like Etiquettes, societies will usually have a set of moral guidelines that they have agreed upon. For example, we should not hurt others, and that we should not steal from one another. There are many other examples but several issues are ambiguous and people may disagree about these.
It is the ROAD to a Charming Personality, earning RESPECT:
Good manners and Etiquette help make relationships smoother and it projects your poise, classiness, and confidence. The way you behave and conduct yourself tells about your personality.
Make good manners, etiquette, and good ethics an aspiration to inspire others for everyday living and to win relationships.
What's the biggest challenge you are facing with mannerism, etiquette, or ethics that is affecting your relationships with others?
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