The short answer is that etiquette applies everywhere. Let's start with RESPECT... a simple word that means a lot and acts as the foundation for etiquette. When I think of the word "respect", I immediately start singing the song made popular in the 1960's by Aretha Franklin. Even if you do not know the song, let's spell-out "respect" and take a closer look at how respect lays the groundwork for etiquette:
R: Remember that etiquette begins with this one word, respect.
E: Everywhere. Etiquette has a place in every situation and with every person. Think about where you are, what you are doing, and what message you want to send. Do your research and prepare in advance.
S: Simple. Keep it simple. There is no need to make this complicated. Don't get caught-up in memorizing rules or dos and don'ts. By simply keeping in mind that you want to respect the other person and act in the least offensive manner, you are well on your way.
P: Please (and thanks). These two simple, powerful words are often forgotten. Remembering to start with "please" and end with "thanks" can soften and open communications. Make it a point to embed these words into your everyday vocabulary. And don't forget to say "excuse me".
E: Everyone. Etiquette applies to everyone, including you. Good manners should flow from you at all times. Let the way you present yourself and treat others become a natural extension of you. This should become second nature and not be turned "off" and "on." Keep good manners ON at all times, that way you are not worried about forgetting to mind your manners.
C: Clothing. Pay attention to how you dress and remember the three Cs: Classic, Clean, and Covered. Make sure the way you dress is appropriate for the event. Clothing should not be a distraction, nor do you want to fidget with ill-fitting garments. Stand and look in the mirror. Then, sit in a chair to make sure your clothes look as good "sitting" as they do when you are standing.
T: Talk. Talk less and listen more. When you do talk, get to the point while paying attention to the tone of your voice as well as word choice. Record yourself and practice. Lastly, make it a point to listen more and do so actively.
Remember that etiquette is never ending. It begins with respect and continues with you.
Kathy Jo Pollack is a certified life coach, trainer, and speaker with a focus on finance, relationships, and etiquette. She has worked with thousands of people from all walks of life as the training specialist for Consumer Credit Counseling Service and has taken her passion and expertise to a new level as a coach and writer. She also offers various teleclasses and seminars. For more, please visit her at: http://www.kathyjopollack.com or contact her directly at email@example.com.© 2015 Kathy Jo Pollack
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