What does it mean to have good manners and etiquette?
I personally wanted to research this topic because I am nothing but awkward when it comes to face to face greetings. Ten years ago in the corporate world I was fine, I always offered my hand to shake and it was always firm. Not flimsy ( that's still not appropriate and really awkward to receive) and certainly not so tight it hurts, that's just as bad as flimsy. But back then it was hand shake for corporate and Kiss on the cheek for family and friends. Hugs weren't that big a deal, well at least that's how I remember it.
Fast forward to now and I've become so awkward with greetings. I never know whether to go in for the cheek kiss, and gentle hug or a hand shake. The whole event makes me feel terribly uncomfortable. BUT this blog comes as your saviour.
Corporate greetings face to face always stand when they are entering a room (first introductions, not your day to day meetings), always offer your hand (that remains) look the person in the eye and smile (with teeth). Apparently mouth closed gives off uncertainty vibes. Who'd of thought. And 3 shakes maximum.
The two hand shake, you know the hand over the other persons hand, only ever for friends and family, and funerals. The fist pump... never for work. Unless its your buddy sitting next to you.
Kiss on cheek and hugs are for family and friends only, but I'd like to add remove the kiss altogether, trust me, it's the most awkward moment if it's not reciprocated. Just go for the hug!
In terms of place settings always remember its outside in and your glasses are to the right and your bread plate is to the left. (see image below)
Always treat wait staff and those around you with respect, your behaviour is being watched by your peers and clients.
Don't ever turn up unannounced. Always phone or email if you plan to visit someone.
Never answer your phone in the company of others ( this is for client, work environments) unless you have pre warned of an urgent call. Never walk around holding your phone, you want the focus to be on the person you are with or the event you are at. Plus don't leave it on the table, put it in your bag. Nothing should be put on the table, no sunglasses, hats, bags, phones. By answering your phone you saying to the person you are with that the person on the phone is more important that you. This is never a nice feeling.
When it comes to social media especially LinkedIn, if you have to think twice about posting it, don't post it.
Listening is the greatest form of manners and respect.
One thing that has not died and should continue to be practiced is hand written thank you notes. This is applied to both business and personal. Nothing says good manners and I respect you more than a personalised note in the post.
Hope these tips help you.