Sure, your parents taught you to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ to keep your elbows off the table, and to not chew with your mouth open, and for that we are all grateful. But aside from that, we learn over the years – some more than others – that there are a few etiquette habits that were glossed over and probably never brought to your attention until now. In a society where networking is the key practically anything and anywhere you go, it’s important to make great first impressions with how you carry yourself. There are probably a few etiquette habits that you can and should adopt to be the best person you can be.
Here are five etiquette habits you should adopt right now:
1. No phones at the table – period. We live in an age where we are practically glued to our cell phones, which makes us less personable and less sociable in social settings. Unless you’re in a business lunch (and even then) or expecting a very important call, put your phone away and give the people you are with your complete, undivided attention. If you do receive a call you must take, excuse yourself from the table and speak as briefly as possible.
2. Be punctual. Lately, being late has become almost like a badge of honor, and that’s not okay. By being late and tardy to any event – no matter how big or small – shows a lot of disrespect to the person you are meeting with, like you are so busy and that your time is the only one that matters. While being late can and will happen, it shouldn’t be a habit. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your appointments and hey, even be early!
3. Keep your commitments. No matter how big or small, always keep your word and your appointments. If you gave your word, do everything in your power to keep it.
4. Dress for the occasion – especially professionally. The first impression definitely counts, and while it isn’t always everything, it can often make or break you. Overdressing and underdressing can both be very embarrassing situations, so it is best to be prepared and do some extra research depending on where you are going and what you’re dressing for. Businesswear has been more casual lately and it’s important to keep professional, especially in the workplace.
5. Be present. Like the “no phones at the table” rule, take it up a notch and make sure you are fully present in all that you do. Do things wholeheartedly and try not to get distracted and think of other things while you are doing another – whether it’s conversing with a friend, listening to a lecturer, or being with your family.
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