Business & Social Etiquette
Lauren A. Evans
Mid-South Community College
What is Etiquette?
According to the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary
the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or
prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life
A Brief History…
“Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the origins of today’s
etiquette began in the French royal courts in the 1600s and 1700s.
Under King Louis XIV, a placard (the word “etiquette” means card
or placard) was devised and posted with rules for all to follow. They
took manners much more seriously in those days, and people were
more strict in the following of rules.”
“Even before Louis XIV, the first known etiquette book was written
in 2400 B.C. by Ptah-hotep. Good manners have been around for a
long time. It was from these origins that American etiquette grew.”
“The first recordings of American etiquette were made in George
Washington's Rules of Civlity, but the most popular "first" about
manners was written by Emily Post in 1922. The self-proclaimed
debutante-turned-writer published "Etiquette--In Society, In
Business, In Politics, and At Home." It became a best-seller and
paved the way for her successors to continue preaching good
Why is Etiquette Important?
“People tend to equate a lack of etiquette with a lack of care and
self-control necessary to be good at what you do. Etiquette is
about presenting yourself with the kind of polish that shows you
can be taken seriously”
“I choose to travel the high road because the lower road is so
Ms., not Miss or Mrs.
Introduce the person with greater authority to the person of lesser
U2 is a band…
Dr. Jones, I would like to introduce to you Mr. Smith.
President Fenter, I would like to introduce to you Lauren Evans
USA: firm, solid grip with 2-3 strokes
Belgium: light pressure and 1 quick stroke
Germany: firm grip and 1 quick stroke
Japan: light grip and 3-4 gentle strokes
U.S.: 40-60% of time
Middle East: Intense
Britain: Look away when talking, but look back in a turn-yielding
Mexico & Puerto Rico: Direct eye contact considered aggressive
Pop Quiz, Hot Shots!
The best way to meet people and "work a room" is to
a) head for the bar or the buffet immediately upon arrival.
b) introduce yourself to two people who are deep in conversation.
c) look confident, stand in the center of the room and wait for
to approach you.
d) introduce yourself to groups of three or more.
e) stick close to only those you know very well.
Answer: D Introduce Yourself to Groups of Three or More
Practice proactive, assertive habits!
In the business arena:
a) only men should stand for handshaking and all introductions.
b) only women should stand for handshaking and all introductions.
c) it is not necessary for men or women to stand for handshaking or
d) both men and women should stand for handshaking and
Both men and women should stand for handshaking and
Times they are a’changin’!
Finally, for now…
For easy reading, one's name badge should be worn
a) on the left shoulder.
b) on the right shoulder.
c) on the left hip.
d) around one's neck.
On the right shoulder
Follow your eyes!
BE ON TIME!
No drugs, alcohol, etc.
Be courteous and respectful to your peers and supervisors
Admit fault and express willingness to improve
If your work slacks, someone else is picking it up
The Golden Rule
On-the-Job Etiquette - The Office Cubicle
Don't hold meetings in your cube: "With a whole group of people
talking in a small setting, it's easy to distract others"
Avoid noisy screensavers, or setting your e-mail to a line from your
favorite song every time a message appears in your inbox.
Don't use a speaker phone: Double trouble - not one annoying
voice, but two.
Watch the personal calls: Your neighbors don't want to hear what
you're having for dinner, about your spouse's doctor appointment,
or your weekend plans when they're trying to conduct business.
The Office Cubicle Continued
Avoid strong smells: Keep in mind some people are allergic to
colognes, perfumes and deodorants. If you must wear them, keep
Cubicle decorations: Sure the family pictures are great, but beware
of posting material that may have a sexual, political, racial or
personally offensive message.
Keep the radio low: Some radio shows can be borderline offensive.
What may be funny and appropriate to you, may not be to
someone else. "Be respectful to those around you, and remember,
if you can hear them, they can probably hear you."
Dining Etiquette – Common Issues
Enter chair from the right
Unfold napkin when seated and place in lap with crease closest to
Where do I leave it?
Pass salt and pepper together
Offer left, pass right
Begin eating when everyone at the table has been served
DO NOT clean your plate
No elbows on the table
Dining Etiquette - Conversation
Dining Etiquette - Toasting
Begin, Be Brief, Be Seated
Honor guest of honor
60-75 words or one minute
Quickly explain how you know guest of honor
No comments that would mortify or humiliate guest(s)
No need to toast in return
GOH may remain seated
Dining Etiquette - Mishaps
You spill something
Provided that it’s not landing in someone else’s lap, don’t make
a scene, but call over a waiter
You drop your napkin, fork, knife, etc.
Leave it on the floor and call over a waiter
A dirty utensil should never be reused
Someone brought up an inappropriate topic of conversation
Kindly redirect the conversation. Ask the host a question or
return to an appropriate topic.
Turn them on silent in movies, plays, concerts, dinners, etc.
The person you are with takes priority.
Conversations are not private.
End of Presentation
There are no activities for this unit, but remember that
etiquette is something to practice every day, not just on the