Etiquette can be summed up as how gracefully and comfortably one presents himself in a social situation. The value of proper etiquette must not be underestimated. Possessing social graces can assist one in making friends, developing a positive reputation, and succeeding with clients. Being up to speed on the finer points of etiquette will help you fit in socially with highly educated and cultivated individuals.
Proper etiquette will help you make a positive and lasting impression while avoiding the awkwardness of being unsure of how to conduct yourself. This is especially true during important business meetings or fine dining occasions. Knowing the proper time to use certain utensils, how to properly host and seat guests, or how to make and accept a toast graciously are all finer points of social grace.
Being adept in polite formalities will heighten your confidence and the confidence those you interact with place in you. Your gracefulness will demonstrate that you want to make others feel special by treating them with courtesy, being considerate and attentive to their needs. Displaying civility also shows how much your respect yourself and that you want to make a good impression on others.
In terms of your professional identity, observing proper etiquette can set you apart from the crowd and may give you an edge over the competition. Just think about what type of impression will be made when you are the only applicant to send a thank you note after a job interview. An applicant who demonstrates proper business etiquette will always shine more than someone who lacks these finer points.
EtiquettePolice.com is a site which offers an Etiquette 101 course online which features five sections on dining, business etiquette, wedding etiquette and more. The course is a very basic self-education site which features informative notes on each of the sections followed by a very simple quiz. I found the notes very useful and there were definitely some refreshing and new points for me. It would be a great idea to review these from time to time and before any special events or interviews. As an added touch this site offers a Final Exam and a certificate of completion for this course.
- Individual personal development
- Training for employees
- Workshops for non profit organizations
- Student Associations and Business Clubs
- Use notes to conduct your own etiquette training course
Additional Reading on Etiquette
First and foremost I must mention the distinguished Debrett’s Online; absolutely the modern etiquette authority.
For more reading on etiquette you can refer to a free edition of a classic guide to etiquette by Emily Post. Some of the information may be rather dated but it is still a good reference.
Keep in mind that social etiquette does vary from culture to culture and sometimes regionally. If you are traveling be certain to research the appropriate etiquette for the area you are visiting. One of the best resources I have come across for this is the amazing directory located at Kwintessential.co.uk.