By Lynn Cadet

The practice of etiquette has endured for centuries. You might picture a posh elite sipping a cup of tea with a pinky extended or a strict hostess fixing a dinner table with loads of cutlery. Although our society’s evolution has revealed some etiquette tips to be out of touch, there are still many aspects that are helpful today. 

We all have our rules for correct manners and politeness, ranging from punctuality to no elbows on the dinner table. Simple etiquette tips can help elevate the first impressions you make at business gatherings or even social functions. 

With proper manners, people will feel comfortable around you and want to either hire you or keep you in their social circles. Don’t get me wrong, you should never feel like you need to restrict yourself or change who you are to fit into overly strict social standards. Still, you can use etiquette to give you an advantage or a sense of security in situations and conversations. Use the rules that best compliment your lifestyle. 

The Misconception of Etiquette and Gender Roles

Women begin learning many of these customs from a young age. Because of constricting gender-specific rules that existed in its practice, etiquette is often viewed as a way to control women or to accommodate men. However, etiquette is not a gender construct. 

As society evolves, the way we use these codes of civility can change too. At its core, it shows us all how to carry ourselves professionally and courteously. When implemented correctly, femininity and its relationship with etiquette can be a beautiful thing. Women can still show strength, determine their own path and act respectfully. 

Being in tune with our emotions and minding our manners can help us overcome obstacles, win over people and solve issues on a deeper level. 

Elegance and graciousness should not be seen as counteractive to gender equality or looked down upon as old-fashioned—because they’re not. They can be utilised to enhance empowerment and build opportunities for partnerships. These attributes can also help us build confidence in social settings and boost our work status because we understand how to treat others in a courteous manner. 

The School of Affluence founder Anna Bey helps lead women in their journey to levelling up their lifestyle and career game using etiquette. She sees etiquette and elegance as tactics to shed bad habits and realise self-worth through setting lifestyle goals. Knowing how to speak and act appropriately is all about leaving a positive, lasting impression wherever you go.

Helpful Etiquette Tips

Protocol mistakes can sometimes hinder your success and leave you wondering what you did wrong. Practising social decorum can help highlight your skills, keeping your audience focused on what you can offer instead of questioning your behaviour or professionalism. Here are a few tips to keep in mind next time you attend a business occasion or social outing:

  • Be attentive to detail: Paying attention to your body language or even taking time to press out a few wrinkles in your shirt displays proper etiquette. By understanding the setting, you can discover what is required and dress up or down as needed. This act shows that you care about your appearance and respect the importance of the event you’re attending.
  • Don’t let your mood affect your manners: Taking out your grievances on others is never the right thing to do. People don’t deserve to be snapped at, especially if they have no idea why you are annoyed. It is important to be respectful to others because it protects their feelings while keeping your reputation intact and leaving a good impression.
  • Write “thank you” notes: Handwriting “thank you” notes shows appreciation and can lighten up the recipient’s mood. It shows them you care and can help you build a strong relationship.
  • Don’t monopolise conversations: Never take up a whole conversation speaking. Taking time to listen and respond will help you become a good conversationalist. People will want to continue talking to you if you establish a good rapport.
  • Always be gracious: Remember to be kind and offer help when you can, whether you’re at work or even at the store. At the workplace, this act could help you stand out amongst other coworkers and give the boss a positive attitude towards you. Skills are not the only thing bosses look for when promoting or hiring.

Whether you use etiquette to elevate your work status or for confidence in any setting, its benefits can extend to all areas of your life. Its foundation is not focused on being a prim and proper socialite or about fussy rules. 

Good manners and grace are easily carried and much appreciated in an often tumultuous world. Using the principles of etiquette can help build rapport and respect to form lasting relationships at work and home. It can also help you learn a thing or two about kindness and integrity.