January 31st, 2003, 05:25 PM
Etiquette (the introduction)
I have taken the time to put together a pretty lengthy tutorial on etiquette in different situations that could prove useful to everyone here. I hope you all can find some use from this. After pasting the article in here I just found out that this article is really really big so I will split this into two different tutorials. This one will include introductions and email/phone etiquette. The next one will include workplace and dining.
Etiquette; what is it? Is it your posture, voice, habits, appearance, vocabulary? Yes, etiquette is the way you properly or improperly present yourself to the world around you. Anything from your dining habits, the tone you use when you speak, or the clothing you wear. Proper etiquette will allow you to excel in life and this article will get you pointed in the right direction.
To some people it seems as if etiquette is more of a common sense type subject; that if you donít understand how to act or treat people around you then you must be a simpleton. Etiquette breaks down into many categories first and foremost is your vocabulary. No one can have a perfect vocabulary but the broader your horizon the more options you can subject yourself too. The best way to enhance your vocabulary is to read, read, read. Literary pieces of art, poetry, and whatever you can get your hands on. When you come across a word you donít understand, look it up, write the word and the definition down then try for the next week to integrate it into your sentences. This is a simple method on increasing your knowledge. By increasing your vocabulary you just enabled yourself to be able to converse and comprehend on another level.
The introduction, like a book, article, a new person, the first impression is always the most important one. Therefore when you meet someone for the first time it is very important that the picture you portray in their head is the most important one. The most important part of the introduction is the handshake. You should make a solid connection with the personís hand you are going to shake at the webbed area between the thumb and pointer-finger. Now the grip you use shouldnít be to firm or to weak, I would aim more towards firm than weak. The higher authority or host will typically initiate the handshake, if he/she doesnít you should extend your arm and offer the handshake. When it comes to dating or to business introductions the next most important thing is eye contact. Not only does eye contact show respect but it will show the other party that you are interested in what they have to say. When you are put in the situation of introducing people there are a series of different ďrulesĒ to follow. First if you are with a group and introducing one person to the group you first state the name of the most important person and then you state the name of your friend/college. In other situations you should always introduce from the youngest to the oldest person, coworkers to customers, least important employees to most important. Always do your best to remember the names of the persons that you meet and keep introductions brief.
When in situations other than with close friends some topics of conversation to avoid are: religion, politics, or any other controversial topics (i.e. race, sexual orientation).
Hand in hand with physically meeting someone is the telephone meeting, how you conduct yourself on the telephone says just as much about you as when you meet someone in person. The first thing to consider when conversing on the telephone is to find a good tone to speak in; you never want to talk too loud or too soft. It is good practice to always keep your telephone conversations to the point not straying on about useless information. If you miss a phone call and receive a message always return those calls the same day and if you get their voicemail leave a message. Whenever you leave a message make sure that you leave your number even if you are positive that they have it. It only takes a few extra seconds and will save the person you are calling valuable time from having to locate your number. I canít emphasize enough that whenever you are conversing with someone you LISTEN, not just hear but you must listen. Telephone calls fall along the same lines as emails. You must always conduct yourself in a professional manner when emailing for business or personal reasons. Two major reasons for this: emails are digital and can be printed and used against you and it is a direct reflection of you. Remember if you are sending emails from work odds are that the geeks between you and your email can probably see what you are sending. You should always do your best to return emails the same day you receive them. Keep emails directly to the point and donít go on and on about nothing. Always remember one thing though, NO one likes to receive spam (forwards, jokes, etc.), itís a waste of time, yours and theirs.
Link for reference
http://www.executiveplanet.com/index2.jsp (good site if you are going abroad)
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