Etiquette means the formal rules for polite behaviour in society or in a particular organisation. The important principle of etiquette is thoughtfulness, this implies a concern for the impact of your actions on those around you. One must treat others the way one likes to be treated. Social etiquettes, which mainly cover courtesies and proper social conduct, make life more orderly and pleasant for all pleasant manners. This is reflection of one's innate character and attitude towards life
Man is a social animal. He needs society in order to progress in life. The part of society among which one lives, functions and also forms a mini-society within itself, both these aspects demand certain mutual obligations such as friendly contacts and social and cultural interactions. By cultivating correct manners and using them constantly, one is better prepared to conduct himself on various social occasions with confidence and appreciation. Any skill in the areas of courtesy, politeness and etiquette never goes in vain. It helps to strengthen the traditional bonds and enriches the socio culture and one will be able to develop positive change in their behaviour.
2. VARIOUS SOCIAL ETIQUETTES AND COURTESIES
It would be prudent to bear these in mind in one's day to day conduct. A few salient social etiquette and courtesies to be followed are being enumerated.
a. HELPFULNESS AND CONSIDERATION
Most of the rules of good conduct have valid reasons for their existence, as they are essential to the code of ethics and good sense.
Thus we all agree that it is courteous to offer one's seat to a person of either sex who is physically unfit and is standing for want of a vacant seat. In other words, we should always make it a point to care for the comfort and well being of those less fortunate than ourselves. It is therefore important that a person should be always polite and does not do anything, which may offend another person.
One must always be dressed for the occasion, be it on job or off duty. Do not unbutton the collar while on duty. It is also incorrect to roll up your sleeves. If it is hot, it may be preferable to wear a half sleeve shirt.
c. TELEPHONE/SMARTPHONE ETIQUETTE
Be brief and polite in your telephone/smartphone conversation. While answering the phone, indicate your name or office/telephone number to the caller first. At the end of a conversation with your superior, wait to hear the 'click' at the other end and before putting down your phone.
d. LANGUAGES AND DEMEANOUR
It is very important to be careful with your language and demeanor when dealing with others. You should develop good diction and vocabulary to create a favorable impression in conversation. Guard against making any impolite gestures.
Let your conversation be audible but not harshly loud. Avoid slang and swear words in your conversation. Improve your written communication and speaking style by paying special attention to correct spelling and pronunciation. You must find that a dictionary and Google will be of immense help to you. Do not interrupt during conversation.
It is incorrect to dangle your sunglasses from the shirtfront. Do not enter an office or talk to your senior with your sunglasses on unless you are suffering from an eye infection. Also, do not slide them above your forehead.
g. LEADING THE WAY
When showing a senior or an inspecting officer visitor around, lead the way. When guiding them to an office, be first to enter and hold the door open.
h. TREATMENT OF SERVANTS
Notably, most households employ maid- servants to help them with the household chores. Almost everyone employing a servant, at some point, faces a problem in handling them. The employer and his family should be kind to their servants. Subsequently, understanding, fairness and justice must be the foundation of every household.
Personnel driving vehicles must possess a valid driving license and adhere to the traffic rules and norms. This equally applies to the members of your family. In addition, those driving two wheelers are required to wear a crash helmet. Driving under the influence of liquor is to be avoided. You owe it to yourself and to your family to get back home safely.
j. KEEPING PETS
Those who keep animals, such as dogs, cats and birds are responsible for ensuring that they do not become a nuisance or menace to others living in the area. Often, neighbourly relations and friendships become strained due to negligence of the pet-owner. Pets concerned must be given anti-rabies protection.
The basic ingredient for good manners at any sports event or at a game table is the spirit of sportsmanship. This quality is equally applicable to the participants as well as spectators. Take sports with grace and good temper. Cursing, ill humour, hooting, protesting against an umpire's decision, or expressing dissatisfaction by unruly gestures are not expressions of good culture or upbringing. Be a true sports lover, cheerful loser and a quiet winner.
One must keep with the best traditions of each country that proper respect is paid to the elders. Remember, therefore, to address those much senior to you in age as Sir Wish them first, inquire their welfare, and converse with them respectfully.
Ladies have a privileged position in society, importantly they are entitled for extra courtesy and respect. One's primary aim should be to see that in company ladies are always given first place and be made to feel comfortable. If you are travelling in a crowded bus, train or tram and find a lady standing, stand up and politely offer your seat to them.
n. WHEN VISITING THE SICK
When visiting the sick, sit by their side so that they can see and hear you without strain on their part, speak softly and listen attentively. Further, avoid abrupt movements and loud speech. A welcome gesture would be to carry flowers or something else they like. One's stay should not exceed stipulated time as may be imposed by the medical authorities. Be neither over cheerful nor over sad. Try to give encouragement and maintain silence in the hospital.
o. IN PUBLIC AREAS
On a street or in a bus, while shopping or enjoying a film show, at a picnic or any other public place wherever you are, avoid being loud and boisterous. The same rule applies when you are dining in a restaurant.
While travelling, try to do your best to fit in with your surroundings as far as possible. Travel light and an overburdened man is a nuisance to his fellow passengers and will soon be unpopular. Occupy only the allotted seat and keep your luggage in the appropriate luggage rack and not on the seat beside you. Do not smoke on the bus, train or tram.
Remember, good manners are great assets. No doubt they make certain demands upon the individual, yet a little thought would make this requirement no burden at all. Good manners improve relations between individuals, facilitate daily affairs, add smoothness to social machinery and help to make life pleasant.
'Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of the pleasures; costs nothing and conveys much. It pleases him who gives and him who receives and thus, like mercy, is twice blessed.
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