Etiquette Friday – Greeting PeopleBy Angela Marshall, 12th Oct 2012
It’s Friday and the day I request you join me in my campaign for 2012 to change “Casual Friday” to “Etiquette Friday”, to get people and companies involved. If we consciously make an effort every Friday then hopefully it will become a habit every day. I challenge you to make one small change a week and by the end of the year let’s hope we have a more pleasant and positive society.
Whether you’re at a business or private event it is important to acknowledge the presence of another person. It is a fundamental point of having good manners (ignoring the presence of someone can be seen as an insult).
Whatever the style of greeting ensure you give good eye contact, a pleasant smile, include the person’s first or last name and a welcoming comment.
Style of Greeting
Your style of greeting will depend on who it is e.g. a business person, friend, or relative.
In a business environment the general rule for greetings, in Britian, is to shake hands.
If you are friends and know them well, as two men, you may offer a hug. As a man and woman, a greeting based on your relationship with that person, may be a kiss on either or one cheek (but don’t overdo it!).
Handshakes – this was originally intended to show that participants were unarmed and for centuries it has now been used as a form of a friendly greeting. Ensure you shake a person’s hand firmly (not a wet fish but not bone-clenching either). Gloves should be taken off, only the Queen keeps them on.
Social Kissing – this has escalated over the last decade, in the UK, as a more relaxed alternative to the formal handshake. Merely a fleeting contact with the cheek, once is enough but often people will do it to both cheeks. However, unless you know the person well it is not advisable in a business environment as women can feel uncomfortable. It is something women often comment on, in my Etiquette & Manners workshops.
If you are not used to greeting people then practise and it will become easier. When you greet people with confidence you will be viewed as someone who is friendly, confident and recognizes the value of making people feel comfortable.
Encourage your children to speak to people and greet them when they come to your house or you go to others. It will help them to feel comfortable and confident at an early age.