Social Graces are the Way to SuccessBy Angela Marshall, 27th Dec 2013
Social graces are important skills that help us to interact politely in social situations. These skills include etiquette and manners, behaviour, body language and our appearance. Over the years how we apply social graces has changed with business becoming more international, combined with social changes in society. People often think etiquette is about having good table manners which are important, but etiquette is far more than this. It is about having the ability and skill to easily apply the written and unwritten rules of conduct with ease and to interact easily and appear effortless. Etiquette can vary significantly in different countries, which is invariably related to their culture, although a lot of manners are cross-culturally common. We need to be aware of the etiquette and culture when in foreign countries, particularly between western and eastern culture.
Having good social graces is vitally important especially the ability to establish a conversation that puts people at ease. This can take practise and the younger you are when you start practising this skill the better, so if you have children then do encourage them to engage in conversation with friends and family.
In business job success invariably depends on having good social graces, which is something you learn with experience, and involves showing respect to others.
10 Ideas and Suggestions :
- Introduce yourself first – whether face to face or on the telephone always use your name
- Good body language – good eye contact, good posture, good firm handshake and smile!
- Listen – have active signs of listening; pay attention to everybody
- Adapt your behaviour to the various situations you find yourself in
- Make small talk – light-hearted chat, finding out what interests people (see my next blog on small talk)
- Turn your mobile phone off or at least on silent and avoid texting or speaking to people in front of your guests
- Self-control, honesty and truthfulness – always try to display self‐control and good intentions, it helps create a sense of trust during social interactions
- Be kind and thoughtful towards one’s fellow beings
- Appreciate none of us is perfect – people have different thoughts and views and no one is perfect
- Avoid open conflict – opinions can differ but avoid confrontation
Good social graces and good manners are not a luxury but a necessity. By being aware of others and showing respect it in turn will obtain respect from other people. It helps to open doors in business and in our social life and people remember us in a more positive way.
Finally always remember your please and thank you!