Good manners are important in both social and business situations. We do not need to go too far back in time to see that good manners, or as it was known then, etiquette, was taught in most schools in the United Kingdom and many countries throughout the world.

Good manners are about respecting yourself and others. They will make life more enjoyable for you and for those you come into contact with. If you are well mannered others will be more comfortable in your company. People with good manners will usually make a positive impression on those around them.

When you know the acceptable behaviour for any situation this will improve your confidence and self-esteem. You will feel comfortable walking into any situation and know the correct protocol.

There is now worldwide competition in a global economy; there are more companies competing for each contract and more individuals competing for each job.  It is the people who present themselves in the best possible light who will be more likely to land the contracts. The financial implications of good manners are also enormous as you improve and build your confidence. This inevitably will make you a more sought after person as you impress those with whom you come into contact.

With a knowledge of what is considered good manners you will have more tools in your toolbox; you will behave with self composure, poise and professionalism, ooze self confidence,  know how to dress for the occasion and behave appropriately with others.

Here are a couple of faux-pas that many people often make without realising. If I ask anyone where the loo is, the response is normally, “The toilet is first on the right”. The person normally looks at me as though I should not use the word “loo” as it is inappropriate. However, the word toilet is not accepted etiquette and is usually frowned upon in polite society. Loo, lavatory or restroom is fine depending on whether you are in someone’s home, a restaurant or out somewhere else.

Often when eating out, people cut their bread roll in half and butter their whole roll with butter from the butter dish, using their knife again in the butter dish if they require more butter.

The correct way to eat bread in the UK would be to take one roll from the bread basket, take as much butter as you will require for the whole roll from the butter dish and put this on the side of your plate. It is considered vulgar to bite into bread so break off a small piece of the roll or slice of bread with your fingers and do this delicately – don’t cut it with your knife. Butter only the piece of bread you are preparing to eat over your plate. Finish eating that piece before you break off another piece. Place your knife on the bread plate in between bites.

The good news is that no matter what your background, good manners can be learned.

For more information visit my website at www.etiquetteandmanners.co.uk The courses are also certified for continued professional development (CPD) if required.

Good Luck

Ellen

Ellen Russell
About the author

Ellen is our Business & Social Etiquette Blogger. You can reach Ellen on: Etiquette and Manners, Facebook, Linked In

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