The word ‘etiquette’ often conjures up images of stuffy gentlemen and snobbish ladies socialising at their high-class establishments, out of touch with the common man.


Instead, the word ‘etiquette’ should conjure up images of the kind of person we’d like to be friends with, the kind of person we’d employ, and the kind of person we’d be proud to be associated with.


In fact, few of us would tolerate a person who lacks a basic knowledge of etiquette – either socially or professionally.


For example, how do you feel about the person who looks at his phone while you’re talking to him, the person who never cleans up after himself when he uses the office kitchen, the sort of person who always hits “reply all” whenever he responds to an email ?


How do feel when you’re greeted with a limp handshake ? Or when your employee turns up at a business chamber meeting in jeans and a T-shirt ? Or when others attending a meeting turn up later than the scheduled starting time ?


All of these behaviours are examples of poor etiquette – examples of a lack of respect for others.


The rules of etiquette are there to guide how we show respect for each other. Most of the time, people won’t particularly notice you observing excellent etiquette – but they will certainly notice when you don’t. And they’ll judge you (and potentially the company you work for) harshly.


Research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Centre has concluded that 85% of job success comes from having well‐developed soft and people skills, and only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills). 


There is no doubt that etiquette will give you the edge.


If you want to know more, contact me – annette@lovemorecommunication.co.za. Book a customized course in professional etiquette (which includes social etiquette as it applies to the business world). Brush up on your manners. It will be worth the effort.