Everyday Etiquette: 3 Tips for Success

Written by Melinda Wildes, Workforce Specialist in NVME’s Midcoast Region
An art exhibit with people's faces

What is everyday etiquette? Perhaps it can be framed best as a practical application of the Golden Rule, “Treat everybody as you would like to be treated.”
 
In today’s climate, can we regain equilibrium through the practice of civility, courtesy, and showing respect to others around us?  The return to “etiquette awareness” is a step in restoring dignity and balance to life.
 

Here are 3 everyday etiquette tips:

 
1.) As with any form of communication, know your audience. Ask yourself what you know about the other party. Take whatever knowledge and information you may have into account, but don’t let a lack of information stop you from acting. In the end, your “rule of thumb” can still be the golden rule.
 
2.) Be considerate towards everyone. When in doubt, hold the door, hold the elevator. An act of kindness is never wasted, no matter how small. Share a smile, and notice how you feel when doing so.
 
You are unavoidably running late for an appointment. What should you do? Don’t assume the person you are meeting with will have a flexible schedule. Show that you are being considerate of their time by phoning or texting ahead to see if the meeting will still be possible or will need to be rescheduled.
 
3.) Be responsive. A co-worker asks you a question by email, and you do not know the answer. A friend or co-worker asks you to help with a project you don’t have the time for. In either case, reply with an honest answer. Everyone appreciates receiving a response.
 
What is the impact of everyday etiquette? Whether you are in a business transaction, a job interview, or out in public, following the “golden rule” and putting yourself into the shoes of the person you are interacting with can go a long way towards making the world a kinder, more civil place.