Make etiquette the focus of your everyday behaviour

Make etiquette the focus of your everyday behaviour

Don’t reserve your best behaviour for special occasions. You can’t have two sets of manners, two social codes — one for those you admire and want to impress and another for those whom you consider unimportant. You must be same to all people.”

No matter who you are, and what you do, the way you behave socially is always under examination by people you know and people you don’t.

These people have the potential to give or deny you great opportunities or great rewards, even when you think the least of them. Building good reputation for yourself often takes years though it can just take a few minutes or sometimes even seconds to ruin it. If you think about it, you will do things differently.

So how is etiquette different from manners, which most of us have been taught right from childhood? Well, if you thought they meant the same, then, they don’t.

Etiquette is a set of rules dealing with exterior form. Manners are an expression of inner character. Manners means polite behaviour of an individual that show attitude of compassion, kindness, respect and consideration for others.

Whereas, etiquette is a code of polite conduct based on social acceptance and efficiency.


Simply put, good manners are a way of showing others that you care and respect them and etiquette means what you are doing and saying when people are looking and listening.

When you embrace etiquette, it provides you a basic comfort, and creates an environment where your stakeholders feel secure and comfortable about a relationship with you and your business. And when you embrace etiquette, the chances of your growth and success are more, the opportunities that present to yourself are more.

Remember, there is no accomplishment so easy to acquire as politeness and none more profitable. And etiquette becomes the language of your manners. The rules of etiquette are many and cover every situation and every behaviour like talking, acting, living and moving. Here are a few etiquette notes important for your growth and success:

1. Stop blaming and criticising others:

Everyone has a role to play. Everyone has a role in your success and failure. You may fall many times in both life and business. But, remember with support, you will pick yourself up and become stronger and wiser for each trouble you pass. So stop blaming and criticising others. When you constantly blame and criticise, you are avoiding some truth about yourself.

2. Be open minded to opinion:

Some people always have an opinion on everything that matters or does not matter to them. They have opinions on matters, even when they do not know the situation. Little do they know that right to an opinion does not make their opinion right. Yet, learn to be open-minded and respectful to people’s opinions, even though you don’t agree with them. Remember, people have the right to have an opinion and you have the right to accept or ignore it.

3. Praise in public, criticise in private:

Praise, of all things, is the most powerful excitement, to commendable actions, and animates us in our enterprises. Make sure that you praise at every opportunity it presents, praise liberally in public. No matter how good a person is, you may always find something that is unacceptable, be it in their behaviour or action. If you have to criticise someone, make sure you do that in private. At the same time, if someone praises or criticises you, learn to accept them gracefully.

4. Be authentic as much as possible:

Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go who we think we are supposed to be, and embrace who we are. Like they say, not every day has sunshine, not everyone is perfect. And as some days, you create your own sunshine, you also create your own self with your imperfections and your vulnerability. You may sometimes not have the luxury of presenting your authentic self, but make sure you do not compromise on your transparency and integrity. Be authentic, be genuine, be real and be yourself.

5. Be courteous:

Courtesy is sometimes imperceptible, but its absence turns out to be poignant. So don’t ever stop caring for another person, even if it looks like a drop of water in the ocean.

Remember, it is a drop of water that makes ripples throughout the entire pond. He who sows courtesy, reaps friendship and he who plants kindness gathers love. So never stop doing little things for others, sometimes, these little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.

You never know when and how it would come back to you. Sooner or later, you realise that it’s your small acts of consideration that draws positive people towards you.

Sri is the founder and chief mentor of Kuza Biashara Limited, a capacity building organisation coaching youth and SME owners across Africa. @Sbharatam or

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