Good manners & etiquette: Fabric of strong societies

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The year 2020 has shaken the core of everything we hold dear in our societies and Good manners and Etiquette have not been spared.

In the heat of our inability to control the health inferno and avalanche of this turbulent year, many have thrown caution to the wind and reckless communication and lack of decorum has become the order of the day.

Being a strong protocol advocate and ambassador, I feel I should share  this to help us all reconsider out position and uphold  values of being Etiquette conscious and decorous in our daily dealings.

Good manners are important for considering the feelings of other people and being the kind of person that others will like and respect. In the ‘olden days’ children were taught about the Golden Rule, “Always do to others as you would wish them to do to you if you were in their place.” This is still a good way to behave nowadays. If you are respectful to others then you are more likely to be treated with respect by them. If you show good manners everywhere you go, you are more likely to encourage others to behave in the same way towards you.

Good manners show the best you have to offer and encourage others to be their best. Practicing these manners on a daily basis makes for a more pleasant life.

– Be thoughtful
– Be cheerful
– Be generous
– Be co-operative
– Be helpful
– Don’t be bossy
– Don’t put people down or say rude things
– Respect other’s privacy
– Take care of your personal and others property as well.

Good manners show the best you have to offer and encourage others to be their best. Practicing these manners on a daily basis makes for a more pleasant life.

Manners are important to make a good impression on others in everyday life. They also helps you to feel good about yourself and your identity.  No matter where you are, at home- with kids, at work- with colleagues, or with friends, practicing good manners are important. If you practice good manners, you are showing those around you that you are considerate to their feelings and also respect them. You are also setting standards for other’s behavior and encouraging them to treat you with similar respect.

Basic examples of good manners and etiquettes

Choose your words wisely and don’t rush to comment about things you don’t know much about. Being a good listener is often better than speaking. You don’t need to have an opinion on everything.

Think things out before you speak, especially if you are a person who may be poor at finding the right words to say. Don’t start a sentence, with ‘ums’ and ‘ers’(crutch words) in between, it seems awkward and you should try speaking to yourself in front of a mirror, it works! It increases your confidence in speaking.

Don’t speak loudly. (we all know a person or group of people who are more prone to do this.) You will quickly lose respect if you do, as this can be seen as overbearing and rude. It can also make other people angry and upset with you before you even establish some kind of relationship with them. They will see you as a ‘big mouth’ who cannot be trusted with anything confidential. So practice turning your volume down if you tend to have a loud voice.

Speak with respect to and of others. You can do this by avoiding negative remarks that may insult someone else. Deliberately going out to malign people is not ‘delish’ and must be avoided at all times. The general rule is that, if you don’t want someone to speak about you that way, you don’t speak about them to others.

Do not ever speak of bodily functions even if it is a casual conversation, such as using the bathroom or telling crude jokes, for this shows sign of immaturity and often creates a bad impression of you with your friends, family, and co-workers.

Always respect older people and listen to them and learn. This applies to all elders and not just parents and grandparents.

Using the terms ‘Yes Please’ ‘No Please’ ‘Yes, Thank You’, ‘No Thanks’ and ‘You are Welcome’ shows that you have good manners. People who lack manners do not use these terms.

Hold open a door for anyone following you closely. This is a sign of a good manner and has never changed. There are no strict gender rules in this day and age however,
If you’re on public transport and an older person  or lady comes on board, always offer your seat to them and opt to stand if you may, or take a seat at the back of the bus or mini van. It is not inappropriate also for a man to offer his seat to a lady if she’s carrying a load. Allowing a lady to enter a lift first does not take away from you. This rather shows you as a gentleman and makes you admirable.

Speak highly of your parents, and older people around you. Respect them, even if there are things about them that you do not like. If you cannot do that, stay away from speaking about them at all. It looks bad to insult or speak badly of the people who brought you into this world or raised you. Don’t wash dirty family laundry in public. It is negative and rude.

Do not swear to use filthy language and curse words. It’s not ‘cuul’, It is unprofessional! People who do this are usually very immature and have no self-control or respect for themselves and others!

Good manners are simply respect and consideration for others or being aware of the needs of others. They are the oil which lubricates the friction of interpersonal relations and creates a happy and successful society. So, Give Respect and Take Respect! Be Kind and Decorous! this  will ripple into us having a better  society in 2021.

About Em Bartels

Em Bartels is the founder and Executive Director of GPA Awards International, Excell Consulting GH, Excell Branding GH, a Personal Branding Expert and Executive Coach with a track record of building incredible personal brands that help executives to stand out, become visible and attract a passionate tribe.

She’s also a communication expert passionate about oral communication, Protocol and Etiquette.


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