Image & Etiquette Institute of Los Angeles

Diana Olson & Company/Diana's Color Collage                 Since 1980


SECRETS OF CIVILITY AND SOCIAL GRACES

*Manners: Kind spontaneous reactions of the heart. 

*Etiquette: Codes of behavior and principles relating kindness and consideration toward others.

*Civility: Respect, Responsibility, Restraint are the key foundations.

*Protocol: International standards of conduct for each individual country.


*Handshakes: Give positive eye contact.  Shake hands with right hand thumb up, using web to web handshake with firmness in forearm and two pumps. After discussions between two people, never turn your back on the other person. Slide off to the left or right, the opposite from the other person. 

 

*Introductions:

Social: Ladies first. Honor Elders and then Women or Girls.  For example: Mrs. Sanchez (elder), may I introduce my daughter, Amelia (girl) and my son, Jose. (Elder, then younger). If a newcomer comes into the room, introduce him to the whole group. Tell something about him.  Then introduce:  Grandmother's name, woman, girl, and then boy.  Socially, it is always about honoring ladies.  If a man is an elder, he would be introduced after the elder lady. 

Business: Highest rank is first. The person's name  who has the highest rank is  honored first. A client is more important than the the president of the company. Client-President-VPresident-Secretary is that order. Senior person is introduced to junior person, "Ms. President, may I introduce my new assistant who will be my new secretary." Most important person's name is always stated first. Stand for all introductions. In business, introductions are made according to rank, not gender. 

 

*Name tags: Name tags are always put on the right shoulder so that they are easily seen when shaking hands.

Use first and last name, and company (when appropriate). 

 

*Calling a person:  Always introduce yourself and state who you are calling.  Ex. "Diana Olson calling.  May I speak to Tom Smith? " May I" is the most courteous way to ask someone permission .


Answering the phone: State the name of your company and then give the name of the person receiving the call. ex. "Diana Olson & Company, Diana speaking, how may I help you?"  Answer: "May I tell her who is calling?" or "No one is available.  May I take your name and number and ask her to return your call?"  Never divulge another person's privacy.  "Unavailable " is an important way to decline someone's request. 

 

*Toasting: The person being toasted raises his glass, but never toasts to himself. The hostess can raise her glass to the guests with, "Bon Appetit.  It is wonderful having you all hear to celebrate John's birthday!" She raises her glass and drinks.  Then others drink. 

 

*Dining: The placement of the flatware determines the order of the courses. With the plate in the center, the forks are on the left of the plate, and the knives and spoon are on the right side, except the cocktail fork rests at an angle in the soup spoon. Wait for the hostess to put her napkin in her lap to signal starting her meal. The hostess signals the end of the meal by putting her crumpled napkin on the left of the forks.Food is served from the left, and beverages are poured from the right. Food is always passed to the right. 

 

*Honesty: Honesty is the highest level of integrity. Honesty requires truth with kindness, civility, and sincerity. Unsolicited advice, under the disguise of honesty, can be mean and is seldom welcome. 

 

*Empathy: Ability to feel the disappointments, hurt, sadness, happiness of others.  To be able to "walk in the shoes" of another person is an important aspect of Social Intelligence.


*Self Restraint: Emotional Intelligence is the ability to wait for the long-term goal, and to say less than you think in a kind and considerate manner. 

 

*Disagreement:  "Can Agree to Disagree".  Avoid demeaning or combating someone to just your point across on a simple issue. Try to find an aspect of their statements in which you do agree. Avoid discounting every aspect of their conversations. Instead of using, "but", use "and". " I really agree with most of what you said...and, there is another point that I would like to share."