‘’A first impression is the last impression’’. Have you ever judged someone you don’t know simply on the basis of their behaviour? The truth is; we all have. First impressions can be critical and often determine the outcome of life’s most important situations- nailing a job interview or making friends. Good manners are vital to leaving a lasting positive impression so make sure you follow these tips from John Robert Powers to ace the art of social graces.
1. Being Polite: One of the first steps towards social refinement is being polite. It is the basic foundation for cultivating perfect manners. Try to use words such as ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ generously in your conversations. Saying ‘thank you’ shows you’re grateful and appreciate the efforts put in by the other person for your benefit. And when someone says ‘thank you’ the best response would be ‘you’re welcome’. When you want to know something or ask for a favour, it is always best to use the word ‘please’, as it sounds more like a polite request than a command. Whether you are talking to colleagues, friends, family, or even strangers, these simple yet powerful words will convey your respect for the other person.
2. Social Etiquette: Writing a thank you note if someone has helped you out, giving up your seat to someone less able when travelling on public transport, offering assistance to someone who needs help and respecting queues in public places are all common courtesies which demonstrate generosity as well as helping to make the world a better place.
3. The art of communication: When addressing someone older or superior to you, it is advisable to maintain a degree of formality in your tone and language. Whereas, with peers and friends you can be more casual. Conversations should always be about hitting the right balance between listening and sharing information. Talking too much about oneself without giving the other person an opportunity to speak can come across as impolite. Interrupting someone while they are in the middle of a conversation is also considered to be rude. Wait until they have finished their discussion before you interject by saying ‘please excuse me.’ The term ‘excuse me’ can also be used for other scenarios such as making a polite request, to leave the table or acknowledging an error.
4. Apologizing graciously: We all make mistakes but not admitting to them can make it even worse. In these situations, the best option would be to leave your ego aside and say ‘I’m sorry’. Saying sorry is usually the antidote to ending unpleasant situations as it shows that you take responsibility for your actions. The word ‘sorry’ is one of the most powerful expressions which can also be used to convey your sincerest regrets.
Good manners are not only a necessary tool for self enhancement but they also pave the way for a more civilized and sophisticated society. These simple phrases and gestures translate into respect, kindness and consideration for other people. Follow this guide to marvellous manners to ensure you master social situations or contact us for more information on how to get the John Robert Powers advantage.