Lectures Series onEnglish Learning英语学习系列讲座 By Zhang Boxiang
Lecture 10 English Etiquette
What is etiquette? • The conventionally accepted standards of proper social or professional behavior. An unwritten code. It isn’t meant to be stuffy or formal. It's really about being kind, considerate and respectful. • Etiquette is respect, good manners, and good behavior. It is not just each of these things, but it is all of these things rolled into one.
Why learn etiquette? • It provides us with knowledge, self-confidence and skills needed for a successful social and business life. • It helps us to meet, talk, dine, and do business efficiently in a pleasant atmosphere without embarrassing ourselves or others. • Those of us who possess and display good skills make lasting impressions.
“The quality of a gentleman is measured by what he is and what he does – never by what he has. It is a code of instinctive decency (庄重), ethical integrity, self-respect, and loyalty. A knowledge of etiquette is of course essential to one’s decent behavior, just as clothing is essential to one’s decent appearance.”
Some Key Words • Manners • Social conduct or rules of conduct as shown in the prevalent customs • Etiquette • The conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life • Civility • Courtesy, politeness, polite act or expression
Decorum • Propriety and good taste in conduct or appearance, the conventions of polite behavior • Positive behaviors • Polite, respectful, gracious, considerate, kind, courteous, cordial • Negative behaviors • Rude, uncouth, disrespectful, offensive
General behavior • Be polite • Always try to act in a demure (娴静的) and professional manner. • Be sure to say, “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me,” and “you’re welcome,” as appropriate. • Some people will take offense to the phrase, “no problem,” since it belittles your own effort, and thus it renders a person’s thanks as meaningless. Some people actually do make a big deal out of this.
Be punctual • It is basic courtesy to keep one’s appointments in a timely manner. • Do not swear, shout, or lose your temper • Keeping your anger in check is the action of all civilized individuals and shows your grace and composure. • Do not pick anything • This includes nose, ears, teeth, toes, etc. • Don’t scratch yourself either. Don’t spit, don’t chew gum in good company, or don’t smoke in mixed company.
Don’t question people about their private affairs. • Don’tbrag, be overbearing, or be servile. • For everybody hates smarty pants. It’s like the old saying, empty vessels make the most noise! • Don’tcontradict or show intolerance of other people's opinions. • Don’trepeat anything unpleasant said by one person about another person, to that other. • Don’tborrow other people’s possessions or money. • Don’tlounge about, or put feet on chairs in public.
Do not point or stare • It’s just rude. • Remove your hat indoors • Upon entering any household or establishment, you should immediately remove your hat. • Do not check your watch • Unless you absolutely must be somewhere, it is rude to check your watch constantly. Refrain from this action when at a party or dinner or any function.
The dreaded three • Never discuss religion, politics, or finances with company. • Also, you should avoid any conversation about work. If something is not directly work-related, then it may be suitable. • Safe topics that cause no offense would be weather, sports, jobs, hobbies, holidays and other forms of relaxation.
Introduction and greeting • In general the British prefer to be introduced to strangers, if at all possible wait for a third party introduction when meeting someone new. • How to introduce people • Introduce individuals to each other using both first and last names. • If you’re introducing someone who has a title, “a doctor, for example,” include the title as well as the first and last names in the introduction.
A younger person is always introduced to an older person • A less important person is always introduced to a more important person • A man is always introduced to a woman • However, if a considerable age difference lies between the two, it is far more courteous to make introductions in respect to age, regardless of the sex or social rank of the individuals. • Two persons with the same rank. Introduce the person you are less acquainted with to the one you are more acquainted.
Introduction steps • A usual introduction includes a greeting, a hand shake, an exchange of names and a few words about one’s work. • First decide who has the most status/authority • Old people, High officials, Senior executives, Professors, Employees • Then address senior ranking person • “Mr. Important, I’d like to introduce Mr. Less Important, our new colleague.” • Then turn to lower ranking person • “Mr. Less Important, this is Mr. Important, our President.”
Responding to an introduction • Stand up • Shows respect • Move toward the person, establish eye contact, and smile • Establishes a friendly connection • Shake hands • Displays sign of respect • Greet the other person and repeat his/her name • “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Smith.”
If the person you are introducing has a specific relationship to you, make the relationship clear by adding a phrase such as “my boss,” “my wife” or “my uncle.” • In the case of unmarried couples who are living together, “companion” and “partner” are good choices. • Use your spouse’s first and last name if he or she has a different last name than you. Include the phrase “my wife” or “my husband.”
Introduce an individual to the group first, then the group to the individual. For example: “Dr. Brown, I’d like you to meet my friends Kym Hsu, Shawn Kampbell and Michael Via. Everyone, this is Dr. Kurt Brown.” • Introducing yourself • There might be occasions where you will have to introduce yourself. For example, if you are meeting a new colleague or an associate, you might start off by extending your hand and saying "Hello! I am .....".
The Proper handshake • Grasp the hand firmly and squeeze gently once. Remember that limp handshakes are a big turnoff, as are bone-crushing grasps. • Hold the handshake for 2 to 3 seconds. • May be "pumped" once or twice from the elbow • Smile and maintain eye contact • Hugging is only for friends.
You may choose for a two-handed shake, which involves cupping the other person's hand with your left hand, or putting your left hand on the other person’s forearm, elbow, or shoulder. This is usually a more intimate behavior, and should be reserved for more intimate occasions. • Parting sentiment • When departing, you should again offer a handshake as appropriate, and offer a parting sentiment (Good day, good evening, good night, etc.).
Greetings • Whenever you meet anyone, new or familiar, you should offer a greeting. (Good morning, good afternoon, etc.). • You should offer a handshake as appropriate, and if outside, a nod of the head or tip of the hat to a lady. Men should always stand when greeting someone (women, actually, may remain seated).
Formal greetings • When meeting someone for the first time, you should use the following greetings. • How do you do? -- How do you do? • How are you? – I am fine thank you and you? • Nice to meet you – Nice to meet you too. (Often said whilst shaking hands) • Pleased to meet you – Pleased to meet you too.
Dressing etiquette • The Queen of England is reported to have told Prince Charles, "Dress gives one the outward sign from which people can judge the inward state of mind. One they can see, the other they cannot." • The essence to getting dressed is being appropriate to the occasion. Getting dressed isn't necessarily about looking good. It's about looking appropriate.
Men’s dress code • Make sure your clothing is clean • Make sure you are clean • Good grooming (修饰) • Comb your hair, brush your teeth, wash your face, shave, trim your nails. Make sure your breath is acceptable. • Perfume • You should never use too much fragrance. If you have a lot of body odor, you need a shower, not try to use fragrance to mask your body odor.
The basics of suits • All men should have two suits of different color. Part of wearing a suit is knowing what color to wear, and what to wear with your suit. • Black suits • A black suit implies a level of formality that is inappropriate in nearly all settings. Thus, black suits are for weddings and funerals.
Navy suits • Navy suits are versatile and may be worn to any semi-formal occasion. It is the standard color for an interview. Every man should have a navy suit. Brown shoes go with a navy suit. • Charcoal suits • Charcoal (or grey) is the most versatile suit color. A dark charcoal can pass for black at a funeral, but is also a mainstay for interviews, business functions, and any semi-formal event. A charcoal suit is essential.
Basics of wearing a suit • Button suit when standing • Two button coat – button top button • Three button coat – button top two buttons • If you are seated, your suit coat should always be open. It is not acceptable to take off your suit coat until you are to be seated for an extended period of time, like for a meal, or in your office, etc. If you wish to take your suit coat off in company, it is polite to ask permission.
Men’s formals • The quality of the material speaks as loudly as the color. • Shoes should without question be conservative, clean and well polished. Lace-up shoes are the choice over slip-ons or flip flops. • Socks should be calf-length or above. Make sure they match either pants or shoes
Belts must match the shoes – brown or black. Once again, quality counts. • A solid white or blue dress shirt with long sleeves offers the most polished look. The more pattern and color you add, the more the focus is on your clothing, rather than your professionalism. • Ties should reach your belt buckle