I’m half Russian. When I tell people, the two things that spring to mind are: sub-zero temperatures and vodka. The thing is – I don’t like the cold, I shiver at the slightest summer breeze and I am not much of a drinker. Disappointingly for some, I am a cold intolerant, lightweight Russian.
If I was to ask 100 people what etiquette is, I would most likely get 100 different answers. The vast majority of which would be a dry, boring subject, outdated Downton Abbey, old money thing of the past. This is a misconception I have been observing for a while now.
If someone asked me what etiquette is – my answer would be simple – it’s everything. Etiquette is how we speak, how we greet people, how we conduct ourselves, how we listen and most importantly, how we treat others. Etiquette is good manners and emotional intelligence, a thing that appeases social and business interactions. In short, it is a pragmatic guideline to make everyone feel welcome and valued.
As we are stepping further into the digital age, slowly losing the ability to communicate and establish meaningful connections – research conducted by The Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Centre have all concluded that 85% of job success comes from having well‐developed soft and people skills, and only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge or hard skills.
So, it’s time to put your phones down and start practising that smile, eye-contact and handshake – the renaissance of good manners, kindness and respect is here.