Did you know... Civility and Etiquette Articles

Gratitude Transforms Your Career

Did you know that saying thank you can transform your career?

A survey of 2,007 people for the John Templeton Foundation revealed that 81% of respondents would work harder for a more grateful boss, and 93% agree that a grateful boss is more likely to succeed. Nobody gets to the top on their own, and study after study confirms that employees who feel appreciated are more productive and loyal.

Unfortunately, people are less likely to express gratitude at work than anyplace else. Only 10% of adults say thanks to a colleague every day, and 60% say they either never express gratitude at work or do so perhaps once a year. According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, more than half of human-resource managers say showing appreciation for workers reduces turnover and increases productivity, engagement, and profit.

How can “thank you” wield such power? People want to feel as though what they do, and who they are, matters beyond a paycheck. According to Wharton professor Adam Grant, “[a] sense of appreciation is the single most sustainable motivator at work.” Douglas Conant, CEO of Campbell Soup, tested the power of appreciation by writing 30,000 thank you notes to employees over a span of 10 years; Conant is credited with revitalizing Campbell’s culture.

Transform your career, your team, and your company by saying thank you today!

Continue reading below to learn more interesting tips on social behavior…

You Should Always RSVP

Did you know that everyone should RSVP, but only about 30% of people do?

RSVP comes from the French expression “répondez s’il vous plaît,” which means “please respond.” If you receive an invitation with RSVP on it, you must tell the host whether or not you plan to attend the event.

RSVP does NOT mean:

  • Only respond if you can attend.
  • Only respond if you cannot attend (the expression “regrets only” is used for this purpose).
  • Do not respond at all and decide whether to attend at your convenience.

It is an honor to be invited to an event. Treat your host with respect by immediately letting them know whether or not you will attend. Your host needs to know how much food to buy, how to plan seating, and what party supplies are needed. If the event is being catered, your host must specify how many guests are attending and often pay for their plates in advance!

A client once asked if it would be appropriate to send a $500 invoice to two couples who were no-shows at an elaborate, catered dinner party held in their home (the answer was no). If you RSVP “yes” to an event, do not be a no-show unless you are ill, there has been a death in your family, or you were in an accident – in which case, notify your host immediately.

Screen Time is Changing Our Brains

Did you know that we touch our phones 2,617 times a day?

According to a study by the research firm dscout, a typical cellphone user touches their phone 2,617 times and spends 145 minutes on their phone every day. Research indicates that all this screen time is changing the way we process information. For example, a study by Microsoft revealed that the human attention span has fallen from an average of 12 seconds in 2000 to just eight seconds today. Humans now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish (nine seconds average)!

How do you break a phone addiction? If a total digital detox is not practical, start small by completing short tasks without technical interruption. Be mindful that relationships suffer when attention is constantly placed on phones instead of people.

Times To Avoid Shaking Hands

Did you know that there are times to avoid shaking hands?

A handshake is the only socially acceptable form of touch in western business, and it conveys a lot about you, including your confidence and professionalism. The ritual of handshaking began as a way for men to signal peace when meeting by showing that neither person held a weapon. In the United States, women began shaking hands when they entered the workplace in significant numbers. Today, all professionals should master a correct handshake, and men should not make the mistake of shaking a woman’s hand any differently than a male colleague.

When should you avoid shaking hands? If you are ill, your hand is dirty or injured, or you are afflicted with a skin disease, skip the handshake. Instead, smile warmly, make eye contact, and apologize for not being able to shake hands. Handshaking customs vary across cultures and religions. Be aware of who you are meeting, and honor their custom or faith by skipping or modifying the handshake where appropriate.

Wearing White After Labor Day

Did you know that you can wear white after Labor Day?

For over a century, Americans dutifully followed the no-white-after-Labor-Day rule. The origin of this rule is unclear. Some say that rich people used to only wear white on vacation during the summer. Others claim that dirty coal heat ruined white clothes once temperatures dropped or that the fashion elite banned white after summer.

Regardless, it is now perfectly acceptable to wear white year-round if you choose the proper fabric. For fall, replace your white linens with white garments made of wool or cashmere. Polish your look by adding a rich color for contrast. No matter the season, always consider where you are going, who you will be meeting, and how to present your best self.

Thank You Note Timing

Did you know that there is a proper time within which you should send a thank you note?

Thank you notes should be sent within 48 hours. Emails are nice, but nothing replaces a handwritten thank you note. Did you forget to send a note right away? Better to say thank you a little late than not at all.

Escalator Etiquette

Did you know that there is a proper way to ride an escalator or moving sidewalk?

Here is how:

  1. Stay to the right if you choose to stand. The left is reserved for those who choose to climb or walk.
  2. Hold personal items either in front or behind you to keep the “lane” next to you clear.
  3. Avoid standing side-by-side with another person so others may pass.
  4. When exiting, move immediately to the right or left to avoid blocking the flow of traffic.
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