What is etiquette?
Etiquette has to do with good manners.
It is not so much our own good manners, but
making other people feel comfortable by the
way we behave.
“The conduct or procedure required by good
breeding or authority to be observed in social
or business life”.
Personal Effectiveness Series
Meeting & greeting
Stand up and greet
When someone comes
to visit at the
office, stand and come
out from behind your
desk unless the visitor
is a co-worker or
someone who comes
into your office
frequently in the
course of the day.
Stand up and greet
consideration comes into
play even when a senior
executive visits the office
of a junior executive.
If it's a common
occurrence, there's no
need to get up;
however, you should
certainly stop what you're
doing and give your full
attention to the senior
executive whenever you're
in his or her presence.
Stand up and greet
Everyone should stand
when being introduced.
At one time women
remained seated when
new people arrived on
the scene, but not
newcomers arrive at a
very large function, they
are greeted only by
those nearest them.
Stand up and greet
If it is impossible for
you to rise—if perhaps
you are wedged behind
the table—at least lean
forward or rise slightly
so as not to appear
A handshake leaves a
very definite and often
In the business world a
handshake is the only
physical contact for
both men and women.
When you are at an
office or social
party, keep your drink
in your left hand to
avoid giving someone a
wet, cold handshake.
Don't rock or sway.
Handshaking is not a
Fingers together thumb up
Keep your fingers
together and your
The proper way!
Slide the web of your
hand all the way to the
web of the other
Otherwise, he or she
ends up shaking hands
with your fingers.
Also, shaking web to
web effectively prevents
the other person, no
matter how strong, from
crunching your knuckles.
The proper hand shake
Involves eye contact
Is firm but painless
Lasts about three
Takes only two or three
The proper hand shake
Starts and stops crisply
through the entire
Shake hands when…
Someone offers his/her
hand to you
First meeting someone
The smile is the near-universal gesture of
friendliness, and in America its meaning is
The person smiling is happy, amused, and/or
sending out a friendly signal. In other cultures
the smile may be sending other signals. In
some Latin cultures, for example, the smile
may be used to say “Excuse me” or “Please.”
If a person from another culture does not
return your greeting smile, it doesn't indicate
hostility or bad manners.
In some Asian cultures, smiling is a gesture to
be reserved for informal occasions, and
smiling while being formally introduced
would be considered disrespectful.
In many cultures, avoiding eye contact is a
sign of respect, but such behavior can lead to
misunderstandings. For example, some
Korean shopkeepers have been accused of
disrespecting their non-Korean customers
because the shopkeepers avoided making eye
contact.The same sort of misunderstanding
has occurred between American teachers and
Asian students who do not look at the
teacher while he or she is speaking.
Personal Effectiveness Series
Q.What is the proper time to arrive for an
A. Always arrive on time for an appointment.-
--Never arrive late. ---Arrive no more than
five minutes early.
Q. Can I exchange business cards while
A. Business cards should never be exchanged
while dining.This is true at even the most
informal dining situations.
Q. Is it impolite to ask an executive of a
company for payment of outstanding
A. For services rendered, it is not considered
impolite to request payment. However, you
should first contact your billing
representative before approaching the
executives or principals of the company.
Q. How can I get more privacy in my cubicle
without being rude to my co-workers?
A. If you are a cubicle worker, who is
constantly "challenged" by a lack of privacy at
your workplace, propose to management
that a 'CubicleWorkers Code of Ethics' be
established for workers of a common area.
Q. How much perfume/cologne is
acceptable to wear at work?
A. Perfume, cologne or aftershave should be
applied sparingly, evoking a subtle scent.
Strong fragrances, as well as, inexpensive or
"cheap" fragrances are often offensive to
business associates and therefore
inappropriate in a professional venue.
Q. How should I critic a teammate's
A. Avoid making harsh, critical comments
regarding your or another person's
(partner, teammate or member of opposing
team) playing ability.
Q.We are invited to a dinner party. Should we
take a gift to the host?
A.Yes. An appropriate hostess gift could be a
bottle of wine, flowers or a small item for the
home, such as a candle.
Q. How should I receive a compliment?
A. Learn to receive compliment graciously.When
someone says something positive about
you, don't deny or refute it. Instead, thank them
for the compliment and enjoy their praise.
Q. Should children ask permission before
playing on a neighbour's yard?
A. Children should first ask permission before
walking or playing on a neighbours yard or
Q.What is the correct way to sneeze or
cough in public?
A. If you sense a sneeze or cough coming
on, cover your nose and mouth with your left
hand (if you are right-handed) thus leaving
your right hand clean for shaking
hands, opening doors, etc. (Note:When you
have a cold/flu you should also wash your
Q. Is it appropriate for someone to ask you
to take off your shoes when entering their
A.Yes, when a guest in someone else’s
home, it is appropriate to abide by their rules
and requests.Taking off shoes in someone’s
home is also a traditional custom in some
countries such as Japan.
Q.Who gets on/off an elevator first, men or
A.The person who reaches the elevator first
or is closest to the door, regardless of
gender, enters or exits an elevator first.
Q. Is it considered rude to take a sip of your
drink while still chewing?
A. It is considered good manners to wait until
you have finished chewing and have swallowed
your food before taking a sip of your beverage.
Q.What is the correct position for a coffee cup
in a formal place setting?
A.The coffee cup and saucer is placed to the
right of the place setting, to the right of the
furthest utensil. Since most people are right-
handed, the handle should face to the right.
Q. After the completion of a formal
dinner, where do you place your utensils?
A. Place the knife and fork parallel to one
another across the plate with the knife blade
facing inward toward the plate. Position the
knife and fork in the position of ten o’clock to
Q. How should I fold a large napkin before
placing it in my lap?
A. Large dinner napkins should be folded in
half after opening and before placing on one's
Q. Is it proper for a woman to apply lipstick
at the table after a meal?
A. It is appropriate for a woman to excuse
herself and apply lipstick in a private area
such as a restroom.
Q.When should the host/hostess of a
dinner party be served?
A.The host hostess of a dinner party should
be the last one served. If the meal is getting
cold, the host/hostess may state something
to the effect, "Please begin while the food is
Q. At a formal dinner party, how do I
properly serve and remove the dishes and
A.When entertaining formally, dishes are
presented or served at guest's left and
removed from the right side. Glasses are filled
from the right.
Q.When dining at a fine restaurant should you
eat different types of food on your plate
individually or eat all the food groups
A. It is appropriate to eat all items together as
the different foods complement one another.
Q.What direction should food be passed at the
A. Food should be passed to the right, or
Q.When eating meat, should you cut one
piece, put your knife down, then eat the piece, or
should you cut all of your meat up first, and then
eat the meat?
A.When eating meat, always cut and eat one small
piece at a time. If you are eating American style, you
may put your knife down, switch your fork to your
other hand and eat your bite. If you are eating
Continental style, you may cut the piece of meat and
eat it without putting setting your knife on your
plate. Continental Dining Style is becoming more
prevalent today and is considered the preferred
method of eating.
Q. Is it wrong to stand when a lady excuses
herself from the table? What is the proper
etiquette when the woman excuses herself
A. In a social setting, it is always appropriate
for a male to stand when a female is taking
her leave. However, in a business setting, it is
not always necessary for a male to rise
whenever his female coworker(s) leave the
Q. Should you dismiss yourself from the table
if you need to sneeze or blow your nose?
A.Yes, excuse yourself from the table, and at no
time should you use your napkin as a
Q.When dining out, is it okay to share your
food with the others at the table for tasting
A.Yes, it is appropriate to share when others at
the table are also willing to share.
However, always request additional small plates
and clean utensils for dividing the shared food.
Q.Where do I place my napkin when briefly
excusing myself during the meal?
A. Place your napkin on the chair when excusing
yourself during the meal as it is not appropriate
to place a soiled napkin on the table while people
are still eating. At the completion of a
meal, carefully place the napkin at the left of
your place setting or if the plates have been
cleared, place the napkin in the center without
actually refolding to original state.
Q.Who pays the bill when dining out?
A.When entertaining a guest, such as when out
for dinner or cocktails, the person who extended
the invitation (regardless of gender) is
responsible for paying the bill.
Q.When do I use the salad fork?
A.When served a salad as the main entrée, use
your dinner fork or entrée fork. Also, if your
salad is served as a side dish on your main entrée
plate, use your dinner fork. Otherwise, use your
salad fork for your salad!
Q.What is the correct way to butter bread
or a roll?
A.When served bread or a roll on a
bread/butter plate; break the bread with your
fingers into pieces small enough for one or
two bites; butter a pulled apart piece and
then eat it. Do not butter the entire roll or
piece of bread at one time.
Q.Which side of the guest should I pour wine
from at the dinner table?
A. Pour wine and all beverages from the
right, while standing behind and to the right of
Q.What is the correct way to serve yourself a
portion of brie cheese? Do you just cut a piece
from the soft part or try to cut off a portion
including the hard skin?
A. Serve yourself an entire piece of cheese neatly
and then you may cut away the crust on your
Q.When should charger plates be removed from
the dinner table?
A.The charger plates should be on the table when
the guests are seated.The soup, fish or salad course
are served on top of the charger. It is customary for
the charger plate to be removed prior to the serving
of the entree or dinner course. Some people
however, prefer to leave the charger plate on the
table during the entree because they enjoy the
appearance of the charger. Regardless of if you
remove the charge after the soup, fish, salad or
entree, the charger plate should always be removed
before the dessert course.
Q.When you have some food in your mouth
that you don’t want to swallow, what should
A. Move the food forward with your tongue onto
the fork and place it back on the side of your
Q.Where do I place the finger bowl after
cleansing my fingers?
A.When using a finger bowl, after cleansing your
fingers, place the finger bowl and the doily on
the upper left side of the place setting; this clears
the dessert plate for the dessert.
Q.Where are the dessert utensils placed in a formal table
A.When setting the table, the dining utensils (or flatware) used
for eating dessert should be placed using one of the following
1)At the top of the place setting with the fork (handle pointing
left) placed above the plate and the spoon (handle pointing right)
placed above the fork.
2)The dessert spoon placed to the immediate right of the plate.
3)The dessert fork and spoon placed on the dessert plate along
with the finger bowl and presented immediately before the
Q.What do you do when the salad has big
pieces of lettuce? Can you cut them with
A.Years ago, when knife blades were still
made of silver, this was true, as the vinegar
harmed the blades. However, today, most
knife blades are stainless steel and
therefore, may be used to cut lettuce into
Q. Should a child stand or sit while the adults
are being seated at the dining table?
A.When at a dining table, a child should stand
behind his/her chair until all the adults have been
Q.Where should I put my napkin at the
completion of the meal?
A. At the completion of a meal, carefully place
the napkin at the left of your place setting or if
the plates have been cleared, place the napkin in
the center without actually refolding to original
Q. In a family setting, which direction should
food be passed for serving?
A. Food is passed to the right, or counter-
Q.What should you do if you spill a beverage
on yourself while dining?
A. Clean up the spill at the table or excuse
yourself to the restroom if needed. Apologize to
anyone your slight mishap may have
Q.When a fellow diner asks to "please pass
the salt,” is it standard etiquette to pass
both the salt and the pepper?
A.We recommend first passing the salt and
then inquiring if the other guest would also
like the pepper.