It isn’t just a SKILL…it’s an ATTITUDE!” “Putting OTHERS’ needs BEFORE your OWN…”“BEING AT EASE with yourself and being able to LET OTHERS SHINE…”
Social graces are skills used to interact politely in social situations. Theyinclude manners, etiquette (the specific accepted rules within a culture for theapplication of universal manners),deportment and fashion. These skills were oncetaught to young women at a finishing school or charm school. The focus of socialgraces has changed over the last century, recently with an emphasis on businessetiquette and international protocol. Social grace refers to the general behavior and attitude of being polite andwelcoming to people. This means putting others needs before your own in somecases, like offering a chair to an elderly person rather than sitting down on it first. Italso means paying attention to your own behavior to make sure you arent offendingothers.
Social grace(s) include things like: • Making proper introductions to people. • Listening and not interrupting in conversation. • Using good table manners. • Maintaining good cell phone etiquette. • Being careful not to put your foot in your mouth.
One simple rule to remember: "You acknowledge the most importantfirst,“ by saying his or her name first as you introduce someone else tohim or her. Social introductions are based on chivalry, so both formal and informalintroductions are made according to age, then gender, then social status. When making the introduction, as you say each of the individualsnames, look directly at him or her. When you can, add in a littlesomething about the person.
First things first, identify the silver ware or thenormally used utensils in a formal dining.At very formal meals, its considered polite to talkto the person on each side of you, rather thansomeone across or further down the table.When in doubt about what to do, wait and followthe lead of your host; if its a business meal, watchyour boss for cues.
In most cases there are three(3) forks, two (2) knives andthree (3) spoons. Alwaysremember that the placementof your utensils offers a hintabout their purpose and howto use them. During the formalmeal you are expected to useyour utensils from the outsidein (moving toward the plate).
The Salad Fork is located closest to your napkin on the left side of your placesetting. It is smaller than your Dinner Fork . Just as the names suggest, the Salad Fork isto be used for your salad course. Dinner Fork which is then located to the right of the salad fork and to theimmediate left of your dinner plate. The Dinner Fork is for your main dinner course. The Cake Fork is located at the top edge of your dinner plate and it should be usedduring the dessert course. You should hold your fork horizontally by balancing it betweenthe first knuckle of the middle finger and the tip of the index finger while the thumbsteadies the handle. Your left hand should then rest on your lap as you eat. If you are left-handed then you would rest your right hand as you eat.
There are three spoons used during a formal dinner party. The utensil located to the right of your plate on the outside is the SoupSpoon. This spoon is larger than the Teaspoon. Teaspoon is one place closer to the plate and slightly smaller. The third spoon at the setting is the Dessert Spoon. Like the cakefork, the dessert spoon is located at the top of the plate and below the placecard and water glass. The spoon should also be held horizontally, balancedbetween the first knuckle of the middle finger and the tip of the index finger.
The knives at your place setting will be located one to the right of the plate andthe other diagonally across the bread plate. The Dinner Knife is immediately next to the plate and should be used with theright hand if you are right-handed. It is used with the tip of the index finger leaningon the blade of the knife and you should be careful not to apply too much pressure;simply use it for control and to guide you as you cut your food. As you hold yourfood with the tines of your fork (now located in your left hand) in North America itis then customary to lay the knife across the top edge of your plate and switch yourfork to the dominant hand, left or right.
The Bread Knife should be used to butter your bread. Youshould never place soiled or used utensils back on the table cloth.These should always be placed on your dinnerware once they havebeen used; you wouldnt want to mess up your hosts lovely tablecloth.
The Water Goblet is placed directly above the place knife usuallythe biggest glass and is held at the lower end when you drink. The Champagne Glass is next to the water glass. The Claret or Red Wine or White Wine Glasses are positioned infront of or between the water goblet and champagne glasses. Red wineis usually cupped or cradled under the base to keep it warm. White wineis usually held by the stem of the glass to keep the wine chilled.
The Sherry Glass is placed either to the right or in front of thewine glasses. Rather than grouping all the glasses at a setting they aresometimes arrange in a straight slanting line starting from the watergoblet at the upper left to the sherry to the lower right.Red wine is taken with red meat, white wine with white meat, sherrywith pink meat.(Red meat-beef,)(white meat-chicken, fish),( pink meat-pork).
Once you have arrived at the restaurant and you have been seated the next thingyou should do is remove your napkin from its place, unfold it and place it onyour lap. This is where you should keep it until you need it. Take the time to unfoldrather than shake the napkin open before placing it on your lap. In some restaurantsthe wait person may provide this service for you. If you prefer, it is perfectly okayto do this yourself instead of allowing the waiter to place it for you. The napkinshould remain on your lap until either it is needed or the meal ends. If you need to blow your nose, excuse yourself from the table and dining areaand use your handkerchief or a tissue. This is not an appropriate use of the dinnernapkin.
You should never use your napkin to clean your silverware or to wipe yourface. If you need to excuse yourself from the table, you should use one hand tograb the napkin and then loosely fold the napkin, placing it to the left or rightof your plate. There is no need to refold your napkin, but try not to crumpleit or make it into a ball. Never leave the napkin on the chair or on the floor. At the end of the meal, leave the napkin semi-folded at the left side of theplace setting or on the plate. Either of these moves will signal to the wait staffthat you have completed that course.