Why Etiquette and Manners Open the Doors to Greater Opportunities: Part 1

Gloria Starr, Leadership Coach, Executive Presence, Personal and Corporate Image, Business Etiquette and Communication shares her knowledge, wisdom, background and experience with Pearls and Wine on all things etiquette. Gloria Starr is fondly known as Lady Starr in diplomatic circles around the world and is also Private Counsel to Royalty in the Middle and Far East.

One of the easiest and most effective strategies to gain recognition in Affluent Circles is to acquire and use Manners and Etiquette. 

Food and Dining Etiquette

You may not have been taught how to Dine with Delight, how to use your cutlery in the European way, or how to eat exotic food, but you must acquire these essential tips for greater personal and professional success!

Table Etiquette Tips: The Dos and Don't

* Wait for the host/hostess to pick up their table napkin first. This indicates that the meal is about to begin.

* Your napkin should be folded in half with the fold on your lap.

* Cut one bite of food and eat it, then cut another bite of food.

* Use your napkin before you sip your beverage to avoid having small crumbs in your glass.

* If you are wearing lipstick, I recommend a lip pencil so you will still have lipstick on at the end of the meal.

* Drink your beverages from one place on the glass so everything remains pristine. You do not want lipstick around the entire rim of your glass.

*Do not season your food prior to tasting it.

*The salt and pepper are a couple and they are passed around the table together.

* Pass the food counter-clockwise at a family style dinner.

* No phones at the dinner table or watching television.

* Appropriate conversations at the table include: travel, books, movies and uplifting stories.

* No gossiping, arguing or angry conversations during meals.

I recommend learning the European way of using your utensils with the fork held tines down and in the left hand.

Cellphone Etiquette

There are some hard, cold truths to the way we use our cell phones, but they've become commonplace to the point of forming an accepted, unwritten code. We screen calls we should otherwise answer. We reply to missed calls with texts. We hope to reach voicemail on calls we have to (but don't want to) make. When we call someone and they don't answer, and they may have looked at their phone and made a decision to not take the call. The following are guidelines of cell phone etiquette and courtesy:

Screening Calls: It's important to screen calls with a fine touch. It may be acceptable; you just can't do it too often. 

The Missed Call: Occasionally we legitimately miss a call. If it's a call we wanted to take, we'll return it immediately. Replying to a missed call with a text is acceptable. Sending a text is a great way of indicating that yes, you saw the call, and you wanted to take it, but you just couldn't. Intentional and Unintentional Dropped Calls: Intentionally dropping a call when a conversation is inappropriate in length or content may occasionally be necessary. The Challenge of Poor Reception: Poor reception is one of the under-appreciated gems of the cell phone. You may hit dead spots where others have no problem. The inconsistencies are so consistent that we don't even question them. No one even doubts a person's sincerity because it happens, even on calls you don't intentionally end.

The (IM and SMS) Personal Text Message: (IM) Personal Texts are like BCC's on email. Texts are perfect for their convenience and they take a little effort to write.  Speaking in Public: There are several inappropriate places to talk on your cell, but none worse than the gate at an airport. If you need to use your phone please cover your mouth and the speaker of the phone with your other hand. Don't talk on your cell phone in elevators, buses or trains. Texting is a great option and should be used whenever possible. It's unobtrusive and quiet. Using your cell phone while driving in some states is illegal. You may be able to use your speaker phone successfully.  Phone Tag: If a game of phone tag goes on for four calls (that is, both parties make two calls that go unanswered), it is within the boundaries of proper etiquette to end the game and stop calling.  In placing two calls each, you've both sufficiently said your hellos, and by the voicemails you've left, the purpose of the call is clear. Please leave a specific time you can be reached. Lengthy Voicemail Messages: If you reach voicemail, please speak slowly, be specific, say your name and phone number at the beginning of your message and at the end of your message. Ringtones: A ringtone is humorous the first time it is played and after that it becomes annoying. At that point you either need to select a new ringtone, or put your phone on vibrate.

Read more from Gloria Starr: Open the Elite Doors of Society with Etiquette and Manners: Part 2

For more information about Gloria Starr, please visit www.gloriastarr.com and also her YouTube channel to learn more about the importance of etiquette.