Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Socializing successfully with bosses and colleagues


During the thity years I spent in my company, there were many occasions when I participated in social events with my collegues, employees and bosses. By participating in hundreds of receptions, dinners, celebrations, , conference dinners and out of the office happenings, here are few tips as to which communication behaviors work and which ones backfire. You will agree that, handled wisely, social time with bosses can boost morale. During the frenetic work week, you encounter the boss as the source of discipline,assignments, occasional reprimands and, typically, very little personal chit chat. So it's refreshing to be around the boss when he showcases his humor, asks about your family and hobbies, and gives an unrestrained laugh. However, on such occasions, you must remember that the social scene does not erase the workplace lines of authority. Example: Because the boss likes your personality at a party does not mean you will get the next promotion, which depends instead on your professional skills.

Here are some guidelines that you should keep in mind for after-hours mingling:

1. The jokes you would tell your buddies could jeopardize your professional reputation if you share them with bosses, no matter how informal the setting. True, they might laugh out of courtesy, or maybe from discomfort. Yet you risk losing their respect. Play safe.

2. Every year, company conferences, picnics and similar outings become career graveyards for many who want to become "the life of the party."Sometimes we assume that two more drinks will help us talk more easily. That's a mistake. The impaired speaking and unsteady walk that follow those extra cocktails could brand you a drunk and undisciplined.

3. Make sure you circulate among everyone present, not just your boss. The person who talks with his or her clique and avoids everyone else nullifies the inclusive good will the event is intended to foster.

Posted on 1/1/08

4. Demonstrate that you have an interesting,meaningful life away from the company. Talk happy talk, things that people like to hear. Stay well informed about major sporting events, releases of new movies, great places to vacation, new restaurants your friends have recommended, bestselling books and national events.

5. Good listeners become our favorite people. Encourage others to talk, with comments like "very interesting," "tell me more," and "What happened next?"

6. If the occasion includes a meal, pay special attention to your table etiquette. Illustrate that you have acquired polish and grace ...

Posted in the community by K Radhakrishnan on 01/01/08

Friday, February 6, 2009

Indian Dining Manners

Well Guys, we have spent considerable energy and time learning about everything English and European. Lets ponder over our own roots..Here I would invite your attention on Etiquettes on Indian dining.Wait for the host or the eldest person to start first. You should maintain silence while eating food. You are not expected to chat unnecessarily with the people around the table. It is acceptable to not use cutlery for eating, as many foods - such as Indian breads and curry - are best enjoyed when eating with the hand. Wash hands thoroughly before sitting at the table as some Indian foods are primarily eaten by hand. Also, wash hands after eating the food. Usually, a finger bowl (with luke warm water and lemon) is served per person for rinsing fingers. In North India, when eating curry, the gravy must not be allowed to stain the fingers --only the fingertips are used. However, in South India, it is acceptable to use more of your hand. When flatbreads such as chapati, roti, or naan are served with the meal, it is acceptable and expected to use pieces of them to gather food and sop-up gravies and curries. The cardinal rule of dining is to always use the right hand when eating or receiving food and never the left. Even a piece from the bread is broken using the right hand alone. It is considered unhygienic to use your spoon or fingers to share food from someone else's plate once you have started using your own. Instead, ask for a clean spoon to transfer the food to your plate from the common dish. When eating with hands, always eat with right, as mentioned above. However, use only the other clean hand to transfer food from a common dish on the table. It is not necessary to taste each and every dish prepared; but you must finish everything on the plate as it is considered a respect for served food. For that reason, take only as much food on the plate you can finish. Usually guests help clear the dishes.

Posted by Anil in the community on 23/07/07

Being Chivalrous is being Courteous


Yes. I know. Most of the below points may seem quite mundane or even totally outdated to the modern-era ears. However, that does not mean we cannot imbibe them or that we should not be doling the basics. Even the feeble argument “if I don't understand why it's customary, I don't really have to do it", reeks of sheer laziness disguised as semantics.
First, try and figure out why polite men remove their hats indoors, and we do not mean indoors as in a saloon or a barber’s shop.
•Polite men stand when a lady enters the room, and also when she departs. Actually, everyone, regardless of gender, should stand when an elder, or a very important person, enters or leaves. Sit back after a cursory check to ensure that the ladies at your table are seated. Please do not keep standing waiting for the last lady in the room to sit down.
•Polite men should open doors for ladies. We have covered this, but there is an angle here. Please actually hold the door for the lady instead of flinging it open and running through, leaving her to sprint through before it slams. Do not just open the door, but also step to the side while the lady passes through. The gent may be required to mention "after you", in case the lady is hesitant. Now, in case it is a revolving door, the gent should enter it first so that he may assist in gently pushing the door. Please gentlemen, we do mean ‘gently’.
•Polite men will offer to assist a lady at a self-service counter to fetch their order. Please offer assistance only if the lady seems helpless, especially those with small children or if pregnant. This courtesy offer should also include the elderly or handicapped people of either gender. Please do not offer to pay for the stuff.
•Polite men may sometimes order for the lady in a restaurant, but please, only after seeking permission and inquiring with the lady her particular preference. It would be quite awkward and out of place to order your preference for her too and then discover she does not eat that particular food for whatever reasons. Please refrain from voicing about the high price and small portions.
•Polite men will pay the bill if they have asked the lady out on a date. However, if the lady has requested the gent’s company, then she may take the responsibility of paying. In longer-term relationships, it is absolutely fine to switch paying the tab as both have jointly made the plan and share an understanding. Please pre-decide who pays instead of both reaching for their wallets at the same time.
•Polite men know when to lead and when to precede. When taking seats at a concert hall, a movie theater, a seminar or lecture hall, etc, the girl precedes the boy into the row of seats. However, in a restaurant, when the maitre d' or the table steward is leading you to your table, the lady precedes the gent. Please, under both situations, do not race the lady to the seat.
•Polite men know they are expected to pull the chair for the lady while seating at a table, and that this maneuver requires poise with a bit of practice to be done with tact and grace. Please do not indulge in any misadventure on mistiming, no matter how tempting the thought of literally pulling the chair.
•Polite men will assist a lady get into her coat. Just stand behind her and hold the coat by the shoulders while she puts her arms into it. Please do not even attempt to button it up for her.

Posted in the community by Arun Chaturvedi on 07/12/08

Collecting Smiles :))


Hold the door open for whoever is following you through, not necessarily a lady, but even for someone with loads of shopping bags, walking aids, prams, parents with children to control, etc. Just think..does it make sense for even a much fitter person behind you to have to open the door again when you could just hold it one second longer? Collect a smile.·Try to assist others getting off and on public transport - this can include helping them with cases, making sure they don't fall or even just making sure you are not in the way. Your ‘help’ also helps hurry them up so you yourself can get on or off more quickly minus the fuss and hurry. In the bargain, you may collect a smile. ·Everyone has ups & downs, and if you really have not had a hard day, give your seat to someone who probably has had a tough day. But definitely vacate your seat to accommodate an elderly person, a handicapped person, a pregnant lady, or just about anyone who looks like they need to sit. Check that grateful smile. ·If you happen to be on the receiving end of courtesy or chivalry, be polite enough to say please, thank you, and to pass on a smile. However, do remember that you are doing all this chivalry and courtesy for yourself, because that is the way you are. Do not expect people to whom you are being civil to be overly polite or to thank you or even give you a smile. Some will be lacking the basic manners, some may be having a chip on their shoulder, while others may be genuinely holding the world on their shoulders at that time. Just accept it that they do not have your niceties, and reward yourself with a smile.

Posted by Arun Chaturvedi in the community on 07/11/08

Chivalry = Etiquette + Courtesy


This is always a tough one, with machismo and feminism thrown in for good measure. There is even the silly argument that since women have fought for equality, then they should not expect men to do anything extra for them. Some view being chivalrous or courteous to women because they are the weak and fragile little things, while others feel that doing these ‘extra’ things makes them appear nice. The etiquette of yesteryear was based on two things: respect and chivalry, whereas the etiquette of today accounts for only the respect element. Yesteryear: the woman exited the elevator first. Today: the person closest to the door exits the elevator first. Yesteryear: the man held the door for the woman. Today: the person reaching the door first holds the door for others to pass through. Yesteryear: men shook hands Today: people shake hands Yesteryear: people waited to start dinner until the woman picked up her fork Today: people wait to start dinner until the host or hostess picks up his or her fork. Yesteryear: the man picked up the check Today: the host or hostess picks up the check Agreed, times have changed. New situations demand a new approach. Agreed also that the modern courtesy need not rival the old world charming chivalry, but if some basics can be sustained, it will go a long way in differentiating boys from brats and men from gentlemen. Trust the tested that this will not even make any macho honcho look a silly billy by combining courtesy and etiquette with basic chivalry. Go ahead, try it, and see if you don’t get the nodding approval and a smile from any lady.

Posted on 07/11/08

Social Graces

Ritika Ramtri
Social Graces ......History

The origin of the word etiquette as we use it today dates back to the reign of Louis XIV. Little tickets known as "etiquettes" served as invitations to court functions, on the back of which were printed rules of court behavior. Diplomacy isn't just for Diplomats! If you think a grasp of proper etiquette is for tea drinking nobles, think again. Knowing when, what, how and why in social graces is key in today’s social and business arena.Why Social Graces?"Don't reserve your best behavior for special occasions. You can't have two sets of manners, two social codes -- one for those you admire and want to impress, another for those whom you consider unimportant. You must be the same to all people." -- Lillian Eichler Watson

Posted by Ritika Ramtri in the community on 14/06/07

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Poise & Etiquette

Image is more prevalent today than ever before, first impressions count, be it an interview, a business luncheon or the corporate dinner. Manners and grooming speak volumes. Today, it is people who can speak better, dress better and also have the poise, who ride the wave of success and credibility!...With the advent of globalisation, International Business Etiquette, gains momentum in bridging cultural gaps

This blog contains excerpts and write ups by several members of the community called "Poise & Etiquette" on Orkut , a place where we share information on etiquette, initiate discussions and try our best to learn various aspects of it. Our endeavour has been a positive one, striving to enrich ourselves through this learning experience, seeking to groom ourselves into well bred individuals of society!