The Etiquette Edge

‘Your manners are always under examination by committees little suspected…awarding or denying you very high prices when you least think of it’- Ralph Waldo Emerson


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In an ever evolving world such as ours, sociableness is fast becoming a necessity for survival; in a sense. This is evident in business meetings, business dinners and network conferences. I used to shy away from social gatherings before I came into the corporate world but now, it seems there’s just no escaping it no matter who you are or what you do- the doctor must see his patients, the marketer must relate with his prospects, the secretary will welcome guests and the executive will attend conferences. Even religious organisations are now multi-continent! I recently came across this in June Hines Moore’s etiquette book:

Recent studies conducted by Harvard University, Stanford research institute, and the Carnegie foundation showed that 85% of our success depends on social skills.
Success in the above sentence appears to apply to many aspects of life. The following are success prospects possible through honed social skills:


  • You get the job: There’s hardly a job vacancy these days that do not require an assessment of social skills and this assessment tends to involve the most important criteria including sound table manners. If you can appeal to their sight with your appearance and qualifications and still know your onions at the table, they’ll definitely be impressed.


  •  You get the affirmation & admiration: It’s one thing to be the boss (whom everybody should obligatorily fear and obey) and it’s another to be a respected boss.

The same basis applies to a socially stable individual; he or she gets the acclaim of acquaintances. I remember two teachers in my primary school that gave me my early appreciation of appropriateness.

  • The first was the sound speech teacher who was ever so decent- she spoke with an accent so beautiful, it sounded like she was singing each time she spoke. She had very noticeable dimples that shallowly penetrated each cheek and they were always on display.


She was beautiful and had an elegant carriage.

She had this flawless glowing dark skin and I never saw her provoked.

To me, she was the quintessential lady.

The second was my primary five teacher, who was sure to refer to any female pupil as ‘my lady’ regardless of our height.

Or the lack thereof (lol) and because he was Ghanaian, I naturally thought all Ghanians were this courteous in addressing others.

As young as I was (I was barely 9), I liked to be called ‘my lady’; it made me feel somewhat special, like a princess, lol! These teachers unsurprisingly, had many ‘fans’ that I am one of till today.


  • You get the girl lady: Every lady appreciates a gentlemanly gesture, whether or not it is aimed at getting their attention. What tall, dark and handsome have to combine to get is readily available to the gentleman, only he gets the very high price.



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