Written By: Sandi MacCalla ~ 11/28/2022
Etiquette and manners are part of the bigger picture of “social intelligence” which speaks to:
The more I learn, the more I see how easy it is to make social mistakes.
In a recent podcast, the presenter shared the difference between etiquette (the rules) and manners (behavior) through an urban legend about Queen Victoria entertaining a foreign dignitary at Buckingham Palace. Over the meal, finger bowls were placed at each attendee’s setting. The dignitary, assuming standards of their own culture, respectfully picked up the bowl in both hands and drank the warm water. Queen Victoria’s court anxiously looked to her for the next action. With grace, she picked up her bowl in both hands and drank it, changing the finger bowl’s purpose for that meal. All attendees followed. Some would affirm, “It’s good to be Queen.” Although it is improper etiquette to drink out of a finger bowl, Queen Victoria chose not to embarrass her guest dignitary and exhibited good manners.
1. Etiquette is practical guidance on how to handle any situation that is unfamiliar.
2. Louis the XIV briefed visiting petitioners to his Court which is where the term “etiquette” came from. Etiquette is French for small labels or tickets. He took this idea from his gardeners (the Gardens of Versailles) who posted small signs for visitors:
3. As a host, devise a way to brief guests and avoid awkward situations that diminish their enjoyment of your event.
4. I also like Emily Post’s explanation of “etiquette” versus “manners.”
“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”
While going against social standards produces great stories like Queen Victoria’s, who wants to be the example … especially when you’re in important social situations. If you’re turning down invitations to visit with royalty or any other important people you value, it may be time to refresh what you know and learn current social intelligence trends.
Don’t let “Oops” drive your social presence.
Set an appointment to discuss questions and customize a program for yourself and/or your team: email@example.com. Etiquette For You is a valued source for one-on-one training, strengthening a team’s competitive edge and enriching social skills. A free consultation is offered to explore relevant topics and needs.