Saturday, November 30, 2013

Etiquette for PR XIV..Smoking manners

 The subject of Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) is increasingly becoming the topic of international debate.  There are those who propose that it is dangerous for non-smokers.  Other scientists testify that it makes an insignificant impact either in the atmosphere or, indoor air quality and this would be all the more so in countries with high pollution levels and lower incidence or air-conditioned premises lacking fresh air. Nevertheless, it is true that tobacco smoke is visible and could be a source of irritation to non-smokers.  Hence an approach of common courtesy and accommodation is recommended and here are some tips for smokers to make it so.
No Smoking please is a sign of great joy to everyone, but a smoker comes in many hues. There are the 'Tension smokers' who puff away their stress; the 'Blues smokers' who send up their woes in smoky spirals; the’ happy smokers' who enjoy every cigarette and the habitual smokers' who can't help themselves. For all those smokers here are some tips that might make their smoking a pleasure to others!
Rule No. 1: Buy your own Cigarette
A stingy smoker is a menace to fellow smokers, Always stock your quota and a few extras just in case you happen to be in the company of other smokers. Before you light yours, offer them and they will do the same for the second round.
Rule No.2 : Carry a Matchbox
If borrow you must don't pocket the entire matchbox! Better still carry a lighter.
Rule No.3 : Use an Ashtray
Of course, you cannot carry one around but make it a point to look for one or request your host to provide one.  Do not drop ash all over like the 'world is an ashtray' When you want to stub out the cigarette while smoking outdoors, grind it with your heel.  Do not throw a live stub which might be a fire hazard.
Rule No.4 Seek permission to smoke in company
While travelling, if there is no sign prohibiting smoking, seek the permission of fellow passengers before lighting the cigarette. If no one else is smoking at a meeting and the room is air conditioned, step out for a smoke.
While visiting another’s' office, ask,’ mind if I smoke'?. The same goes for when you visit some one at their home
Role No.5 Do not speak with a cigarette between your lips
If you are interested in being understood when you speak, take out the cigarette from your mouth and please do not gesticulate with it. Just hold it pointing upwards so that you don't hurt some one.
Avoid smoking if you are sitting on a dais at a meeting.
If smoke you must, follow the above rules and happy puffing.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Etiquette for PR XIII..Value Time…

"A man, who has taken your Time, recognises no debt, yet it is the only debt he can never repay".The basic quality of a well mannered person is the value he/she sets on Time-other's Time.  Punctuality is a vanishing virtue.  Nothing is so dear and precious as time so let us see how we can add value to it...
Appointments are sacrosanct....
If you are a Doctor
Do not walk into your consulting Room after the patients arrive.  As far as possible, keep to the time given to each patient.  Resist the temptation to indulge in idle gossip with 'friend' patients while others are waiting...  Avoid taking personal calls during consulting thing worse than falling ill is waiting for the Doctor who does not keep his timings.
If you are a Lawyer
Litigation seems never ending because Lawyers have no value for their Client's Time. If you cannot give your Client your Time, have the courtesy to send him to someone who has.  Do not ask your clients to come at the same time.
If you are a Dressmaker
Organise your work schedule to honour your commitments.  If you cannot deliver the dress, keep the customer informed so he/she need not make futile trips
If you are interviewing candidates
An interviewee is under great stress which increases as the seconds tick.  If there is going to be a delay, inform the candidates so that they can either relax or go for a stroll to unwind. Try to stagger appointments, giving a margin for discussions with panelists before the next one is called. If you, for some unforeseen reasons, have to make them wait, organise some refreshment and reading material.  You could ask your Publicity or Advertising Dept. to make a presentation about the organisation!
If you have a rendezvous at a public place
Be it a social one, official or romantic; do not make the person wait.  Reach the place well in time to avoid the embarrassment of 'hanging around!
If you are attending a show or talk
If you cannot reach before it starts, forget it.  Do not be a nuisance to others by groping your way over peoples' toes, in the dark.
If you call for a meeting
Stick to the agenda, avoid rambling and keep track of Time. Schedule the meetings with a realistic assessment of how long each one might take. Avoid spillover!
Time Truisms
Just a minute' does not stretch into an hour
There's no better Time than Now to do what you have to
Give your children Time- more than Money

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Etiquette for PR XII..Using public conveniences

 When we travel by train or bus, when we unsuccessfully try to use a public telephone, we frown and curse the Government for its inefficiency.  Do we for a moment, pause to think of what we, as citizens are doing about this?  The Government only provides amenities.  It is up to the public to make use of them in the proper manner.  There are educated people who live in style, yet, spit out 'paan' juice from the window of their Mercedes!
A bus or train: Avoid eating messily.  If you want to munch peanuts collect the shells in a paper and don't dirty  the floor with them. If you have a child make sure you take him/her to the toilet so that the child does not dirty the compartment. When you use the toilet on the train, please use the water closet the way it ought to be used and only when the train is moving.  Travel light and don't overcrowd the compartment with numerous pieces of luggage.  Don't let your children tamper with light and fan switches.
An airline:  It is tempting to press the bell above to call the airhostess- but remember, she has hundreds of passengers to attend to.  Unless you really need her help, don't call her.  Even if you do, be polite and don't shout at her if you have any complaints Resist the temptation to walk away with the newspaper or magazine! They are only meant for reading on the flight!
The public telephone: Brevity is the soul of a conversation on the telephone, especially in a public booth.  So, finish your conversation fast; don’t meddle with the gadget.
A library: Be seen, not heard.  Don't go to one to conduct your love affairs or discuss business with a colleague.  Munching while reading is out.  Return books intact and don't tear out pages or mark paragraphs.
A Public meeting: Go well on time and take your seat.  Go only if you are interested in the subject and want to listen-not to while away your time.  Avoid making loud remarks at the speaker's statements.  If you don't agree with the opinions expressed by the speaker, keep silent.  After, all, he's the one who has been invited to speak.  Don't try to get up and walk out, especially if you are sitting somewhere in the centre.  You may stand at the fringe of the crowd to satisfy your curiosity and make an inconspicuous exist if you must.
A Club : Treat the club property with respect.  Conduct yourself with dignity on the club premises.  Don't tip the waiters heavily so that you can get exclusive service.  Follow the rules.  Pay your dues.  In the bar, do not get drunk and make a scene.  Always go well dressed and be friendly with fellow members.  When there are programmes organised by the Club committee, participate willingly.  If you are dissatisfied about anything, convey the same to the Secretary.  Don't make it a habit of taking a whole lot of guests often since it strains the Club's resources.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Etiquette for PR XI ..Boss/junior manners

 Fine manners, it is said, need the support of  fine manners in others. This is particularly significant in Interpersonal relations. When you have to deal with certain persons constantly, both must follow the norms of behavior prescribed. Either one flouting the same will result in Confrontation. The most common team is the Bass/Junior one. It is difficult to demarcate the code of conduct as a Junior can also be boss of another and a Boss, Junior to someone higher.
If you are Boss
  • Do not make it obvious that you are one, by constantly proclaiming you are Boss! If you have to remind others of this fact, there is something wrong with you!
  • If your juniors come to you with a problem, give them your attention, Listen and help out. If it is not possible to find a solution, explain why, Don't bark an "impossible" and ask him to "go back to his seat". Of course, you have to be strictly professional at work.  But it does not hurt to take interest in your juniors’ personal problems to a certain extent.
  • Make it a point to know the names of all those working under you, It motivates them to perform better.  It gives them the feeling that you consider them as individuals contributing their mite-not faceless automatons.
  • Don't look out only for mistakes.  Be aware of the strengths of your juniors and build on them.
  • Make it a point to appreciate every one's work- not a general " You are  all very good. " Be specific, like:"Mr.Rao, I hear your statement of account was flawless." or "Miss Naaz, your filling, I'm told, is excellent".  It makes them want to do better.
  • If you have to reprimand a junior, do so in private and after giving him a hearing.
  • Don't pull up your staff on the basis of someone reporting their misbehavior. Unless you have concrete proof of the same keep your mind open.
  • Be polite but firm in your dealings. Too much familiarity might encourage indiscipline.
  • Have a protective attitude towards juniors. They look to you for guidance and support.  Let that not be in vain.  
  •  If you are Junior
  • Don't be servile. Respect your Boss but not to the extent of bowing and scraping.
  • If you don't agree with something the Boss says, keep your cool till others have left, ask for a private appointment with the Boss and politely tell him your point of view. Arrogance or impudence won't get you anywhere, except out of work!
  • Always keep track of your duties before you talk of rights.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Etiquette For PR X...Give and take gracefully

A compliment should be sincere, spontaneous, meant well and bring joy to the receiver,.  Saying something nice can turn into; praise, a compliment or flattery, depending upon your motive and tone, Have you secretly admired the lovely flower bed of your neighbour, her children’s well-pressed clothes?  Why not tell her so?  But not with the intention of borrowing a bowl of sugar thereafter!  If your child has been particularly well behaved, tell him.  But not tauntingly like “Well, well, how come our son is such a good boy today!”
Avoid tongue-in-cheek compliments like “For once you have done your hair well” or “It’s good to see you so cheerful for a change”.
Giving a gift is an art too,” Here take this dress.  It doesn’t look good on me.  “ Why not “Take this dress, if will look real good on you: “I bought you this bag as yours was in terrible shape” Try, ‘I hope you like this bag I picked up for you”. “This vase is very expensive.  I bought it specially for you.  Keep it carefully”.  Let the receiver decide for herself whether it is worth “keeping carefully”!  Do not mention the cost of the gift.  The motto of giving anything should be that its “excellence lies in its appropriateness rather than its value”.  A compliment/gift should be appropriate to the occasion and person.  Like, there is no point in giving delicate bone china crockery to someone who does not have a life style suited to it.  Give and accept a compliment/gift with grace.
The ability to take things in one’s stride is a good trait. Do you get agitated or flustered or loose your cool?  If you do, it’s time you started schooling your emotions!.  You have invited friends, to your house for dinner.  You have put out your best crockery.  There is a crash as your housemaid carrying a dish to the dining table, drops it.  There is a hush as everyone stares at the mess and the maid is petrified.  What will you do?  “Well, that’s so many calories less for you!” you say.  You could send for an extra dish, but you need not continue to apologise and harp on the incident.  You are entertaining a relative who has a little baby. The baby is asleep and you her on your bed.  When she wakes up, you realize she has wet your bed.  What do you do?  To begin with, you should have anticipated this and protected your bed with a water proof sheet.  Having slipped up, take the consequences with grace.  You have asked your secretary to type a very important letter and mail it before a ‘certain time.  You later realise she has slipped up.  You call her to your cabin, and politely but firmly tell her to be more careful in future.  Under most circumstances we loose our cool, display our weakness.