Do we really need etiquette today and what does that look like?

If you ask millennials today, do we need etiquette, many would probably think you are old school. Many would think it is about the rules.

I make the case; etiquette is needed today as much as ever! However, the “Y” generation is named that for a reason, they need the “why”

Millennials may not care about which fork you use. But they are interested in being the most memorable person in the room and getting the job…that, they want to know. That is when it starts to make sense to them.

I was speaking once and a gentleman in the room raised his hand and said, “I am mad about what you are teaching.” I asked, “Why are you mad?” He said “I am mad because why is this the first time I am hearing this? I have needed this information for a long time.” I see this a lot. I speak at many colleges and at some point, you can see the light go on and the hunger develop for this information when they realize what it really is and its importance.

You do not know what you do not know…Even though things may be more casual than ever before, people need to be professional to set them apart and that will be the key moving forward.

I quote the definition of confidence often, Webster 1B “Faith or belief that you are acting in a right, proper and effective manner.”

If you peel the onion back on that definition you will see that the right, proper and effective manner is rooted in manners, etiquette and protocol.
Manners are the what to do …shake hands, introduce yourself, etc. Etiquette is how to do that. Protocol is when to do it. This combination gives the formula for confidence. Having confidence allows you to be fully present wherever you are and with whoever your audience may be.

It has never been about the rules, by the way, but about the relationship. Knowing and applying mindful behavior is a major part of being confident in who you are.  So, it is not about how you treat others, it is about how you treat yourself…with respect.

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