ETIQUETTE AND HISTORY OF ETIQUETTE

Welcome to Josypat School of Etiquette and Protocol

A finishing school of poise, finesse, leadership, soft skills, diplomacy and tact.

An authority site of repute.

Etiquette: is an art and embodiment of rules or conventions governing correct or polite behaviour in society in general or in a particular social or professional group or situations.

Etiquette can also be referred to as Character Education. Everyone has one kind of character or the other which needs one form of polish or refining. Some individuals go to Finishing Schools to achieve this, especially when they become public figures or celebrities, unlike royalties who learn from their kid days. It is not suppose to be so. As such, its knowledge is meant for all right from the cradle to old age.

The family, organizations, institutions of learning, companies et al need etiquette. Some years ago, the Massachusettes offered a free course to all its students. Why? The Dean of Uundergraduates Affairs was described the students as “style – free, fashion challenged and manner – deprived,.” as reported New Scientist magazine. The one – day course included instruction in table manners, dress,
business and cell phone etiquette and ways to get acquinted with others, how to walk, sneeze discreetly, and were reminded that “small talk is dialogue, not an interrogation and how to say “thank you” when accepting a compliment.

Etiquette is broadly classified into parts:

Private life Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Social Etiquette
Children / Youth Etiquette
Workplace Etiquette
Public Place Etiquette
International Etiquette

Do we really need etiquette knowledge in our everyday life? Why must it be cultivated? We do, for us to have a better societies. For a country to have a conscience, the feelings of the next person or neighbour must be uppermost with respect to any taken action; whether it is from the point of leadership, management, appropriation of fund and duties if Character Education is not imbibed or inculcated in to our school curricula, a country will continue to be in the doldrums. Some of the below reasons can lend credit to the fact that we all need etiquette knowledge:

*To present oneself to the best of advantage over others e.g at interviews, business gatherings, conventions, special ceremonies etc

* We were not taught in school

*The world is changing, so are rules of behavior and expectations. 

* Expectations include Leadership skills, Interpersonal skills, Presentation skills, critical thinking skills, Computer and Online skills, Tact and Diplomacy.
*The Team Concept
*Job Mobility
*Conflict Resolution with ease and grace
*Embarassment proof in order to be polished and up to date
*Different Cultural Sensitivities especially this who travel locally and overseas
*To know how to behave in a wide variety of professional settings
*Arms one with all important tools for building solid, productive ties in business or otherwise

*Good communication skills either written or spoken which do not affect sensibilities.

*Personality enhancement with self respect, respect for others and the environment.

Take a look around you!! What do you see? People are negatively polite, nonchalant to one another. The world was once renowned for her civility and hospitality has become a gloge of many awkward and rude persons. Manners in totality no longer have any meaning to a lot of people.
The most obvious one is our dress sense, which is very appalling and questionable in my society. Problems are solved through violence, public relations nil, no respect for each other, students beating up teachers, name it.

All these in fact make human existence a struggle. In those good old days, crude mannerisms were frowned at, but today, the reverse is the case.

In the past century the beginning of manners decadence can be traced to 1914 when the World War 1 began. This was a blow to humanity. Up till date the decline has gradually affected the whole world. In summary, the terrible traits now commonly exhibited include:

Anything goes attitude where one is a master of himself/herself. Relativism is the order of the day, whereby a view on ethnical truths depends on the individuals and groups holding them.
Unwelcoming arrogance…comments like please, excuse me, let me help you, and take my seat, are no longer in our dictionary. Words like honor, compassion, civility and duty are now in trash cans.

Self-centeredness and greed…-this is explanatory. Anyone who puts himself first indulges in self-
worship, and cannot have good manners. Greed for money has led to many atrocities. Love for money and self have made people proud, boastful, haughty, and ungrateful. Disrespect for old age
and gray hairs are past tense.

All these traits manifest daily in our homes, schools, and place of work in different styles. People are now slanderous, impatient, fierce, and strangers to goodness. These forms of rudeness are not encouraging if, we want to actually change our societal values for the best. Anyway, it should be noted that rudeness is a weak man’s imitation of strength.

These bring us to the knowledge of Etoquette and Protocol and Cultural Intelliigence. These knowlege will be used to teach people skills or social skills which will hone our everyday interactions people anywhere and in any circumstance tt handle situations with confidence, respect, diplomacy and tact; save us from embarassment, otuclass the competition and bulid stronger ties in business and our personal lives; and increase our financial returns and skyrocket our self esteem and gain more social acceptance.

The definitions of etiquette are vast so as to be easy for the layman to understand although it has been defined above it can defined as:
(a) Conventional expectations with respect to social behaviour; proprieties of good character or social skills as established in any class or community or for any occasion.
(b)A prescribed or accepted code of ceremony, as in a court or unofficial or other formal observances

Also, it applies to code of ethics in professional practice or obeyed laid down rules set for the members of any profession in their dealings with one another.

We should remember that etiquette must embody courtesy, politeness, manners, civility and ethics. Courtesy: this is tied to the courts of royalty, where full elegance and respect is expected. This can be applicable locally or otherwise wherever we fond ourselves.

Politeness: it is a word used on those who have spent a lot of whatever it took to polish or refine their behavior to be the best of persons. Although, politeness could be hypocrisy but 90% not always.
Manners: it is gotten from the Greek word ‘manus,’ the Latin word for hand. Manner is the way something is carried out or handled. Manners, now synonymous in social interaction with behaviour — the way we handle meetings (encounter), between self and the other person. When we handle others with care, respect, it shows and we are termed to have good manners.

Civility: it is a word gotten from ‘civitas’ which means city. It is understood that the life in the city

We should remember that etiquette must embody courtesy, politeness, manners, civility and ethics. Courtesy: this is tied to the courts of royalty, where full elegance and respect is expected. This can be applicable locally or otherwise wherever we fond ourselves.

Politeness: it is a word used on those who have spent a lot of whatever it took to polish or refine their behaviour to be the best of persons. Although, politeness could be hypocrisy but 90% not always.
Manners: it is gotten from the Greek word ‘manus,’ the Latin word for hand. Manner is the way something is carried out or handled. Manners, now synonymous in social interaction with behaviour — the way we handle meetings (encounter), between self and the other person. When we handle others with care, respect, it shows and we are termed to have good manners.
refines or shapes our social skills. It is true, especially when you are coming from the countryside.

Ethics: these are the virtues which make us unique and principled. They include honesty, truth, transparency, equity, justice, integrity etc.
It was Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield who first used the word ‘etiquette’ in its modern meaning, in his Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming Man of the World and a Gentleman. He wrote over 400 letters to his son, from 1737 until his son’s death in 1768, and were most instructive letters on various aspect of life. The letters were first published by his son’s widow in 1774. Chesterfield endeavoured to decouple the issue of manners from conventional morality, supporting that mastery of etiquette was an important tool for social advancement. The Letters were full of elegant wisdom and perceptive observation and deduction.
Chesterfield epitomised the restraint of polite 18th-century society, writing, for instance, in 1748:
“I would heartily wish that you may often be seen to smile, but never heard to laugh while you live. Frequent and loud laughter is the characteristic of folly and ill-manners; it is the manner in which he mob express their silly joy at silly things; and they call it being merry. In my mind there is nothing so illiberal, and so ill-bred, as audible laughter. …. neither of a melancholy nor a cynical disposition, and am as willing and as apt to be pleased as anybody; but I am sure that since I have had the full use of my reason nobody has ever heard me laugh.
During the Victorian period, etiquette had developed into hydra-headed set of rules, rearing its head in everything; from appearance to manner of how speak, actions, to the appropriate style for writing letters and correct usage of cutlery to the least regulated interactions between different gender; and the different strata in society. However today, etiquette knowldge cuts across Rites of Passage which include Birth, Baptism, and other ceremonies of Childhood, Engagement to be Married, Weddings, Separation and Divorse, Remarrige, Death, Funerals and Memoial Services. The Social Life which encompasses our Private Life in relation to oneself, others, environmemt, society and the globe at large; Royal, Diplomatic and other Formal Events; The Spoken and Written Word, Entertaining, Travelling outside your country, All your Relationships starting from your home to your Business Life and Attitude and Dress Sense. we should be aware that Africans have our culture too which may be slightly different from the general etiquette and there is no society on earth which does not have traditional or conventional rules that regulates their social behaviour. i am saying this because a lot think it is a Westernised Affair and it is only meant for the Whites. let be butress this by asking a question. When you want to get married, are there no procedures that are followed? they are in stages? These fall under Etiquette and Protocol! True or False. Let us make the world a better global village by our polished behavour.

The definition of etiquette can thus be defined thus: Etiquette is an embodiment of knowledge which teaches one how to behavave in any given situation no matter the context putting in mind consideration for others. The definition can also be put this way: Etiquette is a system of conventional rules that regulate social behaviour bearing in mind courtesy, politeness, civility and ethics.. Literally, it means ticket or card, and it refers to the ancient custom of a monarch setting forth ceremonial rules and regulations on these cards to be observed by attendees. It is pronounced /Eti. ket / .

Consideration for others and observance for monarch`s rules has been there as far back Anglo – Saxon time was part of Etiquette. It was even demonstrated in the epic poem Beowulf written 700 A.D when Queen Wealtheow, “mindful of etiquette,” handed the goblet first to the king, then to the courtiers, and finally to herself. Through the centuries, observance of this display of consideration has come to stay and remained unquestioned.

“Mindful etiquette is constant” is constant but etiquette rules are not, just as the world around us is not, for they keep evolving . this why we need to be going for training or keep updating. There are some conventional or traditional aspects of etiquette that have so much to do with our everyday life. They are not farfetched. They include being considerate of others, teaching children, even ourselves table manners, letter writing, gift giving, honouring a wedding, teamwork and getting along with people especially co-workers and family members, formal dinner parties, anniversaries, cocktails and other dated ceremonials. When one is conversant with the etiquette rules and expected behaviour, just as one admires a person when he or she behaves well and properly executes any planned duty, so our dispositions and capabilities are admired and commended too.


Below are words which one can mention as synonymous with etiquette because they all tilt towards having the same meaning:
Etiquette, decorum, social intelligence, proprieties imply observance and knowledge of the formal requirements governing behaviour in Best Society. Etiquette refers to conventional forms and usages: Decorum relates to dignity or poise: a fine sense of decorum.Proprieties implies established conventions of morals and good taste: The lady observes the proprieties always because she does not want embarrassment.
According to W. Thourlby, “People, like diamonds, have a basic market value, but it is only after they have been polished that the world will pay their real value.”
Look at the society today!!Decadence is everywhere. Manners have been thrown to the winds. If I should say, the animals are moreorganised and responsible than some humans; it may not go down well with some people. To some extent, however, it is a fact.

All the same at this point in my life, the zeal, innate urge to be of relevant to my generation, is uppermost in my heart and it is being expressed in black and white(statement made by me 12 years plus ago!). anyway, a story for another day.

You know significant changes through out history have occurred NOT because of armies, committees, nations, and governments, but as result of the courage and commitment of individuals. A voice can make change, even if not a significant one. But remember, change always follows a revolution. We want you to know. In fact, you need to know.

It is time for a meaningful and positive change. Currently, Etiquette is raising its head in all speres of life and we want you not to be left out! Note! Parents are so busy they hardly have time for their kids, let alone teach them deportment. The normal school subjects are not enough.
Etiquette seminars are not meant for students at all levels alone, but for the teachers too, corporate bodies, associations, non-profit organizations, restaurants, hotels, companies etc, name it. Etiquette does not necessarily mean financial strength, but poise, confidence, conscience, good communication, dress sense, being responsible, and ability to handle conflict/criticisms

Resources:
Debrett`s New Guide to Etiquette & Modern Manners by John Morgan , Headline, 1996

Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette by Nancy Tuckerman and Nancy Dunnan

Choosing Civility by P. M. Forni

www,dictionary.reference.com/browseetiquette

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