By Alison Vaughn

The rules of etiquette are changing but some things never change or go out of style. If you practice proper etiquette, you are less likely to offend or annoy people. Remember the golden rule-Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Basic Etiquette Rules

Say “Thank You”

A Thank you is the best response in the world. Anyone does something nice or gives you a compliment means immediately respond with a ‘Thank You.’ Also remember to include ‘Excuse me, Please, You’re welcome,’ a set of good manners and magical etiquette words.

Give Genuine Compliments

Giving is good manners. On meeting someone, give a genuine compliment, with a bright smile. Even a simple ‘How are you? Or Hello,’ is enough to show your interest and attention. Be generous to praise, show sympathy, shower warm greetings, or anything appropriate to that occasion.

 Listen Before Speaking

Another basic etiquette rule is to listen to others speaking. It is also a way of showing respect. Show in others genuine interest, call them by their names, and allow others to talk. Look in the eyes, never interrupt, and listen carefully.

Do not be Loud or Arrogant

Exercise, good taste and self-control. Work on your behavior, voice, and clothing, to reflect elegance. Do not boast your accomplishments. There is no self-advertisement required. Your deeds will speak, and if not, let it be silent. Nothing will stay secret; it will come known.

Speak with Caution and Kindness

Speaking to others must be done very carefully. Remember your mannerism and body posture. Your language and the posture are important. It should reveal kindness. Do not brag, instead be specific.

Do Not Complain or Criticize

Avoid negativity. Do not participate in gossip. If you disagree, respectfully do so. Everyone needs to vent, keep your bitching to your closest family member or friend.

 Be Punctual

Value yours and others time. Arrive on time by making an appointment. Never arrive late or early for social engagements. If you are getting late, and your presence matters, call and inform them you are late. It is fine to go early for a business setting.

Avoid Embarrassing Others

Avoid calling nicknames or passing rude jokes, it is annoying. Never ask the salary or the expense, in fact, avoid asking embarrassing questions.

Alison Vaughn is founder of Detroit-based Jackets for Jobs, Inc., a nonprofit that provides career skills training and clothing to job seekers. Jackets for Jobs, Inc is recognized by ABC’s The View, NBC’s Today Show and NASDAQ  as a worthy organization to support. Vaughn is a sought after public speaker and community advocate. She is a Comcast Newsmaker, Goldman Sachs Scholar and honored as Crain’s Notable women in Non-Profits. She’s also been featured in Entrepreneur & Fortune Magazine.

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