Consideration, Sensitivity, and Respect – What is etiquette?

My experience as a trainer and etiquette consultant has taught me that most people have a wrong view of etiquette. Many people feel it’s about being ‘prim and proper’. To some, etiquette is equivalent to snobbery i.e. ‘showing class’ by not engaging with people. Others see etiquette only in terms of dining or dressing.

Some feel etiquette is about formalities (‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’) – don’t do this, don’t do that. For many others, etiquette connotes European or Western’ values and they resent what they see as a new form of colonisation. The people that fall into this last category are probably not mindful of the fact that Africa is replete with etiquette and ours, in many instances, is more forceful and certainly guides most of our waking and sleeping moments.

Etiquette is not only about dos and don’ts; if it is, everyone will have to master an impossible list of what to do and not do on different occasions in different cultures for different situations. In reality, etiquette is about ‘consideration’, ‘sensitivity’, and ‘respect’.

In other words, show consideration to people in everything you do, avoid being selfish and do to people what you will take from people. Out goes deception, abuse, ‘smartness’, using people etc.

Secondly, be sensitive to people in whatever you do or say. Avoid thoughtless words; be sensitive to people’s culture, gender and situation. This will mean avoiding sexist, racist or any offensive gestures or jokes. It also means thinking before you do or say anything.

Thirdly, show respect to others irrespective of their age, gender, social or economic status. Showing respect means not looking down, not talking down or standing people up whoever they may be.

You will find that in all matters, whether of dressing, dating, driving, business relationships, marriage, visiting people, leading a team, travelling or eating in public, you will behave better and differentiate yourself when you show consideration, sensitivity and respect to people.

All of us at the ParkRoyalFinishingSchool and EtiquetteBank enjoin you to show consideration, sensitivity and respect to people today.

We all benefit when we do things right! EtiquetteBank

4 thoughts on “Consideration, Sensitivity, and Respect – What is etiquette?

  1. True, true. Thank you Mrs. Badejo for sharing this with me. It si something I’ve discovered with practice. Consideration, Sensitivity and Respect summarises it all!!!
    I’ve learnt that when you put people in your shoes and take into consideration their background, then you learn to accept, respect and understand them.

  2. This is Brilliant!
    I’ve actually searched google a couple of times trying to get information on etiquette but didn’t find anything impressive and I was discussing with a friend of mine a while ago, how some peoples attitude and behaviour could be shocking and appalling and the need for a re-orientation.

    A brief intro about myself: I’ve always been an etiquette freak right from secondary school when I didnt even know what it was all about but I liked the fact that one could not just act anyhow, like you have already mentioned- Consideration, Sensitivity and Respect was key in our everyday activity.

    I can say for certain that I’m hooked already and would gladly support the Etiquette Bank in whatever way I can. Kudos ‘Tinuke!!!