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Modern Manners: Tools to Take You to the Top


New Yorkers—and let’s face it, today’s youth—are preceded by the unfortunate reputation of being brisk and rude (we’re just in a rush!). And, while we’re not apologizing for our breakneck schedules and attitudes, it wouldn’t hurt anyone to brush up on etiquette. Thankfully, a refresher course on the rules of sophisticated socializing has landed on our doorstep, care of one Dorothea Johnson—the sought-after Washington, DC etiquette expert—and her granddaughter, the one and only Liv Tyler. So, before you interact with another member of humanity, take a peek inside Modern Manners: Tools to Take You To The Top :

The DOs:

“…maintain eye contact while shaking hands and greeting someone.”

“…show respect for the invisible personal space of others; keep your body at a minimum of about 18 inches (1½ feet) between you and the other person.”

“…let the person finish talking before you chime in.”

“…answer the phone with confidence and a smile, because that smile can be heard.”

“…return calls as soon as possible.”

“…use spell-check and proofread your message before sending.”

“…be aware that all feedback won’t be positive, because there are envious and unkind people who thrive on negativity.”

“…step aside before boarding a train to allow exiting passengers to depart. Rushing to get on board is not only rude but also can cause someone to fall.”

“…use earphones when listening to music.”

“…take small bites, and you’ll find it’s easier to join the conversation.”

“…keep the toast short and simple. Use the three B’s: Begin—Be Brief—Be Seated.”


The DON’Ts:

“…tilt your head to the side—unless, of course, you’re flirting. That’s a no-no in the business arena.”

“…put your hands in your pockets. People may wonder what you’re hiding.”

“…panic if you’ve forgotten someone’s name. Say something kind, like, ‘I’m sorry, I’m a little forgetful at the moment; please remind me of your name.”

“…make jokes or wisecracks about a person’s name—it’s rude.”

“…offer the ‘fingerella’ handshake to anyone, regardless of age or gender. The giver of a fingerella handshake extends the right hand with the thumb down, an fingers curled, which invites the receiver to grab the fingertips. The receiver wants to shake your hand, not kiss it!”

“…use ALL CAPS—it’s like shouting.”

“…send confrontational or insulting e-mails, and don’t respond to any sent to you.”

“…hit the Reply All button if you want only the sender to receive your reply.”

“…blot lipstick on a cloth napkin or use it as a handkerchief.”

“…talk with your mouth full of food, or chew with your mouth open.”

“…text at the table.”

“…place any personal items on the table, including your cell phone.”

Enjoy. Sincerely yours, ITG

For more tips from Liv, order Modern Manners: Tools To Take You To The Top .