Blog Author, Susie Wilson, Founder Susie Wilson Finishing School, Melbourne Australia
You may know the basics of etiquette, but there are probably some lesser-known rules you didn't realise you're breaking. There is actually a correct way to pass the salt or stir your tea.
There are also rules for introductions, seating, and how you work out at the gym that most people don't know. You write thank you notes, keep your elbows off the table and would never think of eating until everyone at your table had been served.
Your etiquette would make Susie Wilson Finishing School proud, right? Not so quick. As it turns out, there are several lesser-known etiquette rules you may be unknowingly breaking.
You clink glasses during a toast
"Do not clink glasses, even if you see everyone in the movies doing so, Instead of clinking glasses with the people around you, simply raise your glass.
You’re passing food in the wrong direction
You should be passing food around the table in a counterclockwise direction, or to the right. This allows there to be a sense of order when food is being passed so that someone doesn't have a dish coming from the right and another from the left. An exception: If someone only a few places away from you on your left asked for something to be passed, pass it to the left.
When it comes to business etiquette, a common mistake comes about when we introduce others.
Here's the proper way to make introductions:
Say the person's first name (or Doctor, if such a designation is used) and introduce from highest (most senior rank) to lowest rank.
Example: President Smith, this is Vice-President Johnson.
Example: This is Dr. Jones, her associate Dr. Lowery and their assistant Katherine.
You enter your seat from the left side
You should always enter your seat from the right side, Never shake someone's hand while seated,
You're passing the salt wrong
When you're at the dinner table and someone asks for salt, you should always pass the salt and the pepper together in some social circles, this may be a test to see your level of etiquette exposure.
You take a sip after a toast is made in your honour
If someone honors you in a toast, it seems right to take a sip of your drink along with everyone else, right? Wrong! "Do not ever drink in your honour when there is a toast for you. Keep the glass (never empty) with you, but don't drink.