Hi. I’m Antonio Centeno and you’re listening to the Personal Image System podcast.
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All right. So now, we’re going to talk about etiquette. The last episode we covered manners and manners to me are basically the things that you pick up at home, you pick up as a kid or you should pick up as a kid and they are going to apply no matter what cultural setting you’re in.
Etiquette, it’s going to be more of the way that you handle yourself as a part of society. It is fundamentally the sum of your behaviors and how they measure up to other people’s expectations.
So, understand when I’m talking about etiquette, I’m talking about more of the rigid rules in a particular society, so understand etiquette is going to be different in India, it’s going to be different in Ukraine, it’s going to be different over in China, it’s going to be different in various parts of the United States, Canada, if you’re down in Argentina.
Understand that etiquette is about you actually going in and making sure that you do a little bit of research. So, etiquette is something you’re sometimes going to have to do homework on, the way that you present yourself, the way that you dress. Dress codes and all of that stuff, that is part of etiquette.
Now, I talked about general manners when you’re at a meal and the cool part is that with manners if you got good manners and basic eating good manners, then you could survive even a seven-course at a – seven-course meal at a very fancy restaurant in which certain etiquette because people will forgive especially if you don’t have time to prepare little blemishes or little mistakes that you make in local etiquette. But, you know, manners are something that makes – and make sure you go back to listen to the other episode if you don’t feel you have great manners and you want to pick up some pointers. But, etiquette is going to be something that is going to be more specific, there aren’t always, you know, sometimes it’s tradition, but always it’s about being prepared. So, let me give you three basic fundamentals of etiquette.
Number one is awareness. So, understanding the situation and the expectations of other people. So, if you are going to a black tie event, you want to dress appropriately that you’re aware that you’re going there. You want to make sure, okay, is there going to be a meal served, is there going to be hors d’oeuvres, is this something that I need to eat before, is this something — and what’s the purpose of me going there.
If it’s charity black tie event which no meal will be served and you’ll be giving in a sense you actually have a purpose for being there, they want you to, you know, engage with people, you’re going to be representing your company and your business because you were a sponsor and you guys donated a set amount of money, then in that case you want to say, you know, I probably need to eat beforehand, I need to show up because this is actually more work and you’re aware of the situation you’re actually dressed.
Yes, it says a black tie optional or black tie preferred. What that means is if you’ve got black tie actually wear it. Now, you’re going to see black – I like black tie preferred versus black tie optional. Preferred just means if you have it, please wear it; if you don’t, then a dark-colored suit is going to be fine.
If it’s actually saying it’s optional, then you’re going to have a lot of people say, oh, well, I’ll just go to my dark-colored suit. I really think it sets the ambiance and it sets the overall feel when you actually dress to the way that the person is putting on the event, you know, actually asks you to.
And that goes to our point number two which is thoughtfulness. So, thoughtfulness, you know, and it depends, again, this is very cultural. Here in the United States whenever I go to a person’s home I always try to be thoughtful and by doing that is actually to show up on time. To show up not too early knowing that the host or the hostess oftentimes is really running around trying to make things happen. Showing up with a gift, oftentimes I try to bring, you know, maybe I will ask about type of wine that they drink, maybe bring a spirit.
Another one is to actually bring a small gift if it’s the first time I’m actually visiting the home thinking about the meal that she’s maybe putting together and how I can compliment it or it could just simply be flowers. Flowers are one of those things that when you bring them all of a sudden they can help decorate the area and realizing that I may actually have to take charge of actually have to cut the ends of the flowers and put them in a vase. Sometimes I actually bring flowers in a vase is actually much nicer because then they don’t have to worry about actually putting them anywhere. But, when you find that you’re thoughtful that you’re thinking about the actions that you have and how they can have a positive impact on others, you’re going to be doing well with etiquette no matter what culture you’re in.
So, confidence. This is, again, about you doing the homework so that you realize, okay, if I’m going into this culture, then it is expected that I bring gifts. So, if you’re going to be going to China, if you’re going to be going to India, you actually do the research on when do they celebrate holidays and when are the traditions of these holidays, how it’s going to go.
So, you’re confident, maybe you’re not confident because you’ve never actually gone through it, but you’re confident in terms of you know enough about the history, you know enough about the traditions that you’re actually find that there are very surprised when you actually are following through with what is it?
Holy, over in India or that you understand, you know, when people are giving red envelopes over in China, you kind of know what’s going on there. And those, you know, confidence is not about aggression over assertiveness, it’s about you knowing and being noticeable and doing your homework and making sure that you show up.
All right. So, let’s talk about basic social etiquette in day to day situations. And, I’m going to give you a few very simple rules that you can follow. Number one, others first. So, I assumed that I’m speaking to a grown man. In that case, if there is someone that is handicapped, someone that is elderly, someone that has trouble moving around, someone that is a young child, think of them and take care of them first.
Now, it can be a little bit of touchy here in the United States when it comes to grown women. I found that all of the women in my life appreciate it when I’m looking out for them. Again, I’m married to a Ukranian, it’s pretty old school in the way that their culture is I think with the division between men and women, but it is something that I find that the women in the different houses that we go to they’re doing the majority of the work. I find that if I simply offer a hand that I am courteous I look of where I can add value that they are always very appreciative. I’m not ever pushing myself or trying to bully anyone, but I’m always just trying to say, hey, can I offer a hand. Even simply offering the hand and not may, you know, maybe it’s taking away one of the kids holding a baby. Yes, men can hold a baby. And when you do that you actually you are providing value, but first off you’re thinking others.
So, that takes me to point number two which is to be a positive presence. Maybe it’s something that you’re actually having fun with the kids, you’re playing with them downstairs and keeping them busy so that they’re not running from the kitchen.
You’re finding a way though to be positive you’re engaging, you’re – you’re talking with the other guys, you’re actually making, you know, making them laugh, you’re kind of bringing in people together. You notice that there’s one husband in this event who nobody knew, you – no one had met him before, you actually bring him into the conversation. Again, try to be positive.
Number three, make the thoughtful gestures. You know I think it was Emily Post who talked about asking if you can help isn’t courtesy, doing it is. So, what you can do, you know, look around where something needs to be done, holding doors.
Now, this is something, again, I like to hit on this point because we all hear the horror story that some guy opens a door and somebody, you know, jumps on him for – for not, you know, understanding that, you know, people are equal. When somebody needs help, when the door needs to be opened, when someone needs help lifting something and you are a bigger stronger person, then simply go in and help. It has nothing to do with general relationships. It has to do with human beings seeing that another human being could use a hand and, that you would appreciate it if someone would do that for you.
Always greet people with a handshake, with a smile, and with eye contact, say your name. Understand that – and this is something I think needs to be done more in the United States that you need to, you know, try to remember people’s names.
Have you ever been to events? I know I go to events all the time and I meet two or three new people and it’s bad – I’m bad about saying and remembering their names. So, make sure that you get their name and that you say it again and again that you say it a few times when you’re engaging with them. Worse case, you go over to your wife or to someone that knows them and ask for their name. Again, say it again and again, but practice saying it so that you actually can call someone by their name and you can properly greet them.
I always like to, you know, especially if it’s an older person, I always like to say sir or ma’am. Maybe this is just where I was brought up. I was brought up in West Texas, but I do like to be a little bit formal with people I don’t know very well who are years ahead of me especially decades ahead of me. I just find it’s a sign of respect when I see older men or older women sitting around. I oftentimes like to go around and ask if they would like a drink, if I can bring something to them. It’s just – it’s not simply – I don’t even know them, but I do know that they have been on this planet longer than me and I want t show them a bit of respect and to make, again, it goes back to number one which is others first than you.
So, business etiquette and in work situations, it’s a little bit different. Not too much different, you can still apply many of those rules, but above all else, you do no harm. So, basically we’re following the what the Hippocratical Theory and, you want to make sure that you are not going to embarrass you’re not going to be little, you’re not going to put anyone in a tough situation.
Physical contact. Beyond a handshake, you don’t want to go beyond that in a business environment. Yes, you may have been flirting with that – that young woman who is an intern and she’s really cute, you’re single, but not at the business event. You don’t want to be, you know, especially after a few beers. I know a lot of us think we’re a lot more attractive than we probably are, but you don’t want to put yourself in that situation that you’re making another person feel uncomfortable.
And, when it comes to clothing. So, understand what the dress code is just because it’s a casual event or it’s something that maybe – maybe you’re at a work event or it’s a work party, understand that that’s no reason not – casual does not means sloppy. You still want to present yourself and you want to understand that, yes, you may not be on the clock, but you are still being judged you are still in a sense out work. And be careful of negative comments, again, go back to not doing any harm; gossip, all of that stuff. You’re going to see that that is just not – it’s just not good etiquette. You just want to avoid it.
If it’s happening in a, you know, talk about light subjects, but if all of a sudden you find yourself in a circle and people are down, you know, talking maybe that’s something that you just want to excuse yourself and don’t make a deal of it or it may be something, hey, you know, guys, can we change the topic. Maybe you want to take – now, understand if you take that leadership role it could be something that, you know, I find I – owning my own company, I have no problem taking that leadership role, but if you’re not comfortable doing that, then just simply excuse yourself from the conversation.
Also, listen and then talk. So, people have a really bad habit of loving to talk, talk, talk, and talk and then, they’re, you know, once they’re tired of talking, “Oh, tell me a little about you?” Always try to be a great listener. The world is devoid it’s lacking great listeners. And you will find when you can listen to people, really listen to them hear what they’re saying, ask them good questions, you’re going to find that people really like to talk to you. They’re like, wow, I really enjoy speaking with this guy, he really lets me or I feel like he really gets me. You’ll be amazed. And then, after a while they’re going to open up and say, you know, I’d love to hear more about you and it’s amazing how this process works.
Finally, let’s talk about how nice do you want to be. Understand that pulling out chairs for women is maybe it has its place at home, but be very careful at business event. Also, gifts, if it’s a business event at somebody’s house, you do not need to bring a gift.
Again, you are pretty much required to attend, a gift is going to be more for a personal occasion and it can be taken the wrong way, it can make others feel inappropriate if they didn’t bring it and understanding the payment. So, if it’s not expressed, then, you know, usually if it’s company sponsored event, the company will cover it, but if is something in which everyone should just getting together, then you just simply split the bill.
All right. I could have gone into quite a bit more about event etiquette and special situations all those other stuff, but that’s going to be over at Personal Image System which is my course and I open that up a few times a year. I also have my Personal Image Blueprint which is a part my information course within the Personal Image System. You can definitely check that out, I make that available pretty much anytime that you want to go grab that.
But, if you just want more information, guys, Real Men Real Style and my YouTube channel is the place to go. We’ve got hundreds and hundreds of free videos. I’ve got over almost like two thousand free articles over at Real Men Real Style, tons of infographics. And, if you want this show notes, just go to www.realmenrealstyle.com/episode18.
Interested in learning more about how style can increase your earning power, help you command respect, and come off as more attractive? I’ve got two options for you. One, go check out the Personal Image System, that’s what this entire episode was based off of. I’ve got the Science of Style, it’s action-oriented, has an amazing community. We got live training and a hundred plus lessons with great resource material. Or, go check out Real Men Real Style.
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Guys, that’s it. I’ll see you in the next episode.