While this is a much overlooked subject in many societies, etiquette is an essential part of interactions in every individual’s life especially young ladies. So what is etiquette? Etiquette is the customary code of polite behavior in society. It is imperative to exercise etiquette because etiquette gives people a good impression of you without knowing you, therefore deriving respect which is a catalyst to success for all young women. There are many different types of etiquette and the following are some of the most essential types to know and practice:
i) Social Etiquette
This is basically exuding good manners e.g. being punctual for appointments, interviews, classes regardless of their importance. This particular etiquette is almost always violated in Tanzania and Africa at large with the infamous phrase 'No hurry in Africa.' However, you do not have to part of the norm. Respecting someone's time is how you respect them. Disrespecting someone's time is how you disrespect them.
Always respect people’s personal space and privacy and always using ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ with everyone you interact with. Listen more than you speak; that way, you show consideration and respect.
ii) Dinning Etiquette – These are basic general rules to follow when eating at home, at a restaurant or any event or venue one may be invited to. First of all, always greet your host and wait for them to invite you to the dinner table do not be hasty or rude; chew with your mouth closed, dish food you are familiar with and dish an amount you know you can eat! If you are still hungry, you could always go for a second helping.
iii) Cultural Etiquette
Cultural etiquette is the way to behave when interacting with people from different ethnic background and races from your own. The universal rules to be followed to avoid prejudice or making anyone feel uncomfortable would be to, always greet with a smile- not all cultures use handshakes or hugs so to be accommodating a smile is always a welcoming gesture; do not laugh if one makes a mistake in pronunciation or has a foreign accent; if you do not understand, politely ask. Do not ask too many questions or show curiosity when interacting with a foreign person Try to speak a language you all understand and if that proves impossible try to explain that you can not speak the language.
iv) School Etiquette
Always greet your peers and lecturers; try to submit assignments and projects on time and if that seems impossible, inform whoever is concerned prior to the due date with a valid reason for being tardy or late. Arrive to lectures at least 15 minutes before time so you have time to settle in your venue and prepare your stationary. Always raise your hand if you have a question or comment, never raise your voice when expressing yourself regardless of the situation; if you cannot control your temper, you’d rather remain silent.
v) Business Etiquette
Always be honest about what you can do; be it in provision of services or products. Honesty creates a reliable relationship with your existing and potential clients; also make sure you deliver and deliver on time and if you foresee delays, it is wise to inform your client prior to the deadline. The customer is always right, although in reality this isn’t always true as the service provider needs to be aware that your main aim is to please your customer by all means necessary. Ask for feedback to improve the quality of your goods or services, whether it’s the taste of your homemade cakes, the way you did a clients makeup, the way you did a client’s hair or the pattern you used to sew a clients dress or knit a client’s jersey.