Etiquette is not just about the way you behave, it is also the way you speak. How you interact with others includes treating them with respect and speaking kindly to them.
Speaking with clarity, saying what you mean, and acknowledging the other person in the conversation are some ways of performing Effective Communication.
Enunciating and pronouncing words are also paramount when attempting to communicate effectively.
We are in the year 2022 and believe me, I have heard many possibly made-up new words, slangs, and shortcuts to proper phrases and sentences! It makes me concerned, especially when educators use them. I have conducted several school workshops and heard words like “finna”, “y’all”, “gotta” etc, and shortcut words for phrases. Now I am not a linguist but I know there are proper words to use in place of these! I recall countless times in the distant past when I would have lazy tongue syndrome. I was one of the people who did not pronounce words clearly because I wanted to fit in with my peers and seemingly society accepted it. However, I began to speak more clearly and articulate. I took note of how I pronounced words and the reaction received from the listeners. I noticed the reactions varied to each complete phrase and sentence I stated. Overall, I realized what I was saying was well received and understood because I was making the attempt to communicate more effectively.
My confidence was eventually boosted, and I began to feel more comfortable conversing with others, completing phrases, and making sure I pronounce them correctly. I finally realized, that the door to acceleration in life was effective communication!
I am happy you took the time to read this because you are interested in conducting yourself in every aspect, in a proper and truly acceptable manner. I often encourage my students to find graceful and proper words to express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Try to use softer words that directly make your statement. Refrain from profanity or anything harsh.
As I network and interact with various calibers of folks, I realize that many use the words “a lot” quite often. It seems to be a trend now, and many do not realize how often it is used. Instead of using the words “a lot,” so often, try using alternatives such as: “Often…, I often say or do…, I frequently…, many people…, many times…, considerably…, extremely…, substantially…, a substantial amount of…, or any other word that has the same meaning.
Let’s go a little further. It is never proper to answer someone by saying “yeah.” The more polished and refined way to answer is to say “sure, absolutely, or yes”. If you are dining with others and one requests a dish or item located on the other side of the table, you would not respond by saying, yeah, no problem. You would say “sure, certainly, or absolutely” and hand it to them or to the person next to you as it travels from person to person on the right until it reaches the person who requested it.
If dining at a restaurant or in any scenario and someone asks you, would you like something that you truly do not desire, you would not say, “No, I don’t want that.” The proper way to say it is “No, thank you.” If you desire it, say “Yes, thank you.” You would not say, “Yes, I want that.” It just doesn’t sound polished. Same if you would like something, let’s say the greens, handed to you, you would not say, “Give me the greens, please.” Even though you said please doesn’t mean it was polished. You would simply say, “May I have the greens, please?”
The objective is to sound more polite, polished, and gentle in your delivery. When communicating, the goal is to be aware and conscious of the words you use to express yourself. Make every attempt to be concise and use words that make sense to express yourself. Use proper grammar. It is important you do not consistently use words that the listener does not understand and words that fly over their head. If you do, your communication with that person will be ineffective, and it is as if you are talking over them and attempting to make them feel inadequate in the conversation.
A great communicator meets the person with whom they communicate at their level to ensure it is effective. No need to always show off how many “Big words” you know. Be conscious of the person or group of people you communicate with to ensure you don’t speak over their head. You want to encourage people to communicate and have great conversations. So, exhibit humility and kindness and don’t dominate and show off at their expense.
If you choose to use an uncommon word, follow with a basic synonym, so as not to place the interviewee or person you are communicating with in an awkward or insecure position. That’s called effective communication. As you continue improving your communication, which is certainly proper etiquette, consider the fact that one should never end their sentence with the word “at”. This is very common in society, and it’s even disheartening to hear from a person who has experienced extensive schooling. Let’s take a look at some examples of do’s and don’ts:
- - If you are attempting to learn where a person may be, how about saying, “Where are you?” You would not say, “Where you at?” That is grossly improper, yet so common.
- - If you’re curious to know where someone has been, you would say, “Where have you been?” You would not say, “Where you been at?” That, too, is grossly improper, yet, sadly accepted and common.
- - If someone is staring at you and you wish to know why, you would say, “Why are you staring at me?” You certainly would not say, “What you staring at?” Absolutely not. So, the lesson is never to end your sentence with “at”.
These are unnoticeable words we sometimes say when communicating and I hope by bringing light to them, we can improve and change what we are accustomed to.
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