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Etiquette is an essential tool of leadership. The manner in which we comport ourselves and communicate with people—both verbally and non-verbally—helps shape our ability to build meaningful relationships with others. Therefore, it is through our daily conduct and interactions that we demonstrate true leadership traits. Grace and civility are key hallmarks that empower the most effective leaders to navigate their professional environments with great success. When enlightened in matters of etiquette, leaders garner the credibility to influence outcomes.
Various phases of official and private life are marked by some form of protocol, or decorum, to guide behavior for specific occasions, circumstances, and conditions. For instance, there is deference given to an older person; standards for military interaction and ceremony; expectations for formal meetings, business dining, and toasting; and guidelines for different forms of address. Protocol not only reflects a recommended behavioral code, but is also about displaying the highest level of consideration for others. The rules of engagement may change to adapt to a particular environment or context, but the fundamental regard and dignity afforded to individuals remains a constant aspect of protocol.