Manners and Etiquette: The Best Rules to Follow

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1. Wait for everyone to be served

1. Wait for everyone to be served
If you're seated at a table with eight or fewer guests, wait for everyone to be served and for the hostess to begin eating before you dig in. At a long banquet table, it's OK to start when several people are seated and served.

2. Keep your things off the table

2. Keep your things off the table
All things not having to do with food (and decoration) should remain off the table: keys, clutch bags, cigarette packs, sunglasses, BlackBerrys.

3. Don't text at the table

3. Don't text at the table
Farhad Manjoo on slate.com: "If you're in a situation where you'd excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, you should also excuse yourself before reaching for your phone."

4. If you prefer not to have wine while dining out, don't turn your glass upside down

4. If you prefer not to have wine while dining out, don't turn your glass upside down
Don't make a big deal of saying you don't drink. Simply place your fingertips on the rim of the glass and say "Not today, thanks." This implies no judgment of those who wish to imbibe.

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5. Practice good speakerphone manners

5. Practice good speakerphone manners
Don't use a speakerphone unless you're in your office and holding a meeting that's being attended by someone remotely. Alert the person you're speaking with that others are present, and close the door. FYI: Using a speakerphone at full volume to go through your voice mailbox is the definition of annoying.

6. Whoever arrives at a door first holds it for the next person

6. Whoever arrives at a door first holds it for the next person
It doesn't matter the gender of either.

7. Don't microwave stinky foods in the shared lunchroom. (Come on.)

7. Don't microwave stinky foods in the shared lunchroom. (Come on.)

8. At the airport, don't crowd the boarding area

8. At the airport, don't crowd the boarding area
And once on board, stow your stuff and get out of the aisle quickly. When claiming your baggage don't crowd the carousel. Step forward only when you see your bag.

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9. Let people off the elevator and hold the doors for others before you board

9. Let people off the elevator and hold the doors for others before you board

10. If all you have to say in your e-mail reply is "Thanks!" refrain from sending it.

10. If all you have to say in your e-mail reply is "Thanks!" refrain from sending it.
You're just clogging an inbox.

11. Keep your cell phone out of the conversation

11. Keep your cell phone out of the conversation
When talking to someone in person, don't glance down at your cell phone to see who's trying to reach you.

12. Be polite in e-mail

12. Be polite in e-mail
Things not to do when e-mailing: shout in all caps, use colored fonts or clip-art emoticons, attach large files, forward an e-mail unless appropriate.

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13. Respect the text

13. Respect the text
Work e-mails can be sent anytime, but business texts should be restricted to one hour before the start of the workday to two hours after it ends, according to The Modern Gentleman.

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