Efficiency and Effectiveness –
How Etiquette Leads to Both

Hello Greeting

Etiquette promotes personal efficiency and effectiveness when socializing with others. It is about facilitating ease in interfacing with people, smoothing out transition points, and helping others be comfortable. Etiquette reduces trouble spots, facilitates friction-free communication, and just makes life more pleasant for you and others.

Reducing Friction

A person who is etiquette-minded is very aware that reducing friction between people leads to both efficiency and effectiveness.  Whether it’s getting through a meal or a business transaction, when everyone defaults to courtesy, things run more smoothly. 

Etiquette-ful ways to reduce friction and smooth social interaction in business and daily life:

  • Make communicating easier by truly listening to others.
  • Work to understand what the other person in front of you needs, expects, and anticipates.  
  • Set high expectations for yourself in bringing kindness to any situation, which might mean hearing that your organization is requiring too many meetings or that your spouse needs some quality time for contemplation.
  • Become a master of the small courtesies as you discover ways to get feedback to use in improving a situation.  “I’m very curious as to what you think is needed here.”
  • Be a learner, discovering efficient and expedient actions which can reduce tension in unpredictable situations.
    “Cal, what I did was not well-planned. Please help me to do better next time.”  
    “Joe, you’ve suffered from our company’s mistake. We will make this right and you’ll be relieved at how easy it will be.”  
  • Personally, and professionally keep track of your learnings to build quality into all of your actions.  

Promoting Efficiency and Effectiveness

Efficiency references processes that utilize the minimum of effort to create the greatest amount of output or product.  Getting more out of less reflects the ability to avoid wasting energy, money, or time in doing something that produces a desired result, faster and error free.

When using etiquette as a system, interactions become efficient.  During a meal, knowing that items on the table are passed to the right allows for ease of serving and helping avoid mishaps. At a gathering, knowing the rules of introductions and networking ensures that no one feels left out.

Effectiveness is the degree to which actions are successful in bringing about desired results. Using the same examples above, when the process of serving everyone at your table is efficient, you not only have satisfied diners, you have people who took the opportunity to bond over a meal.  When interactions experienced at a party or gathering are efficient, you have guests who made a new friend, know each other in a different light, or met someone special.

Using etiquette to reduce friction or barriers to interacting with other people facilitates communication, understanding, and learning from each other.  Efficiency and effectiveness are the icing on the cake when etiquette-ful interactions take place.

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