Few things can erode confidence like being invited to an event where you are clueless about what to wear or how to navigate a particular social setting. In fact, most people tend to turn down an invitation to an event that is outside of their comfort zone. Their assumption is that everyone else possesses the required savoir-faire. Nothing could be further from the truth. These skills, like any skill, are only learned through training and practice.
What is savoir-faire? It is the French verb for “knowing how to do” – it is having the ability to behave in a correct and confident way in different situations. Savoir-faire reflects self-assurance and poise.
Most day-to-day activities are navigated with ease. It is those special events where we celebrate important life passages like prom, graduation, weddings, births and funerals where emotions and expectations are elevated, and we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory.
Here are a few savoir-faire tips to keep in mind.
- Invitations require a response, so please RSVP promptly. Only those named on the invitation are invited.
- Be on time. Don’t keep your date, parents or friends waiting. Think of others and how you can make them feel comfortable and valued.
- Be kind and inclusive. Smile, make eye contact and greet everyone. Be prepared with three questions to begin conversations with in case your mind goes blank.
- Master basic table manners. Yes, chew with your mouth closed, use your napkin, pass to the right and avoid upsetting dinner conversation. Additionally, remember your beverages are to your right, and your dinner roll is to your left.
- Significant life moments should be announced by the individual unless they have asked others to share the news. On the day of the event, make sure you have asked, and received, permission to take photos and post them on social media.
- Dress appropriately. Don’t wear something that will embarrass you, your family, your date or be inappropriate for where you are going.
- As a guest, bring or send an appropriate gift.
- Be fully present. Turn off or silence your cell phone and focus your attention on those present.
- Be gracious. Nothing communicates class like a handwritten note of gratitude.
Knowing how to navigate special events will increase your self-confidence and make you remembered for all the right reasons. The bonus? You will enjoy the event so much more yourself.
*If you would benefit from a brush-up on your social skills, consider one of the programs offered by Final Touch. Prefer individual coaching or a customized program for your group? We specialize in both.
©2016 What Would Mrs King Do? If you would like to use this article in your newsletter or blog, you may do so. Please include our credit information: Written by Deborah King, What Would Mrs King Do? © Copyright 2016. I would also appreciate it if you would send us a copy for our files to [email protected] If you would like to learn more about social skills contact Final Touch Finishing School, Inc.