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Hi, my name is Rebecca from In today's lesson, we will be talking about
good manners or what can also be referred to sometimes as cross-cultural skills. What
does that mean? It's the skills that you need to function effectively in a different culture
than your own. So for example: if I were to come to your country and learn your language,
do you think that would be enough? Not really, because along with the language, I also need
to learn what's acceptable, what's not okay in that particular culture. So today, we'll
be talking about 12 things that you need to say and do when you're living or working in
an English speaking environment. Okay? Let's get started.
So first we'll talk about what you should say. The first one is using the word: "please".
Now, everybody knows that you should say "please", but not everybody remembers to actually say
it. So for example: if you go into a coffee shop, don't just say: "Coffee." Say: "Coffee,
please." Or if you're asking someone else to do something, also remember: "Could you
please turn off your cellphone?", for example. All right?
Next: remember to say "thank you" whenever somebody does something. "Thank you", "You're
welcome": these are phrases that we do use very often in English. And it could be for
anything simple like somebody holding the door for you or it could be for something
more elaborate like somebody giving you a birthday present. Okay? The way you say it,
say it from your heart. Okay? "Thank you.", "Thank you very much." And so on.
The next one is to say "sorry", or even better to say "I'm sorry", because "I'm sorry" is
more personal. But otherwise, at least say "sorry". And again, you can say "sorry" for
little things like perhaps stepping on someone's foot or if you bang into someone by mistake,
you bump into someone by mistake somewhere in a crowded place, still apologize, say:
"I'm sorry.", "I'm sorry.", "I'm sorry." Okay? We do use that quite often.
Next one: "Excuse me." Now, "excuse me" you can say when you sneeze. Right? [Achoo!].
"Excuse me." Or if you need to ask somebody for some information, you can say: "Excuse
me, would you know where the nearest subway is?" Right? So this is a very useful expression
and it's also a polite expression. The next one is to remember to greet people
and also to wish people. By greeting people, even at work if you're working in an English
speaking environment, remember we do say "good morning", "good night", "happy birthday",
"happy New Year", "congratulations". So greet people, and also wish them on the appropriate
days. The next one might seem obvious also, but
again, it's the way that you do it. Even if you work in an office, in the morning, we
can say: "Hey, good morning. How are you?" And when you ask: "How are you?" even though
you're not expected to give a full answer, but whatever answer someone gives you, remember
to listen. Don't start talking right away. Wait to hear if the other person is saying:
"Oh, pretty good. I'm fine. How are you?" Hear all of that before you start speaking
about your own disposition, your own state of mind. Okay? Listen to the answer. All right?
So these are six things that you must remember to do; they are taken for granted and they
are expected of you. Next: let's look at what you should do. This
seventh one here says: "Smile." Smiling creates a more friendly environment and it's certainly
expected. So try to do that, again, it doesn't mean you have to keep smiling, but when you
meet someone, give them a smile. If you don't smile, they might think that you're nervous,
they might think you're angry or unhappy about something. Okay? Or they might take it a little
bit aggressively. So try to smile, it makes the... It also gives people the message that
everything is okay, not just that you're happy to meet them, but that everything is fine
with you. So it says two things: something about you and something about the other person.
Next: shake hands. Now, that's usually in a more business-like situation; in an office
or somewhere, and certainly when you meet somebody for the first time. In an English
speaking environment, you are expected to shake hands and shake hands rather firmly.
Don't shake hands very weakly or just hold a part of the hand. Hold the entire hand and
shake it firmly. All right? That's, again, part of the office expectation and the business
norm. The next one is to remember to cover your
mouth. What do I mean? Not all the time, but if you need to yawn. What does it mean to
yawn? It's what you do when you're sleepy and... [yawn], right? We yawn. So when you
do that, if it happens and you're in a group or in a office or something like that, remember
to cover your mouth. You can cover it this way like this or some people cover it this
way. Okay? So cover your mouth. Also, if you're coughing, remember to cough aside. Okay? You
can do that. Actually, today, they teach us something quite different; they actually teach
us to cough here into the inside of your elbow like this. Why is that? Because if you cough
into your hand and then you go and shake hands with someone, you're passing your germs on
to that person. And people are very aware of that these days, so it's better not to
cough into your hand actually, but to cough here. Like that. Okay?
Next: remember to stand in line. In many parts of the world, there are different rules regarding
lines and in English speaking countries, generally people expect you to stand in line, not to
crowd around, not to get in front of somebody, not to look for a place and sneak in, but
in fact to check who's the last person in line and make sure that you stand behind them.
If you're not sure who's the last person in line because it's a bit of a confusing situation,
you can ask: "Who's last?" Okay? And stand behind that person. That is part of the etiquette
that is expected of you. Next one: this is "hold the door". What do
I mean by that? If you're going through a doorway, remember to hold the door behind
you. Don't just go through yourself and then let the door fall back against whoever is
behind you. No, hold the door, look back and check if there's someone there, hang on for
a second if they're still coming. And whether they say: "Thank you" or not, doesn't matter;
it's your job to hold the door. Try to do that, it makes for a much friendlier society,
a much more caring society. The last one is something that a lot of people
are not aware of because in different parts of the world space has different meanings.
In some cultures, it's perfectly acceptable to stand quite close to someone and that's,
you know, absolutely fine. In an English speaking environment, that's not really expected. Personal
space is respected more and expected. So when you meet someone, when you're standing for
example or when you're talking to someone, try to keep about an arm's length distance.
Okay? Not exactly, and of course, if it's very crowded you might stand a little closer.
But let's say it's an empty room, about an arm's length. Okay? This way or this way is
where you should stand when you're talking to someone. If you stand closer to them than
that. Okay? They're going to feel uncomfortable and you're probably going to find that they're
standing back, they're moving away and that's because you've come into their, you've crossed
their comfort zone. Their comfort zone is about this much. And if you get closer than
that, they might think you're trying to, - I don't know -, if you're... If it's a man and
a woman, they might think... They might think you're trying to get extra friendly or in
one way or the other they're going to feel uncomfortable. So remember to respect that
space if you're standing. The next thing is if you're sitting. What
do I mean by if you're sitting? Well, let's look at this. This is, what I've drawn on
the board, is like a sample of let's say a bus or a subway. So when you come, walk into
the subway, let's say you walk in from here. Now, if there's nobody there, of course if
it's empty you can sit wherever you want. So, but let's say you walk in, there's already
somebody sitting here. Where would you sit? Well, it's not okay, - if we follow the same
rule that people like to have their space -, it's not okay to go and sit here when there's
all this other extra space here. So probably the first person... If the first person was
sitting here, for example, next person might come and sit here. Again, it's not a rule
but it's kind of an informal rule that everybody understands. So the next person might sit
here because this is quite far away and, you know, no, no questions; not making anybody
feel uncomfortable. The next person might sit here. And then here. Okay? So, you see
that these spots will probably be occupied first. And then, what happens? Well, after
that, some people might just stand or then you start occupying the other spots next to
the people who were there. But you don't occupy a spot next to someone until there are no
other options left. Okay? This is not something that we talk about or that you might necessarily
see written in a book, but it is something that is done in effect. And if you don't do
that, people are going to wonder: "Who are you? What do you want? Are you being aggressive
or is there something bad going to happen here? Or are you trying to be too friendly?"
So remember to respect space. And now, as I promised you: one last critical
point. If you don't do this last thing, everything else you do here will probably not matter.
So this is very important and it has to do with...
body odor. Okay? What do I mean by that? I
mean that you need to make sure that you don't smell bad. All right? That means everything
from your mouth, so make sure you brush your teeth. If you've had something to eat which
is... which has some spices in it, make sure you use breath freshener. Otherwise, people
are going to feel uncomfortable around you. Moving from your mouth, down to your underarms:
make sure that you use deodorant or an antiperspirant. People are not accustomed to the smell of
sweat in North American societies or in English speaking societies. And if you sweat and it
smells, then people are going to avoid you. And they will not tell you because it's considered
rather rude to speak about those kind of things, however, they will talk about it probably
behind your back - which you really don't want - or you're just not going to have as
successful an experience in a social context or a business context. But that's the reason
why. So make sure you use deodorant or antiperspirant. Okay?
Next, considering your entire body: make sure you shower regularly. And the last thing is
also the clothes that you wear: make sure you wash them regularly and make sure if you
have been somewhere, for example: a club or a restaurant with a lot of smells, make sure
that your clothes don't keep that smell because clothes tend to hang on to certain smells.
For example: before you go for a job interview if someone in your house is cooking whether
it's your mom or a roommate or your girlfriend or your wife or someone or your boyfriend,
make sure you don't enter the kitchen, especially if they're cooking onions or something like
that because all that smell will stay on your clothes and then people are going to smell
that once you're outside of that environment. Right? So make sure that any kind of food,
smoke, tobacco, marijuana, alcohol; all these substances do cling or stick to our clothing,
so make sure that your clothing doesn't smell of any of that and make sure that you don't
smell anything but good. All right? Now, that doesn't mean to drench yourself in cologne
- no, don't do that. But make sure that you have a neutral smell, especially in an office
environment. And if you do that plus all of these things, you are going a very long way
to being successful in an English speaking environment.
Thanks very much for watching. If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe to my channel
on YouTube. And also, if you'd like to do a quiz to review some of these points, go
to our website: Thanks very much. Bye for now.
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Good Manners: What to Say and Do (Polite English)

26813 Folder Collection
Halu Hsieh published on October 22, 2013   Paris Tsai translated   林筠 reviewed
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