In today’s fast-paced, demanding world women account for 51.5 percent of all workers in the high-paying management, professional and related occupations. The term “lady” has greatly changed throughout the years, but class and elegance are not antiquated concepts only royal women and the wealthy possess. However, representing yourself as a well-mannered woman can, literally and figuratively, open doors of opportunities.
The first principle is always say please and thank you. These magic words convince others you genuinely care and know your manners. People enjoy being treated well and will appreciate a “thank you” instead of a “you got it” or “no problem.” Just because our society as a whole is less personal than ever does not mean you should do the same. Although it’s a minor change, it can have profound effects with employers when agreeing to a task or responsibility.
The next rule is no gossip. Whether it’s office drama or speaking ill about “Jill” from Econ class, resist the temptation and do not engage in this belittling behavior that only hurts others and possibly yourself. Gossip spreads nasty rumors, alters one’s perceptions of others and makes you appear desperate to demean others. Ladies never participate in such scandalous talk and do everything possible to avoid being near those who do. Do not forget the adage, “you are who your friends are.”
Following the first two speaking norms is to watch what you say. It seems to be normal for women to spit out offensive language with no filter when they get cut off driving, have an exam week or even a disagreement with their boyfriend. However, language is a powerful instrument; we can carefully select words to emphasize what we mean without resorting to name calling.
The final “class commandment” is to dress tastefully. Our outfits can empower us and send others a nonverbal message of who we are and what we believe in. Being a lady does not necessarily mean draping yourself in strands of pearls and wearing designer, preppy clothing. Instead it means dressing appropriately at all times given the situation.
These four “class commandments” try to combine the best of both worlds: a strong career woman and a gracious young lady, with the world at your feet.
By: Claire Walton | Image: Source