Manners from the heart

Politeness all year long

There are those who save heartfelt greetings and
gracious manners for just one or two days of the
year. Some assume a kind of superficial veneer
for special occasions, such as Valentine’s Day. Artificial
politeness is simply an attempt to make others believe
we are something we are not, for just one day.
Isn’t it refreshing when someone with manners crosses
our path, especially now that crassness has practically
become the norm? When true politeness is genuinely part
of a person’s character, the outer trappings reveal the internal
reality. Manners do not necessarily come naturally. It’s the
response of the heart, of kindness, sincerity and truthfulness,
for which no amount of surface polish can be substituted. Part of beautiful
character is a heart filled with such honest intentions. We respond positively when an individual is attentive, kind, considerate and respectful
toward us. The old saying, “You get what you give,” rings true.
Good manners are developed through practice and a spirit of
generosity. When we realize that manners are the outward expression of inward virtues, rather like the hands of a watch indicating
that the machinery within is perfect and true, we’ll then understand
the power of applying the simple Golden Rule: do unto others as you
would have them do unto you.
Sometimes we meet and must do business with those
who are devoid of these noble qualities. On the other hand,
isn’t it refreshing when we meet an individual whose personality is like the warm rays of the summer sun?

History is dotted with examples of individuals
who possessed the power of an indefinable charm
of style. Among the qualities which contribute to
worldly success, true politeness ranks among the
first. It is our attitude towards our fellow human
beings, perhaps more than any other quality, that
promotes or obstructs success in life and impacts
business advancements. We value, court and
seek the friendship of individuals with genuine
character, while shunning those who are crude,
rude and cold. Isn’t someone with manners more
appealing on every level, including the professional? Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: “Manners make
the fortune of the ambitious man.”
More than one of the golden keys to the door of success, good
manners represent the crowning jewel of a noble character. One great
motivating power of our conduct is the heart. Manners shouldn’t
be like a rich, colorful cloak put on for a few days of the year but a
constant companion fully integrated into one’s personality.
Shannon Smith is Canada’s leading image strategist and president
of Toronto based Premiere Image International. She presents customized
training programs to companies and individuals in personal branding
across North America. Her book “Power Manners” is now available.
Please visit Contact Shannon Smith at

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Good Manners are an essential element in everyone's personal portfolio!

Far from a collection of rules and regulations, this is a very practical easy-to-read guide with answers to many of business and social questions.


It explores contemporary manners and universally accepted rules of behavior, helping you through business and social situations throughout the world.


Find out how to make the best entrance, how to handle the business lunch, about small talk and introductions, and what fork to use and when.


Find out how well-mannered you are when you check out our chapter quizzes.

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