Essential Manners for Men – Book Review


I am very excited to be doing the very first book review for Trix & Trumpet and I chose this particular book because first, I think etiquette is of the utmost importance, and secondly, men sometimes need a little extra explanation of things that, while to them may not seem important or necessary, might be the right etiquette for the situation.  You may think it’s an odd book to review for a party planning and event site, but this little manual is great for all types of social situations and quite frankly, is a good resource for anyone, man or woman.

The first edition of this book was first published in 2003 and was a New York Times bestseller.  The Emily Post Institute reissued the book in 2012 to account for more current topics and situations. It is written by Peter Post, one of Emily Post’s great-grandchildren and the director of the Emily Post Institute.  It’s catch-phrase of “What to Do, When To Do It, And Why” is an excellent indicator of what this book can offer and provide in the way of etiquette and guidance for men of all ages.

Separated into various sections that include: Daily Life, Social Life and On The Job, the book covers the three most important areas of any man’s life and illustrates perfectly the expectations that are for each.

In the Daily Life Section, many topics focus around how you and your actions are perceived by others and how those perceptions can affect your interactions with people. It provides great insight into the things that men can do that often annoy everyone else, but also things men aren’t doing that could help improve some social interactions. This section delves into issues like phone etiquette, sportsmanlike behaviour, meeting and greeting people, even interactions with your spouse. So much of it is straightforward, maybe even obvious, but really, really valuable.  I found much helpful for me, like:

When you make an introduction, the rule says first talk to the more important person:

  • A client or prospect is more important than your CEO
  • An older person is generally more important than a younger person
  • If it’s a man and a woman and all else is relatively equal, make her the more important person

Yes, much of it is funny and oh-so-true, but there is real value here that gives tips on such everyday things like email success and how nonverbal cues are read by almost everyone.  It is an amazing reminder of just how much we assume or take for granted when interacting in our usual routine and how unintentionally, men can be sending the wrong signals to those with whom they come into contact with almost everyday.

The Social Life section is just that, information and tips on everything that is involved with socializing and being in social situations.  I particularly enjoyed the little tidbit in the dating section that reads:

When you’re waiting to be seated at a restaurant or for the valet to bring your car, take a moment to smile at her.  Tell her how great she looks. Take this moment and enjoy it with her.”

Classic.  But so immensely true.  Women like this and sometimes men forget that women like this.  It’s good to have the reminder. There are also tips on what to do at house parties, what to bring as hostess gifts and the proper etiquette when it comes to social media.

While in the On The Job section, readers will find information on relaying positive attitudes in the work environment, tips for a successful job interview and information on good office communications. Almost all of the advice is practical and honest, and there are tips that you can really use in real life. For example, here’s an excerpt that I know many of us could use in many social situations:

Despite your best efforts, every now and then at a business social event you’ll find yourself cornered by someone who latches on and won’t let go.  You know your mission is to mix and mingle – so how do you extricate yourself from a conversation with a monopolizer without being rude or dishonest? Simply be firm and disengage – but do it tactfully: “Jerry, it’s been a pleasure catching up with you – but my boss laid it on the line with me today.  I need to work the room and make some new contacts tonight. So, if you’ll excuse me, I see one of te people I’m supposed to talk with.  Maybe we can reconnect later. Take care.” And then step away

Hello, we’ve all been there and this is solid, practical advice.

While most of the information is targeted specifically at men, the advice throughout the book is informative, practical and logical and actually is a great reference for anyone, including women.  Good etiquette and good manners improve everyone’s lives, as much of our success in life and in our career is based on how others view us.  But, let’s face it, there are some things that men just don’t get, but by having a guide and reference manual on what the right thing to do is, men will have the confidence and grace in all aspects of their lives.

I enjoyed this book and will reference it often.  It makes a great little gift for your spouse or son, and hey, it could even be a funny gag-type gift that the recipient will actually use!

As Emily Post, the quintessential expert on manners and good graces said:

Good manners reflect something from inside – an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self.”

Get the book; it’s good.


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