Growing up, I cannot recall ever hearing my parents mention etiquette. A fussy word that conjures up a certain level of affectation, it was likely not the first one that came to mind for my parents who were otherwise involved in the care, feeding, and general management of six children. Yet respectful behavior—the actual manifestation of good etiquette—was indeed mentioned and modeled by my parents continually, and expected of us every day. Of course, being considerate of our siblings was not our first inclination. As kids vying for attention or the last piece of pie, sharing and waiting our turns were not second nature to us. But we did our best because we knew such behaviors were nonnegotiable.

In our family, manners lessons came in many forms. ...

Get Excuse Me now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.