The BBC reports that we Brits are cringing because we no longer know how to greet each other.
Here are my preferred rules of engagement:
- All meetings with clients Handshake at start and finish of meeting. Use of title and surname.
- Conclusion of matter with client
Handshake, kiss on each cheek and… if it has been traumatic – hug! Use of forenames.
Kiss on each cheek – first name terms obviously!
Handshake if man, kiss on each cheek if woman. Use of forenames unless they are of an older generation in which case respect demands that one uses their title and surname until they tell one otherwise.
- All children under 10
Handshake, one kiss on cheek and ask them how they are and use their name in each sentence.
- All children over 10
- My family
Hugs and kiss on each cheek. Use of pet names.
- People whom I have never met whom I correspond with on a professional basis
Use of title and surname. It annoys me when mediators address me as Lynne when they would not recognise me in the street. Just because mediation is friendly does not mean that you are my friend. There are exceptions, fellow bloggers, people who comment on this blog, Law Society employees, the police, Neil Diamond, Al Gore, George Clooney – oops seem to have moved to my top ten men which is the subject of another post…
- People whom I correspond with on a personal basis
As 8 above. I do not think my home insurance provider, based on another continent should address me by my first name. No doubt this is a sign that I am getting old.
District Judge – Sir/Madam
Circuit Judge – Your Honour
No physical contact.
- My boyfriend
Usually no contact on greeting. He hugs and kisses every other woman he knows which is how I know he likes me. He can, of course, say the same about me…