PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Good manners, especially in the work place, should be second nature, but it turns out, manners aren’t quite what they used to be.

Now, some employers are turning to etiquette training.

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Nobody today has dinners quite like the ones on “Downton Abbey.”

While lifestyles have changed, that doesn’t mean good manners are old-fashioned.

Craig Heryford, a senior partner at Buchanan, Ingersoll and Rooney, recruits young bright lawyers for his law firm and noticed something.

“They haven’t been required to spend the time to really sit down and figure out how to have conversations and how to really develop strong social skills,” Heryford said.

That’s when the firm hired a local etiquette consulting firm.

“Because of the fact that the family table has all but disintegrated, a lot of these kids really had no idea how to perform at the dinner table, particularly when they are with clients or other colleagues,” Lisa Iadicicco said.

Iadicicco, from Mother May I, helps professionals learn to do the right things in social settings, some seem obvious.

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“Talking with their mouth full, not cutting their food up enough so they can get it into their mouth in one fell swoop, not using their napkin regularly,” Iadicicco said.

A lot of training focuses on technology, which is second nature to young people.

“We teach people how to use text effectively, how to use e-mail effectively, when it’s appropriate to actually pick up the phone, or when it’s appropriate to walk outside your office and go down the hall and talk to the person face-to-face,” Iadicicco said.

Young associate Kelly Ariosto was skeptical she’d learn anything new, but changed her mind quickly.

“Little things like checking your phone or even having it on the table can give a wrong message,” Ariosto said.

It’s a message all of us need to re-learn.


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