Business Manners 12
Business manners 12 and Montrealers who tend to address each other on a first-name basis. It is however, still polite and still proper to use Mr or Mrs or Ms on a first encounter.
- "Tu” is the familiar you. "Tu" demonstrates a casualness and familiarity. “Vous” is the formal and the plural you.
- A formal "vous" that shows respect or that maintains a certain distance with a person.
- A plural "vous" used when talking to more than one person.
- Permission must be asked before using the "tu". It is always preferable to wait a little before asking.
- Some people use whatever the other person uses with them, but it could be misleading.
- Someone in authority may use the “tu” with you, but it does not mean you can respond in kind.
- When in doubt, use the “vous”. It’s better to show someone too much respect than not enough!
- The same rules apply to the use of first names instead of Mr, Ms or Mrs.
- In French, women’s titles and functions have been “feminized”.
- Women are present in all business and industrial sectors.
- Men and women are (must be) treated equally in every workplace.
- Women have acquired individuality, economic independence and freedom.
- Then again, violence, discrimination, marginalization and exclusion still have a negative impact on women.
- In business, men and women treat each other as colleagues, with no reference to gender and/or age.
- Many men feel that mixed groups (men and women) are more effective and more pleasant than groups made of men only.
- The friendly relationship between members of opposite sex must not be interpreted as a sign of sentimental interest.
- Working days start between 7:00 and 9:00 AM, with a peek between 8:00 and 8:30 AM.
- Business people often have an appointment or attend a breakfast meeting at 7:00 or 7:30 AM.
- Some are working long hours, others worry about job insecurity and others suffer from stress.
- There are "only" 28 bridges around the Island of Montreal and traffic is always slow.
- When you promise a service, a price, an appointment, you must deliver what you agreed to deliver.
- Your credibility could be affected if you do not respect your promise.
- The value of your word would be at stake and you could lose your credibility.
When in doubt, Ms should be used by default. Ms refers to women without any references to their marital status considered a private matter.
According to our still proper business manners 12, the French Mademoiselle for a very young lady and the French Madame for an adult are both correct but definitely not the Madam associated with brothels.