For more than twenty years I have helped people transform their personal brand through training in communications, image and presentation and customer service.
Over this time, observing the significant changes in the global landscape and behaviour changes, led to the motivation to set up the Sydney School of Protocol and become accredited at the prestigious Protocol School of Washington, as a Modern Etiquette and International Protocol Consultant.
Travel and technology have changed where people live, are educated, bring up families, go to work, but none of this has changed the need to differentiate ourselves for success in social and business settings.
In 1922 Emily Post wrote that: “to make a pleasant and friendly impression is not only good manners but equally good business.”
Ms Post’s words are as true now as they were then. It is also a base courtesy to our fellow human beings that we behave towards them with respect and politeness as well as presenting ourselves in the best possible manner.
The Sydney School of Protocol’s focus on ‘next generation’ etiquette and protocol is founded on an increasing awareness that people actually do want to know “what is appropriate when” - when to speak up, when to press “send”, how to network with ease and develop a polished presence.
No matter how either formal or informal the workplace might be, good social skills are still absolutely essential to professional success, which at the same time delivers that courtesy to colleagues and clients.
So what is “next generation” business etiquette? It is not about old fashioned, out-dated rules and is more about establishing rapport and genuine respect for oneself and others in our changing landscape.
It is not just about coping with cutlery at a banquet and business function. It is how to create a good impression and feel confident in social and business situations – online and face-to-face.
University Degrees and expertise are one part of success. How the individual is perceived is another significant and subtle part of success as well.
It can take a real leap for woman to put themselves forward for personal and confidential change branding, but this year since the Sydney School of Protocol has been operating I have watched with pride as clients have come forward to ask for change.
From senior educationalists wanting a refresh at a senior level involving taking their existing skills and adding a restyle for the next step in their careers, to home makers raising a family with precious time restraints, but wanting to know learn dining and social etiquette, all these woman have made a transition in their lives.
Recently we undertook a Dine Like A Diplomat course for a group of smart brand managers for an international company, where they literally dined at a Sydney five-star-hotel and learnt social skills for enhancing their ability to engage with clients – something that their management considered very important for building business and customer relationships.
The manner in which all these clients willingly absorb this knowledge is gratifying as is the thought that each of them may personally gain from the experience, and also may deliver courtesy and civility to others at some part of their daily lives.