Why New Hires Need Business Etiquette – and How They Can Get It

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The transition between university life and a professional workplace isn’t always seamless. Adjusting to a major shift in workplace culture, protocol and dress takes time and effort. That said, with training, seminars and resources, recent graduates and new hires can be well equipped to jump right in to a professional environment –and your company can help them to do so.


Why do new hires need business etiquette?

For those who have been working professionally for years, many aspects of professional life come as second nature. But for those just entering the workforce, certain protocol can be new territory. Notable examples:


Dining Etiquette

When dining for business, there are many more guidelines to follow that simply dining with family or friends, at home or in a restaurant.

Business dining often takes place in a more formal setting, which requires know-how of more extensive table settings and flatware as well as behaviour.

Additionally, the question of alcohol may come up, in which case it is not always obvious to a new hire that alcoholic drinks should only be ordered if the host encourages the order, and if so, no more than one alcoholic drink should be consumed in a business context.

Finally, keeping good conversation going throughout the meal is an art in and of itself. The savvy diner will not engage in controversial discussion, and will discuss business matters only when it seems appropriate to do so.


Interview Etiquette

Before a young person is even a “new hire,” they’ve got to get the job first! No matter how impressive a resume may be, poor interview etiquette may detract from a candidate’s chances of landing a job.

Punctuality is absolutely essential for a job interview – even if a candidate is only 5 minutes late, many employers will simply write off that opportunity. That said, a fine balance is necessary; in other words, getting to an interview too early can be awkward, especially in small companies. Arriving approximately 10 minutes in advance is a safe bet.

A handwritten thank-you note after an interview is indispensible. Coming prepared with other hard-copy materials is also helpful as well; for example, a copy of a resume and cover letter for each staff member conducting the interview, and a business card or reference letter if applicable.


Professional Dress
The expectation for professional dress and image, even in business casual settings, can be vastly different than on a university campus. It can help new hires immensely to have the dress code outlined right at the start of employment and to have an idea of the differences between business formal, business and business casual dress codes.

How can new hires acquire business etiquette?

New hires can learn the basics of business etiquette and professional image right in your company.

By engaging new hires in etiquette training, ranging anywhere from a full-day seminar to a one-hour Lunch and Learn session, your company will help young professionals become accustomed to new protocol. Additionally, this can help your company is well – with etiquette training as soon as they begin their positions, your newest employees will be able to represent your company’s brand well and will be trusted to interface professionally with your company’s partners and clients.

Young professionals can also acquire business etiquette training during their degrees; undergraduate commerce degrees and MBA programs now often require an etiquette component before graduation. If you work in a university or career counseling setting, consider offering business protocol training to all undergraduate students – because good business etiquette is relevant for any professional!

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For those interested in our etiquette training services, here are two testimonials that may be of interest:

#1 Dear Diane,

Thank you for sharing the link to the dining video. I find it impressive that it covers how one should behave when he is the host or the guest, as well as how to manage gratuities.

I would like to also thank you very much for yesterday’s session. It was extremely useful and I feel that I learnt many new things when it comes to business etiquette. 

I especially appreciate the information and advice you have provided on how to behave in business networking events. Again, thank you so much.”

#2 “Hi Diane,
I love my new job. People are very nice here. I’m learning a lot from my new job.

Last week my company sent me to Montreal for a conference, held by one of the leading investment systems maker in the world. All the Canadian clients of this company came to the conference. Task given to me by my manager was to make contact with everybody. There was a cocktail party, dinner and conference that took place over 2 days. 
 
What I learnt from you helped me a lot. I think I’m very fortunate to have met you. I used all the things you taught me. It was very successful. I saw lot of people who came unprepared for the event. I read the Executive Presence manual you gave me before I went and it helped me remember what you taught me. Thank you so so much again.”

 

How Business Etiquette Contributes to Engaged Workplaces

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Recently, The Globe and Mail released a report on the 50 most engaged workplaces in Canada. Engagement in the workplace, which, according to The Globe and Mail, is defined by “employees’ passion for their work and commitment to the company’s vision,” holds significant influence on a company’s success on so many levels: employee retention, customer relations and the ability to deliver on objectives, among countless others.

Business etiquette undeniably is a part of what creates an engaged workplace. The judging panel for this award evaluated companies based on the following eight elements: communication, leadership, culture, rewards and recognition, professional and personal growth, accountability and performance, vision and values, and corporate and social responsibility. How is business etiquette integral in certain elements of this criteria?

Communication
Business communication takes many forms: from internal to external, interpersonal to technological, everyday exchanges to larger issues management. For a business to be successful, all channels of communication must run smoothly, and business etiquette can facilitate this success.

  • Technological Communication ranges from email, texting, phone calls, voicemail, or conference calls – any form of communication that is not face-to-face. When you think about how often you use tech-based communication every day, mastering the nuances of these forms of communication – such as how to introduce yourself on a conference call or how to compose a respectful email in a difficult situation – becomes essential.
  •  Interpersonal Communication also can occur in various situations: casual meetings between colleagues, an important client or partner dinner, or a networking event. A gauge on properly handling communication in any one of these contexts is crucial to making professional connections.

Professional and Personal Growth
A company that provides its employees with the potential for growth and development is certainly on a path to success. Opportunities like seminars, trainings, lunch-and-learn sessions, or individual consulting can make a world of difference in an employee’s performance.

When business etiquette, professional image or executive presence are addressed in these contexts, an individual becomes more confident and self-aware, while simultaneously contributing the benefits and strengths of their newly sharpened traits to the rest of the team. Corporate Class Inc. provides a comprehensive training that can enhance professional presence in virtually every business interaction. This training, the Executive Presence System, includes six core modules: interpersonal communication skills, techno-communication skills, workplace etiquette and best practices, presentation skills, business dress and executive dining skills.
Culture
A harmonious workplace culture functions on the respect that employees have for their colleagues, their company and for themselves. This respect is made manifest through good workplace etiquette – in essence, a necessary standard for how employees treat one another.

It’s no wonder that business etiquette and professional development are key to a company’s success – simply look no further than the role of business etiquette in the elements that define Canada’s top 50 most engaged companies!

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Best Practices for the Home Office

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The home office: for independent consultants, this might be your headquarters. For those with a long commute, working from home might serve as a welcome balance between trekking to the city and staying productive in close quarters. Whatever the reason, working from home is a common practice – but one that requires practice to make perfect.

Here are few tips to make the home office work for you.

Communication is key
For those reporting back to an office base from home, availability and connectivity to your colleagues – as if you actually were in the office – is key.

  • Maintain the best possible equipment to stay connected to colleagues and clients. This includes high-speed Internet, office phone, Skype and webcam, and document and email servers consistent with those of your colleagues.
  • If you do plan to leave your desk or office for a length of time, ensure that colleagues can reach you by phone and email on a mobile device. The expectation is that you are available during business hours, just as those working in the office are.
  • Since you cannot attend in-person meetings, conference calls often take their place. Practice good conference call etiquette: first, always state your name at the beginning of the call, so participants are accounted for. Also, be sure to call from a quiet place, so any daily noises such as lawn mowers or dogs barking do not disrupt the call. If your surroundings do become noisy, mute the phone when you are not speaking so the background noises do not disrupt the conference.

Recipes for productivity
When working from home, you also need the home office to work for you. Everyone has different methods of productivity, but a consistent routine and an organized space can work wonders.

  • Schedule the right amount of work time, at the right times. Again, if you do report to an office, it’s essential to be available during its regular business hours. If you are an independent consultant, it still can be helpful to delineate regular blocks of time for work and rest – both to ensure productivity during work hours and to prevent yourself from constantly working.
  • Though you are at home, do not include domestic chores into your daily routine. You would never do laundry or clean the closet while in the actual office, so don’t do these tasks during home office hours, either.
  • Focus on the elements of your home office space. To begin, completely separate your office from other parts of the house: this will help you both physically and mentally dedicate yourself to your work. Make sure that all family members respect this space and know when they can and cannot disturb you. The décor is up to you, but maintain neatness and a professional design, should you need to host a job-related guest.

If you work from home, how do you make it work for you and your colleagues?

Share your experience, tips and advice for success in the home office!

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What’s Your Workplace Wellness Plan?

What’s your workplace wellness plan? As an individual, it’s important to balance your physical health alongside a busy work schedule. As a manager, you are accountable for providing options for your employees to maintain physical wellness inside and outside the workplace, which can fit within the schedule and demands of your company.

Physical health is directly aligned with performance in the workplace; its benefits include achieving a work-life balance, the ability to maintain stress, a healthy and composed professional image, and a means to counter-balance long hours sitting behind a computer.

Below are a few tips on how to incorporate wellness into your workday, followed by a few best practices for etiquette at the gym:

For Managers: Helping your employees stay healthy

  • Encourage your employees to get up and stretch or walk around the office every hour. Share with them the health benefits of taking short breaks during long periods of sitting.
  • Consider enrolling in a plan with a local gym that provides your employees with a corporate discount. Many gyms provide contracts for companies with the option of reduced membership rates and other benefits for employees.
  • Ensure that all of your employees are outfitted with good quality office furniture that correctly aligns posture and physical ergonomics. This includes desk chairs, elevated computer or laptop stands, and keyboard trays, depending on the layout of the desk.

 

For Individuals: Balancing work with physical health

  • In spite of a busy work schedule, it is important to make time for physical health, which directly affects your performance in the office, your stress level, and your overall well-being. Choose a gym that is near your office, so it is easily accessible to visit before work, during lunch or immediately after work. If the gym is not in a convenient location, it can seem near impossible to fit in a workout in the midst of an already hectic schedule!
  • Plan to walk to work on certain days; or, if you don’t live in walking distance, try walking on your lunch hour. Fresh air and light exercise will give you energy for the rest of the afternoon.
  • Throughout the day, drink plenty of water and remind yourself to stand up intermittently to avoid several consecutive hours of sitting. This is an easy way to stay fresh and alert.

 

Etiquette at the Gym

  • If you attend the gym during peak times when the machines are mostly occupied, do not spend more than 30 minutes on one machine; instead, rotate between different cardio machines or try lifting weights as part of your workout
  • Help to keep the gym clean and sanitary by using the towels and cleanser provided to wipe down equipment after use.
  • Leave your cell phone locked away at all times while at the gym, whether in the locker room or on the workout floor. Many gyms have a no-cell phone policy for privacy purposes, as well as out of respect to the other gym attendees. Putting your cell phone away for an hour or two also benefits you in that it allows you to unwind and focus your attention away from the stresses of the office.
  • Have fun, and enjoy maintaining a healthy work-life balance!

 

You can also read one of our previous blogs on gym etiquette

If you are interested, we also can arrange a great lunch and learn session at your place of work with our colleague Dr. Jones

 

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First Impressions with Your Office Space

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When a guest comes to your office, the first thing they encounter will not be you, but the reception space of your office. The entrance area will make the first impression on your client, partner or other guest – even before you have the opportunity! Your guest must encounter a comfortable yet professional space, and it is up to you to make the most of this underestimated but very important first impression.

Perfect your space

The elements of your reception area will not only speak for your company’s brand and character, but it can also set the tone for the visit. Pay close attention to both the overall elements and the little details.

  • Colours: The colour of the walls and other spatial qualities can instantly set a mood. This interactive colour palette by Pantone matches mood to paint tone, anywhere from “calming” to “efficient” to “sophisticated” or “successful.” What mood do you want to project in your office? Whatever you choose, be sure not to set an “aggressive” colour tone to your office! Alternatively, you may choose to colour your space according to your brand guidelines. If this is your scheme, keep consistent with colours and design on all other branded material, such as business cards or promotional material.
  • Furniture: It is essential to have at least two to three reception chairs that are both comfortable to sit in and which look professional. The receptionist’s desk and chair should also be of good quality.
  • Décor: Create a refined atmosphere with more creative design elements, such as paintings or photographs, a mirror with a decorative frame, a vase with fresh flowers or a decorative hat stand. Don’t go over-the-top, however; unless you want to create a quirky or expressive office space, stay professional with minimal and tasteful pieces.
  • Lighting: Unfortunately, few of us have control over the aggressive fluorescent lighting that comes installed in most office buildings. However, we can control the mood lighting, in spite of these overhead lights. Counter-balance flat, fluorescent light by placing low lights on and near the reception desk, creating a more welcoming and friendly mood.

 

Hire a great receptionist

Your receptionist will meet your guests before you do. So, you must hire someone whom you can trust to make a great first impression and to treat your guests with respect and care. Look for the following qualifications:

  • Friendliness: A friendly face and a pleasant demeanor will set a positive tone to any visit.
  • Proper attire: Out of anyone in your office, perhaps it is most important that your receptionist looks his or her best. As the first point of contact, they must dress up a notch even in a less formal setting. A receptionist in jeans and flip-flops, for example, will not set the right tone – even if you greet your guests in a suit.
  • Professionalism: Along the same lines as proper attire, a good receptionist must behave with professional conduct at all times.
  •  Good hosting: Make sure there is a routine in place for the receptionist to host a guest properly upon arrival: take the guest’s coat and hat, offer the guest coffee or tea, and promptly retrieve the staff member who is expecting a visitor. If there will be a large group of guests for a long meeting or series of meetings, ensure that the receptionist will arrange for catering.

With these elements in place, you can make a great first impression on your guests – before you even meet them!

 

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Setting the Stage in Your Company with Good Communication & Business Etiquette

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Directors, VPs, managers and other business leaders hold the keys to facilitating vital client and partner relationships, and so must present their best possible image and business etiquette skills when dealing with external contacts. Equally as important is for these company leaders to set the stage within their businesses and exhibit the same top-notch communication and conduct with their own employees. This is important not only for individual employee retention and morale, but also to keep the company as a whole running smoothly and cohesively.

Are you a business leader? Take note of these tips to project a top-notch image and facilitate good communication within your company.

  • Schedule occasional “check in” meetings with each individual on your team. Make an effort to connect with each individual in an informal setting (such as a coffee date or lunch), so that they can voice any concerns, discuss their current status, or simply catch up. Your willingness to set aside dedicated time for individuals will show your staff that you value each team member’s contributions and that you treat all levels of employees with the same respect.How often you meet and with whom depends on the size of your company: if you run a smaller organization, be sure to set aside time for everyone from colleagues on the management team to members of the support staff. If you are in a larger company, ensure you connect with everyone within your department, and advise managers of other departments to do the same.
  • Facilitate team-building or strategy exercises.
    With the fast pace of day-to-day obligations and minutiae, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture and where the organization is headed. It is up to the company leaders to arrange for the group to take a step back and remind the team of the overall and cohesive objectives of the business. Organizing group sessions that invite all employees to review larger perspectives and long-term strategies are beneficial for keeping the team on the same path.Team-building activities unrelated to business objectives are also advantageous; fun and casual sessions that sharpen collaborative skills will be a refreshing exercise to most employees. Also, this will once again positively display your willingness as a manager to take extra time to focus on staff development and morale.
  • Invite anonymous feedback and criticism.
    Even providing the option for members of staff to voice their criticism shows that you are willing to grow and change as a leader to fit your employees’ needs. Staff will appreciate your readiness to listen and to incorporate feedback, whether or not they have any criticism of your management style.
  • Set an example with your best professional image.
    As a business leader, you must project the best professional image, not only to represent your own and your company’s professionalism, but also to set the tone and expectations for your own employees.A refined image will demonstrate to your staff that you are a serious, hardworking and confident leader. It will also encourage them to follow the same level of professionalism, so that your whole team represents the caliber of your company as you define it.

 

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Entrepreneurs, Consultants and Those Who Pursued a Professional Dream: Why Do You Love What You Do?

For entrepreneurs choosing to follow their professional passion, starting a business from the ground up can be risky and daunting. Yet pure excitement and enthusiasm combined with experience from previous jobs can help to jump-start a business. The key to maintaining a successful business is to continue to grow and develop skills and offerings in new and unique ways.

How did you get into your business? Why do you love what you do? There are many reasons – and benefits – to transitioning careers in mid-life and going out on a limb for your own entrepreneurial pursuits.

You know your passion – and your objectives.
It can take years to define your career passions and what is important to you. Once you have an idea of your long-term goals, it is easier to turn these into concrete objectives. Your years of experience in another profession can help to shape and guide these plans.

You have experience and skills to support you.
Not only can your initial career path help you to determine your overarching career goals, it can also give you a strong foundation of professional skills and experience. Skills you have used previously in other career contexts can be surprisingly interchangeable and universal.

You define your professional future.
In your own business venture, you can steer the company in the direction you want it to go. You have the flexibility to grow – and to determine how much and where it will grow; you also have control over the product, concept and look of your business.

Once your business is up and running, passion for the job and a serious work ethic will keep you at a steady pace. But a successful entrepreneur also must expand and develop; proactively learning and seeking new ways to grow is also then key.

 

A corporate training program can revitalize your brand and vastly enrich your material. Corporate Class Inc.’s Executive Presence License Program, developed and taught by image and professional development expert Diane Craig, is a gold standard for executive training.

For personal and professional development consultants and coaches, or for those ready to launch their own consulting businesses, the Executive Presence License Program includes a robust package of materials and techniques that will either further expand your existing program or help to build the foundations of a new venture:

-       Learn how to have a recognizable brand to fuel marketing

-       Connect with people in the organizations you want to work with, break into the corporate world, and do business with Fortune 500 companies

-       Build Executive Presence program material, including:

  • Executive Presence System Participant Manual
  • Executive Presence System Trainer’s Guide
  • Slides, downloadable Executive Dining Etiquette program, access to self-assessment tool and STEP profile, and more (includes all exercises developed by Corporate Class Inc.)
  • And more

-       Train for over 50 hours with Diane Craig, with the opportunity to be privately coached by Diane on a monthly basis

Passion for your profession is what helps to get your venture off the ground. Now, allow your business to thrive by becoming a licensed expert!

 

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Business Etiquette Training for Virgin Australia Flight Attendants

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(GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

In a recent article published in the Huffington Post,”the cabin crew of Virgin Australia–formerly Virgin Blue–has been asked to participate in a program called Elevate, an etiquette, wine-appreciation, grooming and body language class, in an effort to try to win business customers from flailing rival, Qantas.”

What’s the reason for this kind of business etiquette training in the airline industry?

As explained by Mark Hassell, the airline’s group executive of brand and customer experience, their aim is that they “want to retain of the spirit that exists within Virgin service style and service behavior but put it in a context that is equally relevant for business-purpose and corporate travelers.”

Large and small corporations are realizing the benefits of business etiquette training. No matter what some might say, etiquette and class never goes out of style.

(GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

Small details matter and you might be surprised to learn the kind of etiquette training cabin crew undergo to ensure the best possible travel experience for business and first class travellers.

Earlier this year, Virgin Atlantic’s flight attendants were given whispering lessons to have a “calming effect” for Upper Class passengers. “It is incredibly important that all Virgin Atlantic’s cabin crew have their skills honed in order to provide the most comfortable experience possible for our passengers,” Richard Fitzgerald, Virgin Atlantic’s whispering coach, said at the time.

No matter what your business, you and your people deserve customized business etiquette training to set yourself apart from your competitors and stand out in front of your clients.

For etiquette training for Toronto businesses contact Diane Craig to learn how she can help.

 

Why Business Etiquette Training Matters for Millennials

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Earlier this month, the Financial Post featured an article on the latest addition to the workforce: Generation Y, also known as “Millennials,” or those born after 1982. The article, “Gen-Yers Require Care and Nurturing,” highlighted some general characteristics – both positive and negative – of the currently youngest employees. Still, an overall implication was that this generation could prove to be an “outstanding workforce,” given that employers know how to make the best of their qualities.

One guideline to enable the flourishing of both Millennials and the companies they work for is to help them succeed by providing the right tools through coaching, mentoring and training. Business etiquette coaching is integral to this success. By investing in business etiquette training for their newest and youngest employees, both the companies and the Gen-Y employees will gain.

Why choose business etiquette training or image consulting when considering training tailored for Millennials? To begin, not all members of this generation have had access to such skill training in university. Some business schools do incorporate seminars such as business dining or networking, though most faculties do not offer these programs. Students may also have the opportunity to learn interview skills through extracurricular programs at career centres, though these courses are often recommended but not required. Learning these skills is essential for individuals just starting off in the workforce.

Where should Generation Y start with etiquette coaching or seminars?

Dining Etiquette
Interviews often take place over a meal, and employees may find themselves dining at a work function or with clients. Therefore starting a profession with the right dining etiquette skills is important – both for the individual’s benefit and to adequately represent his or her company in front of clients or guests.

For a young person, executive dining will mostly likely not resemble dining out with friends or at home, especially if the context is formal. Knowing the intricacies of formal dining is a skill to be learned, not an intuition: such as familiarity with the place setting, keeping cell phones or devices away from the table, and protocol for whether to consume alcohol at a business function.

Interview Skills
Teaching successful interview skills can be advantageous not only for an interview itself, but also for other formal meetings and contexts where the best communication skills are necessary. Knowing proper business attire is essential before interviews, and teaching new members of the workforce the nuances between what is appropriate and what is too casual will prepare them for the various contexts within their careers.
Other skills necessary for an interview but applicable to other career contexts is refined body language (a strong handshake, eye contact, posture and engaging stature), good communication abilities, punctuality, and thoughtful follow-up – in the case of an interview, a handwritten thank-you note. Like proper business attire, these skills are certainly applicable throughout a career and learning them early on will give Millennials a head start.

By gaining these skills at the start of their careers, members of Generation Y will be ready to join the professional ranks of the workforce. Know-how in business etiquette will complement their technical skills and help them to succeed. Likewise, the companies they work for will have thoughtful and well-rounded employees. Investing in coaching the latest generation is therefore a two-way street!

 

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“How do you do?” The Best of British Etiquette

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British etiquetteIf you’re planning a trip to good ole’ Britain for the upcoming Olympics or for business – learning a few British etiquette tips will help you embrace British culture whether you’re greeting someone at the stadium or meeting a new client over afternoon tea.

Here’s a selection of the “best of Britishness,” when it comes to British etiquette, courtesy of The Chicago Tribune:

1. Greetings

Britain is still a comparatively non-tactile society and, like much of the world, a firm handshake, using the right hand, is the common form of face-to-face greeting for most social situations. Handshakes are brief, lasting just a few seconds, and should be accompanied with direct eye contact. Do not complicate the greeting with other forms of touching – hands on the back, double-handed handshakes etc.

Social kissing is, however, becoming increasingly popular in Britain, but it is by no means an accepted norm. As a general rule, don’t kiss colleagues or people you don’t know. Do kiss close friends. Usually it’s right cheek first, but prepare to change direction at the last minute, and generally opt for just one kiss. Just holding cheek against cheek feels insincere, but there is a fine line between an acceptable peck and an overly affectionate smacker. 2. Introductions

The traditional British greeting on introduction is ‘How do you do?’. The appropriate response – however strange it may seem – is to reiterate the phrase ‘How do you do?’. In situations where this exchange may seem too formal, a friendly ‘Hello’ will usually do. At an even more informal level, if someone says ‘Hi, how are you?’ the response should be positive and upbeat: ‘Fine thanks, and you?’.

If you are introducing other people, there are a few rules to be observed. Men should be introduced to women, juniors to elders. Introduce individuals to the group first and then the group to the individual. Unless the occasion is formal there’s no need to mention surnames.

2. Self-deprecation

Self-deprecation is a trait that permeates British culture. The British have a horror of what they call ‘blowing your own trumpet’, and are deeply averse to earnestness, pomposity and self-importance. Statements that, in another culture, would simply be attributed as confident expressions of self-esteem, are misinterpreted in Britain as boastful and self-aggrandizing. If you want to avoid being misunderstood, learn to downplay your attributes and resort wherever possible to understatement. People will read between the lines and admire your modesty.

3. Saying Sorry

For many British people, apologizing is a default reaction to life’s little irritants. This highly illogical response is deeply ingrained in the British psyche. If someone barges into you, treads on your toe, or spills your drink, it is quite normal to mutter “sorry”.

Obviously this is not a normal apology – a heartfelt mea culpa for a blunder. In fact, the British apology is a strange, strangled version of the outraged “do you mind?” of more confrontational cultures. British people are well aware of this enigmatic agenda. When they commit an offence and are met with the requisite “sorry”, they are quite likely to respond in kind, which can lead to a surreal escalation of apologies.

4. Taxi

When you see a taxi with its light on, i.e. available for hire, simply lift your arm and lean out from the pavement slightly to get the taxi driver’s attention. Refrain from shouting ‘Taxi’ or waving frantically. Tell the driver your destination through the front window before getting in the back. In London-style taxis men should allow women to get in first and take the banquette seat while they should take the fold-down seats if necessary. At your destination get out and pay the driver through the front window. The going rate for tipping is 10 per cent.

5. Weather

English people are notorious for their endless fascination with the weather; it is a topic that is deployed nationwide as an ice-breaker. When two strangers meet, in a queue for example, it is virtually de rigueur to enjoy a short conversation about the weather. English weather is, above all, unpredictable. Sunshine, showers, wind and rain sweep across the country with extraordinary rapidity, providing an ever-changing outlook. With the weather as a topic, conversation is never going to falter.

6. Tea

British love nothing better than ‘putting their feet up’ and enjoying a ‘cuppa’ and the quiet gentility of the English tea ceremony is seen as a reflection of the reserved national character. If a waiter places a teapot on the table without pouring the tea the person nearest the pot should pour for everyone. The tea should be poured first and any milk or sugar added afterwards. Once you have stirred your tea remove the spoon from the cup and place it on the saucer. When drinking tea hold the handle of the teacup between your thumb and forefinger. Don’t hold your little finger in the air.

Understanding  proper British dining etiquette when it comes to sharing high tea with a client, may help you clinch a sale. Our International Etiquette Euro-DINING Guide is an easy-to-download excellent resource that you can read on the plane to Europe.

British business etiquette along with international etiquette is important to be aware of today, especially for the travelling executive.

To learn more about British etiquette and international business etiquette training, contact Diane Craig, an expert etiquette coach who has experience training everyone from politicians and dignitaries to leading executives and corporate employees.