Social interaction is an integral part of every individual. We engage with our peers, our bosses, acquaintances and even strangers. The levels of interaction vary from one situation to another; sometimes it is informal and too friendly but most of the time, especially in a corporate world, it is stiff and ceremonial. Oftentimes we become a sorry victim of social faux pas, not really knowing the protocol therefore ending up violating it and leaving a negative impression to the people.
The Knowledge Enrichment Program Talk conducted last February 6 by Krizel Balasabas of IT/HR team tackled the intricate world of social graces and etiquette. It aimed to inform the audience on how to carry themselves appropriately and to know handy etiquette guidelines for social survival and establishment of a successful image.
On the first part of the talk, Krizel discussed why proper grooming and hygiene are necessary in order to create a positive impression. She quoted Antoinette Champagne of Finishing School who said, “Proper etiquette is still the cornerstone of a successful image”. However, it was also noted that social standards are dynamic and vary overtime. A certain custom might be applicable in this day and age but might not be acceptable in the previous generation. It is good to remember that as the world is moving forward, so is the human standards and that’s the main reason why we need to be open to change.
She also discussed the basic tenets of etiquette: the handshake, the art of introducing people and the proper wardrobe for every occasion. She emphasized that proper handshake must be observed because it leaves an impression to the person receiving it. In line with this, a video clip was shown to demonstrate this basic yet complicated gesture. It was also explained how introduction is important and it should be done properly. Then she explained the benefits of dressing properly especially in the corporate world.
She went on discussing a very vital topic for all of us: table etiquette and manners. This is very helpful especially to those who go out and dine in a 3-michelin star restaurant with a client or a prospective business partner or even with a family of a significant other. A table was already put in the conference room to show how cutleries and chinas are placed, what to use first and how to use them. Krizel explained the proper usage of napkins, how to manage bread and rolls, and what cutlery to use for every dish. A list of do’s and don’ts was shown as Krizel summarizes the whole presentation.
In the end, it all boils down to the fact that it is but a requirement to observe proper manners in every situation as it reflects your personality and image. You don’t need to be the prettiest chick or coolest guy in town; you just need to exude the aura of style and grace. As how John Robert Powers puts it, “There is no such thing as an unattractive person, just some people who do not know how to make the most of themselves.”
Raine Alerta, Search Associate
BPO, Finance and Accounting Practice Area