KC&A can offer members of your team training in professional etiquette. Much of professional etiquette may seem like common sense.  However, as Will Rogers once said, “Nothing is more uncommon than common sense.”

Here are some highlights from our professional etiquette training offerings:

Get A Grip

  • All introductions, regardless of gender, should be accompanied by a firm handshake.
  • Stand and shake.
  • A handshake should be short and firm and accompanied by a smile and eye contact.
  • In a professional setting, it is appropriate for either a man or a woman to initiate a handshake.
  • Be sure your hand is “dry.”
  • Forget the “macho clamp.”

Small Talk, Big Consequences – Networking

  • It’s not about you, it’s about them.
  • Make friends first.
  • Don’t let your stomach be your guide.
  • Don’t juggle your food and drink.
  • Avoid loose lips.
  • Don’t be a wall flower.
  • Avoid contentious and unsavory topics and office gossip.
  • Don’t leave home without your business cards.
  • Respect a person’s time.
  • Be the host.
  • Connect people.
  • Give only sincere compliments.

Listening Etiquette

  • Ask pertinent questions.
  • Practice empathetic listening.
  • Listen with your entire body.
  • Share personal stories, amusing anecdotes.
  • Paint a visual picture.
  • Don’t interrupt.
  • Don’t finish other people’s sentences.
  • Pause before your reply.
  • Focus [eliminate distractions].
  • Speak with a purpose.
  • Don’t give unsolicited advice.

Six Conversation Stoppers

  • The Braggart
  • The Rumor Monger
  • The One-Upper
  • The Hard-Hearted
  • The Pick-Your-Brainer
  • The Rambler

The Art Of The Meal
Food for thought: Common Dining Mistakes:

  1. Bread should not be eaten as a whole slice or even two halves.
  2. In a professional setting it is not necessary for a man to pull out a woman’s chair.
  3. If you drop a piece of silverware on the floor while having dinner in a restaurant, leave it and ask the server for another.
  4. Pass the salt and pepper shakers together, even if someone asks you to pass one or the other. [Don’t pass them from hand to hand].
  5. Don’t pick your teeth at the table with your finger, toothpick, knife, blade, or sugar packet.
  6. Don’t apply lipstick, or touch your hair at the table.
  7. When passing food, offer some to your neighbor first before serving yourself, and then pass the food counterclockwise.

Seven Common Dilemmas:

  1. The American Style versus the Continental Style
  2. Eating foods you dislike
  3. Handling accidents gracefully
  4. The Buffet, the plate and “white space”
  5. What to do with the tea bag
  6. Tasteful toasting [Don’t drink to yourself.]
  7. Responding to an invitation

Hear No Evil –  Telephones, Speakerphones, Smartphones and Voice Mail

  1. When making a phone call begin by identifying yourself and your organization.
  2. When returning a phone call, consider the time and time zone.
  3. Ask permission before placing someone on hold.
  4. If a coworker walks into your office during a phone call, the caller takes priority unless the person has an appointment.
  5. The person you are speaking with in person always takes priority over a phone call — land line or cell.
  6. If you are expecting an important call, let others know ahead of time before placing them on hold.
  7. Speakerphones are designed for conference calls. Always ask permission before placing someone on a speakerphone.
  8. When leaving a voice mail message be brief. Slowly say your name and your phone number followed by a message describing the nature of your call.
  9. Keep your voice mail greeting current.
  10. Cute, quirky ring tones are not appropriate in every setting.
  11. Make safety your most important call.
  12. Do you really need to take that picture?

Netiquette: Electronic Etiquette
Communicating Electronically Without Losing The Personal Touch.

E-Mail: How much is too much?

  1. Use the subject line to inform.
  2. Treat e-mails like business letters.
  3. Don’t shout! [Using all upper case.]
  4. Skip the fancy decorations.
  5. Keep it brief, not abrupt.
  6. Caution: No e-mail is private.
  7. Avoid mood mail.
  8. Proof it before you send.
  9. Respect other’s privacy.
  10. Think twice before sending humorous messages.

The Power of Positive Thanking
Thank–You Notes

  1. Write by hand.
  2. Whenever another person does something extraordinarily nice for you and/or gives you a gift — write a thank you note within 48 hours.
  3. Invest in good-quality stationary.
  4. Keep it short.
  5. E-greetings should be sent only to close friends.

Gratuities: Tipping at the airport, hotel or restaurant

  • Skycaps: $1-$2 per bag.
  • Taxi drivers: 10-15% of the fare.
  • Doorman: $1 to $2 per bag for removing bags from taxi/rental car and placing them on the bell cart.
  • Doorman hailing a taxi on the street: $2
  • Valet: Each time the attendant retrieves your car: $2 to $3.
  • Waitstaff: 20% of the bill before taxes.
  • Waitstaff serving six or more: 22 to 25 % of bill before tax.