We have all met someone who is a champion conversationalist and envied them, but it really is not too difficult and with a little practice we can become skilled at it ourselves.
The new phrase going around is that being likeable in business has taken over from being ruthless in business.
The way to be likeable is to practice business etiquette. Whether you are an employer or an employee, business etiquette is more important today than ever before.
It is what sets you and your company apart from the competition.
If you have an harmonious office environment you will increase productivity. No matter how good your business skills, people prefer to do business with someone they like. Small things like returning phone calls and e-mails promptly show your commitment to your customers and colleagues alike.
The latest trend in the US and Canada is to fist bump rather than shaking hands. The reason is to help prevent the spread of germs with open hand to open hand contact. It will be interesting to see whether this trend takes off here. It is hard to imagine two businessmen in their suits and ties giving each other fist bumps but it certainly does make sense when we consider the number of dangerous germs floating around.
I am often asked what to do with a serviette if a person has to leave the table for a few minutes. There are two acceptable places to put the used serviette – one is on your chair – either on the seat of the chair or the back of the chair and the other is to fold it so that the food stains are not showing and to put it on the left hand side of your plate. I favour the second option as chairs are not really hygienic and you don’t want to wipe your mouth with a serviette that has been on a non-hygienic surface. However, people who prefer to put it on their chair say that it is not polite to put a used serviette on the table while other people are eating. So you can take your pick as to what to do with your serviette – both are correct.
Most of us love Devonshire tea but may not know the correct way to prepare and eat scones.
The scone can either be cut in half with a knife or broken in half. Both are acceptable.
Then you take some jam and some cream from the bowls that are in the middle of the table using the spoon that is in each bowl and place a small amount of each at the side of your plate.
With your knife you put some jam and some cream on one half of the scone. It is correct to either put the jam first or the cream first.