Etiquette and protocol training is making a comeback, but it's not just about knowing which to fork to use; instead, the focus is on improving communication and relationships, particularly those between disparate cultures.
"A lot of people think etiquette is old-fashioned and not necessary and outdated, and it's just the country club set that do it, not the guy on the Harley," said Ann Hundley Hoover, founder and president of The Hoover Protocol & Etiquette Centre in Oklahoma City. "Well, all of them do it."
At Oklahoma City University, etiquette training is part of OCU Leads, a competitive-entrance leadership program for freshmen, said Liz Donnelly, assistant vice president for student affairs, and the dean of students.
"Instead of people looking at your bad manners, they're looking at you," Donnelly said. "It's essential for professional preparation, knowing how to manage yourself in a job interview. A lot of times, if they're hiring you, they'll take you out to lunch, so you're more comfortable. You're not worrying about which fork to use, you're worried about what you're going to say about yourself."
Developing confidence is one of the key aspects of 21st-century etiquette training, Hoover said. Without it, you may find the doors of employment consistently closed.
"It's that positive image, because in business, who are they going to choose? Someone who's kind of skulking in the corner with the head down "¦ or the person who walks in with a smile on their face?" she said. "Lea Terry