1 - About Alice Thomas-Roberts

Lesson 1 - Introduction
Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Lesson 4
Lesson 5
Lesson 6
Lesson 7
Lesson 8
Lesson 9
Lesson 10

About Alice Thomas-Roberts

Lesson 1 - Introduction
Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Lesson 4
Lesson 5
Lesson 6
Lesson 7
Lesson 8
Lesson 9
Lesson 10

video
 
Hello there, thanks for choosing to join me for Introduction to Business Etiquette, the first lesson of my online course, Business Etiquette for Professionals. More and more in our world today we are realizing the value of understanding and applying the skills of business etiquette in all our everyday interactions. As an alumna of the University of the Western Indies and of the University of Oxford's Foreign Service program, I started my career as a teacher, but as fate would have it, one day I heard a knock on my classroom door and it was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, informing me that I had been nominated to go on a study tour of Japan that was in the late 1980s, and from then on I found myself in a world of diplomats and government representatives of different countries and different cultures. That was indeed a period of learning, personal enhancement and service at the highest level for me. When I joined the Foreign Service, I knew nothing about diplomacy, but I learned soon enough that diplomacy was about professionalism at its highest level, and I learned a lot about protocol, etiquette and professionalism. During this period I realized how invaluable knowing and understanding business etiquette is. After several years, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I started my own consultancy offering training for personal and professional development, and my motto since then has been "Bringing out your best through training". I also went into the private sector and served as the executive director of the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association. Now, having worked both with government dignitaries and diplomats, as well as with senior company executives, I've learned so much which have contributed to my own professional development, and that was the rationale for starting my consultancy Protocol Caribbean, through which I provide training in protocol etiquette, customer experience and professionalism in the workplace, among other various subjects. Over the years, I have delivered several face to face workshops and seminars, including on business etiquette, and now I am more than happy to extend my knowledge and experience the business etiquette enthusiasts internationally via this online course. As we start this Business etiquette course, I want to ask you a thought provoking question: what would you give to know how to behave or what to do in any given professional or social situation? People judge you by how you act and react to circumstances, and they notice seemingly little things like how you present yourself and how you introduce yourself or how you speak to others. If you do these things well, if you seem like you know what you're about, they want to get close to you. I mean, they want to associate with you, and this goes for any aspect of etiquette or professionalism. I recall a time I was at a meeting in another island, and because my Minister had not yet arrived, I had to speak on my country's progress on a particular issue. And as a Foreign Service officer, I did what I had to do, being familiar with the issues. The result, afterward, there were ministers of other governments who wanted to know who I was. Then there's the exchange of business cards, which would take place during those meetings; colleagues from other countries listened to me and were impressed with how I spoke and represented my country and government. Afterwards they would come and see, can we stay in touch then? They offered their business cards and I would offer mine. And when I got back to my office, if there was anything that our two countries needed collaboration on, you bet that one of us would call the other. That became the norm. So I knew that networking well was an important part of business etiquette. At these meetings, I even observed both the professional and the unprofessional way to present and receive a business card. My question to you: what do you think is the professional way to present a business card? You attend a conference abroad or even at home and meet a lot of new people. What is the professional way to give your business card to another delegate after the meeting? If you chose four, option four, then you are quite right. In the area of dining etiquette. I recall dining in Taiwan as a member of the then Prime Minister's visiting delegation. While eating and using my chopsticks naturally and confidently. The Chinese official beside me was so impressed he asked me where I learned to use chopsticks, and that was the beginning of our good conversation and heightened respect from senior officials of Taiwan. This tells me that showing respect, an appreciation for another's culture is also a helpful skill in business etiquette. When people see that you know what you're about, they want to do business with you. Somehow, even if they don't admit it, they're curious about what makes you good at what you do and they want to associate with you. The fact is, a s professionals, we ought to continue to strive to know, accept, and appreciate the culture of other people. After several years in the foreign Service, I went into the private sector and served as the executive director of the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association for over about six years. There, I also represented my Association at meetings and conferences at home and abroad and found that the same skills of diplomacy and professionalism which I used in the Foreign Service were absolutely relevant, as I sought to build a professional networking circle in the private sector. I found too, that because I seemed to know what I was about. It was the time in the history of the Association that more businesses join the Association and more members came to attend Association meetings. I got many compliments and words of encouragement which motivated me to do even better. As a result of what I consider my understanding of protocol, etiquette, diplomacy, and the networking skills I learnt in the Foreign Service, I was able to contribute to the growth and impact of the hotel Association. Consequently, in 2005, I was awarded Executive Director of the Year by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA); and in that same year I also received an award from the Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE) for Excellence in Communication. This led many companies to invite me to create workshops covering various aspects of etiquette, such as business etiquette, professionalism in the workplace, and dining etiquette for their staff. When I first started teaching business etiquette in the Corporate world, I had to customize what I knew about business etiquette in the Diplomatic world to what I thought those businesses, such as banks, utility companies, insurance companies needed;
00:09:47.380 - Speaker 1 and I realized that everything was relevant. Though, examples, circumstances and situations differed. The same principles, guidelines, we use in Diplomatic circles, meeting and greeting, introducing ourselves and introducing others the same handshake, hugs, bows and kisses are very applicable when business people meet over lunch or at a meeting. What I'm saying is that from my experience, etiquette and courtesies are as relevant in the business world as they are in the foreign
00:10:30.450 - Speaker 1 If you know how to relate to a representative of another country, you certainly know how to relate to a business executive from another company; and this will contribute positively, not only to your company's image, but even more so to your personal image and acceptance. My motto from the time I started my training consultancy was "Bringing out your best through training", and it's been a joy to meet past participants after several years and to hear them introducing me to someone saying that I taught them protocol or I taught them etiquette. Some have even told me they still refer to my training manual from a course they attended eight or ten years ago. One businessman told me that he went to a country in the Far East and the manufacturer was hesitant to do business with him. But he said when they went to lunch and when that manufacturer saw how he handled himself at the table, he was ready to sign the contract. That businessman then told me how grateful he was to have attended one of my dining etiquette seminars. Knowing how to handle yourself at a business meal is part of business etiquette. This is where I will take the opportunity to invite you to click the sign up link, if you haven't yet enrolled in this online course, Business Etiquette for Professionals. In this course, I will help you understand and be able to apply business etiquette skills which apply to all professional and social situations. Understanding etiquette has helped me to feel confident in any situation and to gain the respect of persons in diplomatic circles, as well as in business. This course will help you build your confidence and your networking skills.
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