Now that The Etiquette Academy of New England's “Holiday Etiquette Month” campaign is well underway, we would like to share one of our submitted stories to your from an individual in our community who requested to remain anonymous.
This past Thanksgiving I volunteered to host this year’s feast, and quickly began to rethink this decision, as I have never hosted a Thanksgiving dinner in my whole life! Instead of immediately panicking, I chose to “think outside the box” by hosting a “Friendsgiving Potluck”.
At first, I was a bit apprehensive in proposing this unorthodox plan to my guests, as I didn’t want to appear unwilling to host. I simply wanted to ensure that the entire holiday went flawlessly, from start to finish, for everyone involved. Turns out, my family and friends were so grateful that I was opening up my home for the big gathering that they were more than delighted to assist me in my hosting duties.
After speaking with everyone and learning which dish they are famous for at the holidays, I was able to assign the hors d'oeuvres and the Thanksgiving trimmings to the appropriate people. I felt that assigning myself the turkey was the best route to take in order to fulfill my duties as host.
Not only did everyone, myself included, thoroughly enjoy our meal, but we were all able to take pride in the fact that we came together and had each made a contribution to this deliciously, successful feast. After my last guest left, I found myself feeling genuinely grateful…not only for the amazing meal that was settling nicely in my stomach, but for the love and support that I had felt and received from my family and friends. That sense of togetherness is what the holidays are all about, and for that I am extremely thankful.
Thank you to everyone that participated and submitted stories! Remember to share your experience, thoughts and ideas with us on Facebook and Twitter #holidayetiquettemonth or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The Power of Manners"
Having manners and following proper etiquette has always been an integral component in my career’s success. Early on in my professional life, I had an interview to be a member of the Royal Squadron for His Majesty’s Aircraft. This consisted of meeting with the General of the Jordanian Army and a Captain of the Royal Jordanian Air Force.
As I entered the room where I would be interviewed, I surveyed that the General was sitting further way, while the Captain conducted the interview. I knew the importance of greeting everyone in the room, so I made sure to make eye contact with the General and acknowledge him. The General kept silent, but his nod and quick smile served as reinforcement that my instinct to address him, even though it was non-verbal, was correct.
The Captain, who was hosting the event, inquired if I knew what the interview was about. Again, I followed my instincts, which told me that I should know all of the facts before responding in order to be able to hold a cognizant conversation. I replied to the Captain and told him that I would very much appreciate his insights into the requirements for this position. I saw a quick smile appear, once again, and I knew that I was hitting my mark. After he explained the scope of the position and its requirements, we were able to have an informative and pleasant conversation.
Throughout the interview, I made sure that my answers were concise and illustrated by examples. Even then, I knew the important of treating an interview like a dance. The interviewer takes the lead and you follow in suit.
I waited for my cue that would signal the interview had come to an end, which came when the Captain stood up. I followed his lead by standing up to say my goodbyes, offered a firm handshake while looking the Captain in the eye, extended the same courtesy to the General, and was on my way.
Soon after my interview, I received an invitation to become a member of the Royal Squadron for His Majesty’s Aircraft. Later that month, I had completed royal protocol training and my instincts had been confirmed. I had learned that through making eye contact, properly reading cues and following the interviewer’s lead, I had made a positive impression, which led to my being offered this coveted position.
Throughout the duration of my time with the Royal Squadron, I learned many more skills that served me well on various levels. These skills aided me in impressing my college interviewer in the United States, helped me establish a good rapport with all of my professors and guided me in making positive impressions on my colleagues and clients in the world of investment banking and management.
More recently, my expertise in manners and etiquette impressed a powerful investor, who in turn supported my business plan and vision allowing me to create a program where I can teach these unique, important skills to both youths and adults. Regardless of your background or field, making people feel respected and comfortable is the key to both your professional and personal success.
The Etiquette Academy of New England
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