The Protocol School of Washington recently celebrated its 30th Anniversary by holding an Educational Summit in Washington, DC. Graduates of the program were able to attend and take courses to continue learning about protocol, etiquette and intercultural understanding. Sessions such as, Leadership Essentials, What it Takes to be a Girl Boss, Exhibiting Grace Under Pressure, Proper Protocol and Etiquette When Doing Business, and Enhancing Customer Engagement were just a few of the workshops I attended. I’m always trying to learn and stay ahead of the curve on how I can provide additional information to my clients and improve their outcomes. Manners and inter-cultural understanding are becoming more and more of a necessity in the workplace.
The summit was not only filled with amazing workshops, but it also provided an opportunity to network with other professionals in the field. The closing speaker ended with a great conversation around having permission to feel and understanding emotional intelligence. Conversations are increasing in the workplace around Emotional Intelligence. If we don’t get on board and join the dialogue, we will be left behind. As I surveyed the room, there were very few African Americans teaching any of the classes; however, we had some representation as attendees. It was good to see fellow Angeleno Renee Robinson, director at Robinsons Institute of Protocol and Etiquette, there. The two of us enjoyed reconnecting and sharing notes and thoughts about next steps. We agree that it is important for us to rise in leadership in this arena. The workplace continues to grow in diversity with people from various backgrounds and all walks of life. We need to help lead the conversation.
As I talk about the topic of protocol and etiquette, the first thing most people think about are table manners. Although knowing which fork or knife to use while dining is important, there’s so much more that falls under the category of understanding proper protocol and etiquette, especially in the workplace. I find it a shame that there are people today that have totally brushed aside their home training, such as saying thank you, please, and pardon me; to just name a few. I believe if people practiced a little more civility and had proper manners the world would be a better place. Kindness may be a small thing, but it can have big dividends. If in the process of working together and communicating, we stopped and tried to understand where someone else may be coming from before forcing them to understand our point of view it may help increase positive relationships and ultimately better domestic and global relations.
Harold Kushner said, “do things for people not because of who they are or what they can do in return, but because of who you are.” When we rise above the crowd, sit at the table of brotherly love and extend grace and kindness (even when we think the other person doesn’t deserve it) we are not only minding our manners, but we will leave an impression that has long lasting results. Your actions can change the trajectory both in the workplace and in one’s personal life. If you don’t know where to start just go back to the basics. Instead of just practicing the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, also think of how they would want to be treated starting with respect and an openness to understanding who and where they may be coming from.
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Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com, www.SeasonofGreatness.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, author and speaker.