“What is the single most important thing for a person to know when hiring an etiquette/image coach?” was the question that Walethia Aquil, CEO at GraceandCharm, asked me in an interview in 2010. When it comes to hiring an Etiquette Consultant many people would say “An etiquette certification from a reputable institution”. However, I personally would consider that as just one criteria among many others.
Let’s not forget the benefits that YOU as an individual or corporate employee can gain from some etiquette training:
* You will feel more comfortable because you know how to behave in different situations.
* You will be surrounded by people who enjoy your company because you are confident and poised.
* You will get along with other people easier and it will help you to draw people to you.
* Be it business or personal, it will help you in the initial establishment of any sort of relationship.
* You can set yourself apart from the competition. It will open up plethora of good career prospects and job opportunities.
* You will be able to converse with confidence and diplomatic ease at any level.
* Good manners means good business. It will help you to create more business opportunities and increase your clientele. Better and more higher paying clients will be the result.
* You will learn how to avoid international, social or professional faux pas.
* It promotes respect, civility and teamwork to keep dedication and morale high.
Hiring an Etiquette Consultant
If you are a company or an educational institution that considers hiring an Etiquette Consultant in order to get your staff/students trained in etiquette matters, I would focus on the following 10 criteria:
- Years of experience
How many years of experience does this consultant/coach/trainer have in this particular sector? Did the trainer also gain some international experience? This is particularly important if you want to train your staff in cross-cultural matters! Imagine … you would need to train your staff on Italian business etiquette and the trainer you are considering has read lots of books about the subject matter, but never lived there. How credible would you consider the person’s advice?
- The person’s reputation
What do other people say about this coach? (the press, testimonials from the corporate website, clients on the internet, reviews, etc.). When hiring an Etiquette Consultant I would not just rely on what I hear and see but would actively try to approach those who have given positive feedback.
- Other credentials
Does this Etiquette Consultant also have other credentials? Has the person written an etiquette book? Is the etiquette consultant featured in the media? Is s/he a regular guest on a TV show? Does the person give public speeches at reputable events? Can you find a corporate blog in which the expertise is shown?
- Customer Service
How much does this Etiquette Consultant care about their clients? I would approach the person by email, on the phone or – if not living too far away – personally. I would pay attention as to how much time and attention the Etiquette Consultant dedicates to me as a potential client. I would expect great customer service.
- The Consultant’s manners
Is the Etiquette Professional applying all those etiquette rules that s/he is preaching to their students/clients? Getting the opportunity to interact with the person will definitely give you a much better understanding. Try to call and see how friendly the person comes across. Try to send an email and see how the Etiquette Professional replies. Try to meet the person face to face in a cafe or restaurant, how does the person interact and see how the person interacts in an other setting in person and see howperson , try to send an email and see I would try to contact the person on the phone, by email or/and in person. This would give me a quite good idea about it.
- The passion
And once you get to talk to him/her personally, how passionate does s/he sound about this subject, his core business?
- Customized Training Solutions
Is this Etiquette Consultant able and willing to deliver a tailor-made training program for my specific needs?
What is the image/appearance of the Etiquette Professional? How does the Etiquette Consultant present themselves?
- Etiquette Certification
Did the Etiquette Trainer gain their etiquette certification from a reputable institution such as The Protocol School of Washington or other ones?
- Presentation Style
What is the coaching/training/presenting style of the Etiquette Consultant? I would highly recommend when hiring an Etiquette Consultant to first do some research and try to find videos online or video podcasts. This would give you a much better understanding as to how the Etiquette Consultant speaks, presents themselves, interacts with the audience etc. Getting this kind of insight would be highly beneficial, videos can be very powerful. Imagine… you come across an Etiquette Consultant who has a highly professional website. Once you start checking out the person’s videos you feel completely put off by the person’s voice and presentation style. You will be grateful having had the opportunity to see videos first, before hiring an Etiquette Consultant.
Let me show you some videos in which you see 5 professional Etiquette Consultants in action. You will learn a lot in the process. So, make sure you watch them all to the end. I promise it’s going to be entertaining!
Who would you hire after watching these videos and why? Please share your thoughts in the comment section. Thanks!
# 1 Rosalinda Randall, www.RosalindaRandall.com, USA
# 2 – Patricia Rossi, http://www.PatriciaRossi.com, USA
Who would you hire after watching these videos and why? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks!
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Author: Karin Schroeck-Singh
Karin Schroeck-Singh is a trilingual Career Optimizer at www.Careerheads.com. She has an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and gained 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Her passion lies in creating multilingual, high-quality content in career matters, giving highly engaging public speeches and helping job seekers to optimize their career by providing professional coaching. She is the author of several ebooks, among them “44 Tips for a successful Video Interview” (http://careerheads.com/product/ebook-44-tips-for-a-successful-video-interview/). She has written several career and business articles for international HR and Marketing companies. Her favourite motto is “Learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime!” Follow her on Twitter @CareerHeads.