Last week, a mail popped up in my inbox from one of my HRs informing me of a training session in Business Etiquette. I knew what the word Etiquette meant, but Business Etiquette was something that had me guessing. I googled the term and came up with the definition of Etiquette first.
Etiquette, a French word, is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to certain conventional norms within a society, social class or group.
The meaning of Business etiquette was a bit weird. Good manners, loyalty and commitment towards ones organization. The next line was much better, Set of written and unwritten rules that make social interactions run more smoothly. Then came the statement, To avoid Cultural Shock. What is Cultural Shock? There is actually a whole topic on Cultural Shock in Wikipedia. It is the difficulty people face when they have to adjust to a new culture that differs from their own.
Having understood vaguely the meaning of Business Etiquette, I got the permission from my manager to attend the training. Just as I was about to close my PC on Wednesday evening, I get another mail from the same guy giving us some assignments for the next day. An SOP and our job description. Statement of Purpose in half a day after traveling in a government bus for two hours! Phew! As usual, Raghav came to my rescue. Helped me out with the SOP. Completed and mailed it at midnight! Only God knows how many mistakes there were in it!
Explaining a two-day session in detail is impossible. However, will hit the highlights. The trainers had come from IXL Incorporated, an International Organization that focuses on People Development and Empowerment. Two people, Mr. David Nair, founder of IXL Inc., and Ms. Chandrika. The essence of the program was Change! There were many changes that we needed to make in ourselves to accelerate our growth. That was the bottom line of the two-day session.
The first day started off with a late comer and that made him the favorite of our trainer. Any demonstration, he was the one!! 🙂 Punctuality! That’s Business Etiquette 101. David Nair is one of the most dynamic people I have ever seen. Full of energy and enthusiasm. Exaggerating everything to make sure that we would never forget it in our lives. Picking on us at every opportunity that he got, or should I say, that we provided. Obsessed Learning! Read, Listen and Associate! That was the next lesson we had. Reading is very important. As David used to put it, Reeadaa Reeadaa Reeadaa!!! 🙂 Thats how important it is!
The most interesting session was the Dinning Etiquette. Though there is a simpler way of eating the same dish, Etiquette demands that we do it the complicated way. Still, it was fun. Thank god, I didn’t break any of the chinaware during lunch. The rest of the sessions focused on simpler concepts. Politeness, Courtesy, etc.
There were two other sessions worth mentioning. One was Toilet Etiquette. They actually gave us an overview on how to use the conveniences in various countries across the world. For an Indian, the toilets can be pretty confusing. David did narrate many true stories. Some were like OMG! Did this really happen?? 🙂 Not going into those now! The second was related to Personal Grooming and Dressing. I get using deodorants and even perfumes, but creams, toners, etc. is a bit too much. As far as the dressing part goes, it’s all about looking good and wearing clothes that we feel comfortable in and also suit us.
The second day ended with a video of Nick Vujicic. An inspirational video of a guy born with no limbs! Check out his website people! Life Without Limbs. His life is an inspiration to many people across this world. Please donate to his Noble cause, the organization Life Without Limbs, if you can. If there is one thing that I can say, He is definitely an inspiration to me.
This was just a gist of the two-day program. Change overnight is not possible, but adopting some of the things discussed is elementary. Like, punctuality, courtesy, being polite to people at all levels, etc. All that is needed is to make a conscious effort to do so. Those two days were filled with fun, learning and a lesson. I am sure, people will adopt at least one thing they learned that day in their regular lives. When they see the change, they may try out the rest! This session was not to teach how to eat or how to use the conveniences. As we all know, When in Rome, do as the Romans do. That’s what this is about!