Here are the embarassing modern etiquette mistakes you are probably making:
This week, I asked Emma Dupont, a certified modern etiquette coach to tell us how we can improve our etiquette.
Read on if you want to know the common mistakes many people make and want to know how to stop making them.
1- For how long have you been teaching modern etiquette.
I began my career path in the Finance Sector, gaining fifteen years of experience working in the City of London as a qualified Independent Financial Adviser.
During the last five years of this career, my clients comprised many nationalities. As our long-term professional relationship deepened, I learned about their frustrations about understanding British culture and their need for etiquette lessons.
Many of my clients moved to the UK from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Russia and were finding it hard to integrate with British people. This was primarily due to cultural differences, and some were even suffering from social anxiety, which was rather heart-breaking to hear.
After all, it is challenging to feel truly happy and settled if one feels misunderstood, leading to low self-esteem and uncertainty. This experience led me to take a keen interest in etiquette, cultural differences, and how gaining knowledge through etiquette lessons and implementing the skills could significantly influence confidence and success.
Subsequently, I decided to embark on a career change, retrain, and gain my Etiquette Coach Certification. It is the best decision I have ever made!
I have been coaching and mentoring international ladies through my etiquette lessons for the last eight years, helping them gain confidence, elegance, and poise through my British etiquette courses in London.
Following the global pandemic, I decided to take my business entirely online, enabling me to connect with more women globally who wish to learn these skills from the comfort of their homes. As a result, I have extensive experience with various cross-cultural diversities.
2- Where did you educate yourself?
Like most etiquette coaches, I began by reading numerous books on the topics of social and business etiquette. Then in 2014, I obtained my Train the Trainer Certification through one of the UK’s leading etiquette schools and subsequently worked alongside the team on a consultancy basis for three years while building my own business.
3- Why do you think modern etiquette is important?
Etiquette is merely a set of rules that govern civilised societies; it has little to do with class systems or wealth but simply guidelines on appropriate behaviour.
There will always be rules, and these evolve; for example, social media etiquette is essential now, whereas gentleman walking nearest to the curb when escorting a lady is somewhat outdated (but nice if you can find one that still does!).
Some rules are more subtle; for example, it’s bad etiquette to ‘bag’ a table in Starbucks before you queue to order your coffee! So, without often realising it, we are conducting ourselves with some level of etiquette.
Often people see ‘etiquette’ as outdated, but I find the best way to highlight its importance is to compare British rules with Middle Eastern Rules. In many of these countries, you could, at best, seriously offend someone, and at worst, find oneself in prison! So, it’s vital to be aware of these rules to avoid embarrassing ourselves and others.
What are the common mistakes women make when it comes to etiquette when going out for dinner?
The central faux pas I see is ladies rushing through a meal and not savouring each bite or pacing oneself with one’s dining companion. Also, a prevalent mistake is buttering a whole slice of bread in one go and biting into it. The correct handling of flatware is also necessary; sometimes, it can appear as if a woman is conducting an orchestra! Dining well is essential if a lady wishes to appear elegant; without this skill, it doesn’t matter how much her outfit or bag costs; she will look common and uneducated.
How can someone improve their etiquette?
By taking one of my programmes of course! But seriously, it’s about observing what others are doing and taking the time to educate oneself. Ultimately acquiring knowledge of etiquette is very powerful; it enables one to accept any invitation with confidence, ensuring we have the mental space to focus on others to make them feel at ease. The result is the ability to form relationships and friendships more easily. Also, when you know the rules, you can decide which ones to break; my courses aim to empower women to make those choices as they see fit and adapt them when needed. It’s like having a toolbox in your back pocket to pull out when you need to.
Where to find you for more?
If you enjoyed this interview, you can grab Emma's modern etiquette course by clicking here. It is an affiliate link and I get a commission when you purchase. It helps me create more FREE content for you.
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