Living in the marvelously quirky Pacific Northwest, my interest in etiquette may seem somewhat misplaced. Certainly, I’ve always associated proper manners with British aristocracy and southern belles. Yet it only takes one bad date, one awkward cocktail party, or one uncomfortable business interview to realize that expectations of etiquette are out there, whether we know the rules or not.
During my transition from college to career, I quickly learned that I had some significant gaps in my education. University courses didn’t cover small talk at cocktail parties or protocol at business dinners. So, as I began building up my career, I became a student of business etiquette.
When colleagues found out about my research, they asked me to give seminars on what I’d learned. I realized that we had many of the same questions, and understanding the rules of etiquette gave each of us more confidence to face unfamiliar situations. Once we stopped worrying about whether or not we were using the right fork, we could turn our attention to the people around us.
And that sparked Best Etiquette. By learning the rules of etiquette, we are more confident, poised, and exquisitely ourselves.