Minding Your Manners When Dining Abroad

by Jacqueline Whitmore

A Tea Discussion

Lack of preparation seems to be a shortcoming for many U.S. executives who conduct business overseas. Few people take the time to do their homework so they can learn to interact comfortably with people of other cultures. Executives from other countries, on the other hand, often spend substantial time and money researching U.S. businesses and social customs.

To stay competitive, cultural competence and a global mindset are a must. You must be willing and able to adapt to the client’s culture and ways of doing business. Of particular interest are the nuances of dining out in a foreign country, since we all must take meals, often together. Here are some of the cultural differences you might encounter. Read more.

 

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The 7 Qualities of People Who Are Highly Respected

by Jacqueline Whitmore

We are judged by how we treat people who have less power or status than we have. Be nice to everyone you interact with and your kindness will come back to you in abundance.

It’s also important to show respect. Respect is something not automatically given. It must be earned. When you’re in a leadership position, it is imperative that the people with whom you work respect you. They might respect your work habits, your intelligence, or your ability to close a deal. Yet, there’s more to respect than that. If you can earn their respect as a person, then you’ve really won the game.

Here are seven qualities of people who are highly respected. Read more.

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9 Ways to Adopt the Better Habits You Know Will Help You Succeed

by Jacqueline Whitmore
Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Every year, I set goals for myself. Some people call these goals resolutions. Among my many “wishes,” I strive to be fitter, eat healthier, write more and play more. This means I have to alter an existing behavior and insert a new one in its place, and this takes discipline.

Change is always difficult, but it can be done, with a little bit of willpower. Above all, it’s best to be patient and kind with yourself as you make your desired changes.

If you want to achieve your goals, here simple steps to get you on track to better habits. Read more.

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8 Ways Leaders Spend Their Time After Hours

by Jacqueline Whitmore
Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

When I’m not at work, I love going to the gym, taking long walks with my Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Cooper and Abigail, and traveling. I learned a long time ago that it’s important to play as hard as you work.

When I started my business in 1998, I worked all the time, night and day. There was so much to do to get my business up and running. In the process, however, I forgot to take care of myself and I got very sick. Now I know better.

Today, my motto is “Health is wealth.” If you don’t have your health, you can’t work. And if you can’t work, you can’t pay your bills. If you can’t pay your bills, you’ll go broke. Overtime, you’ll find yourself caught up in a downward spiral.

If you want a healthy mind, body and spirit, it’s important to cherish your leisure time.

Even the most successful people find the time to balance work with play. I hope you’ll enjoy a recent article I wrote for Entrepreneur.com titled, “8 Ways Leaders Spend Their Time After Hours.”

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2016 Winter Mastermind Program

by Jacqueline Whitmore

Could you benefit from a change in perspective? Want to grow your business and become more prosperous in 2016? Take action and join my 2016 Winter Mastermind Program!

The Consultants Connection allows members to share and discuss business needs and concerns, as well as steps and stumbles in a warm, friendly, and supportive environment.

This interactive forum is designed to help you build your business through continuing education, camaraderie and inspiration.

The Consultants Connection is for you if:

  • You are a business owner, trainer, consultant, coach or executive leader.
  • You are serious about taking your business to the next level and are willing to make the investment and do the hard work it takes to get there.
  • You are willing to share and exchange ideas and business strategies with other high-level partners.
  • You are tired of trial and error and want clarity and focus on the proven systems and strategies of high-performers.

There will be three, 75-minute teleconference sessions every month for three months and one 30-minute private session with Jacqueline.

2016 Winter Mastermind Schedule
Monday, January 18 at 3:00pm – 4:15pm EST
Monday, February 22, 3:00pm – 4:15pm EST
Monday, March 21, 3:00pm – 4:15pm EST

The topics of discussion will help you expand the way you look at your business, deepen your relationship with your clients, increase your fees, and transform your inner critic.

Each call will consist of not only an inspiring topic, but also a feedback forum where a participant (or two) can get the group’s collective brain trust to focus on his or her goal or challenge.

If you miss a meeting, that’s not a problem. All meetings are recorded. Group size is limited to 10 people.

Investment is $499.00. To register, email info@EtiquetteExpert.com or call 561-510-1029.

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3 Ways to Receive a Compliment With Grace

by Jacqueline Whitmore

It seems like compliments are exchanged as much, if not more, than gifts during the holiday season. If you’re like most, you’re eager to receive a compliment — especially from someone you admire — but aren’t sure what to say in response.

Many people downplay compliments to avoid the appearance of conceit. It’s so common that sociolinguists have categorized the three responses to a compliment: acceptance, deflection or rejection. Rather than humbly accept or outright reject the kind words, individuals often choose to deflect or dilute the compliment.

You may be tempted to respond with denial or self-insult. It’s easy to say something like, “Thank you, but this pie recipe is so easy, a monkey could have made it,” or “Thanks, but I’ve had this outfit for 10 years; it’s practically falling apart!” Others ask for additional reassurance: “Really? I felt like I completely botched that introduction.”

Though you may feel as if you’re responding appropriately, it only undermines the compliment or insults the giver. When you devalue a compliment, you can send the message that you have a low self-esteem, aren’t confident in your work or don’t respect the opinion of the person who gave you the praise.

If you frequently respond negatively to a compliment, retrain yourself to show gratitude. Here are 3 ways to accept a compliment during holiday gatherings and throughout the year:

  • Be gracious. Any time you receive a compliment, reply with “Thank you.” It’s a simple, but powerful phrase. The person bestowing the compliment will be most receptive to a humble response. Say something like, “Thank you, that’s very kind of you,” or “Thank you, I appreciate the compliment.”
  • Take one for the team. If the compliment is in regards to a team effort, acknowledge the contributions of your colleagues. Some powerful executives reach a point where they no longer publicly recognize or give credit to those who helped them succeed. This is the quickest way to lose friends.
  • Never undermine the compliment. Receive every compliment with unassuming gratitude. Avoid phrases like, “Oh, it’s no big deal,” or “Thanks, but it was nothing.” When you downplay a compliment, you may feel that you’re showing humility. Instead, it may make the person who gave you the compliment feel personally rejected.

For more tips on How To Receive a Compliment Without Being Awkward About It, read my article on Entrepreneur.com.

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6 Powerful Business Principles

by Jacqueline Whitmore

You may have all the awards and accolades and even know your product better than anyone in your industry. In today’s fast-paced and impersonal world, that’s not enough. Those who provide extraordinary service are the ones who are going to attract more customers, close more deals, and get ahead of their competitors. A dissatisfied customer can cost your business more than revenue — it can damage your reputation.

Here are six simple yet powerful business principles that will help you win relationships and earn repeat business:

Keep your word. Your credibility is dependent on your ability to keep your promises
Be honest. Be truthful in every aspect of your business.
Show up on time. Punctuality is a reflection of your overall organization.
Acknowledge mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes.
Handle conflicts gracefully. Disagreements and personality conflicts are part of doing business.
Don’t burn bridges. Today’s foe could be tomorrow’s ally.

For more business principles, read my book Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work.

What is your most important business principle? Leave your comment below.

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Ask the Etiquette Expert Jacqueline Whitmore

by Jacqueline Whitmore

How does social etiquette differ from business etiquette?

Listen to my “Ask the Etiquette Expert” interview with Jim Blasingame. I talk about how to compare and differentiate social etiquette in our daily lives and how we should behave in the business environment.

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Ask the Etiquette Expert Jacqueline Whitmore

by Jacqueline Whitmore

Is it okay if I give a client or colleague a hug or should I always shake hands?

Listen to my “Ask the Etiquette Expert” interview with Jim Blasingame as I talk about the current greeting practices, especially between men and women. Is hugging acceptable, should you shake hands, and who decides?

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6 Ways To Ace a Job Interview

by Jacqueline Whitmore
Photo credit: Aileen Pincus, Flickr

Photo credit: Aileen Pincus, Flickr

Interviews can unnerve even the most confident of job hunters. Your palms sweat, self-doubt creeps into your mind, and you think: What if I’m not qualified? Will they like me?

Most people think about job interviews as a way for the company to find the right employee, but they are also a chance for the applicant to interview the company.

I suggest that you take control of the interview, highlight your strengths, and go beyond the job description. Here are 6 ways to ace a job interview:

  1. Calm down. Anxiety often replaces confidence as you walk toward the boardroom for your interview. But if you’ve been invited to interview, your resume already convinced the company you’re qualified. Don’t think about your interview as a test—consider it a conversation.
  2. Go beyond Google. If you’ve done your research, you know how the company presents its business. Use your interview to dig deeper. Ask questions about company culture, and get a feel for what your interviewer enjoys about his or her job. Ask something like, “What do you enjoy most about your job?” Or, “What’s the best part of working here?” If the interviewer can’t think of an answer or says something generic, consider it a red flag.
  3. Bring a notebook. Write your questions down before the interview, and leave space for responses. You’ll appear prepared, confident and responsible—and it will give you something to do with your hands if you feel nervous. Your attention to detail will help you stand out.
  4. Balance benefits and work. A majority of your questions should focus on the job and what you can do for the company, instead of the benefits. When you ask a benefit question, frame it in a way that highlights your skills, like: “Does the company invest in continuing education for its employees?” or “What training and development programs are available?” It shows you want to continue to learn and grow with the company.
  5. Show your interest. Ask an open-ended question such as “How do you define success in this position?” This shows you want to be successful and sends the message that you’re seriously interested in working with the company. The employer’s answer will give insight into whether or not you’ll be a good fit.
  6. Be bold. Don’t be afraid to ask questions that put the interviewer on the spot. Ask, “How does your company foster growth and bring out the best in its employees?” Asking a bold question will highlight your confidence. If you discover the job’s not right for you, thank the employer and use the experience as a way to present yourself in a better light at your next interview.
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