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By Marnie KantToday’s global economy demands polished flexibility and professionalism.? Such things as your appearance, style of dress, mannerism and body language can be more influential than your actual business knowledge.? This is because it is common for people to assess you by face value alone.? Switzerland,Cheap Jerseys, the United Kingdom and most Metropolitan countries have had long histories of establishments called Finishing Schools which were intended to complete the education experience of young people.Two centuries ago the term Finishing School was generally used to refer to certain small women’s colleges that were structured to prepare their young female students for marriage.? The number of such schools diminished with the rise of feminism in the Twentieth Century which made it easier for women to aspire to and achieve loftier goals.? Women’s Lib and its concepts revolutionalised the whole Finishing concept and shifted its focus to preparing both men and women for adulthood and the business environment.? The aim was to teach the art of transitioning easily from informal to formal situations.People of the Caribbean, Guyanese especially, have always been known for our hospitality and kindness but over the last few years (some say a decade or more) a certain crassness has crept in.? The love and respect that used to characterize all relationships with neighbours and strangers alike is noticeably missing, or is diminished.? These days we feel entitled to speak even in an office setting in harsh tones with the kind of coarseness that used to be reserved for industrial environments.? No doubt some of this coarseness spills over into our interactions with visitors to Guyana, manifesting sometimes as impatience, unwillingness and aggression.“It was not uncommon a few decades ago for Guyanese children to learn proper etiquette right in the home and at school inside and outside the classrooms.? Everyone is busy in today’s world and too often the teaching of social skills is left up to class teachers but the success rate in the conventional school system could be described as pitiful.? Proper etiquette may no longer be an integral part of early education as it once was but it remains extremely vital in the world of business and in the social arena.? There are just no compromises for missteps or a misspoken word in a corporate boardroom or at a business luncheon.? Much of the basic social graces begin to be taught during a young person’s formative years but the tutoring has to continue beyond the time a person steps into the world of business.”Guyanese have not so far had much exposure to tutoring in social etiquette except as a segment of customer relations and company image building training programmes, but this is about to change.? New York-based founder of Etiquette Training International (ETI), Mrs. Phillipa Morrish, has come home to Guyana to facilitate the first of a series of Finishing School-like and social etiquette programmes for school leavers, business professionals and people who function in the hospitality/tourism industry.“I bring a unique perspective to teaching social protocol in Guyana,” she said.? “I understand and love Guyanese culture having been born and raised there until 1978.? I was delighted to observe a high level of enthusiasm for Guyana’s expansion into the area of tourism … all regions seemed to be expanding their social and entertainment facilities to ensure visitors have the best time possible.”For years she has been observing Guyana’s strenuous efforts to foster tourism, to bring the international community to our shores.? Tourism and all its requirements and services demand that the tour operators and the citizenry in general are exposed to international standards.? This is where Phillipa’s considerable expertise is required since it directly impacts Guyana’s goal of making Guyana a choice destination for ecotourism.During a visit home in 2009 she observed that there was an almost overwhelming need for exposure to social protocols across the board.?? “If we are hoping to attract international guests, we must understand their cultural differences and preferences in order to be good hosts,” she said.?? There is active global competition for the same cosmopolitan guests, she explained,Authentic China NFL Jerseys, which is why Guyana must not only offer a spectacular product in our pristine forests, our extensive range of unique flora and fauna and our preserved indigenous cultures, our people must also be well equipped to render superlative services, demonstrate kindness and respect, and practise the protocols that are considered to be absolutely necessary in the hospitality industry internationally.Social Protocol Consultant,NFL Jerseys Cheap, Phillipa MorrishAnyone who has travelled extensively would agree that concerns about good manners and protocols are shared by the international community.? ‘The world is a global village’ is a widely used term and it becomes poignantly relevant when we encounter foreigners whom we know have high expectations for quality.?? Guests who are accustomed to excellence immediately feel the difference and recognise the absence of training and exposure to social protocols.One of Phillipa’s major concerns is the fact that negative images and stories of bad experiences travel much faster than positive ones via the same media that mould the world into a global village – the internet, television and high tech communication gadgetry.? This, she believes, is one very significant reason why every host country which offers tourism as an import must ensure that its citizenry is exposed to social etiquette training.? In addition, it would be difficult to identify the areas that need improvement without exposure to the higher standards of service delivery.? “To keep civilization balanced we have to work harder to circulate mankind’s highest values (kindness and respect),” the certified Protocol Consultant quipped, adding that this is the “most significant reason for the recent worldwide resurgence in teaching civility and sophistry”.Mediocrity is not an option.? This is the key to Phillipa’s approach and the sum of the factors that motivated her to pursue this discipline.? She related a story of sitting at the dinner table of a family friend in Guyana during her childhood and being totally clueless about the use of cutlery.? Years later she married an American Liaison Officer who worked closely with the United States Congress out of the US Army’s Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn.? She quickly realized that with all her academic achievements (then a BA, English Language, University of Guyana and Universidat di Aruba) she was socially unprepared for the lifestyle and cultural events she was asked to attend and undertake.? She did the next best thing – she enrolled in the Ophelia DeVore School of Charm in New York and did further training at Minding Manners Academy, London, England.By 1999 she was a certified Protocol Consultant teaching business and social etiquette to teens and adults, preparing them for a variety of social situations.? They included Federal Correction Officers, members of private high-end clubs, and high school seniors about to leave private schools.? Phillipa’s adult life has also involved extensive travel.? Along the way she honed her skills by observing the nuances of the cultures in Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, North and South America which she integrated into the curricula of the Etiquette Training International School of Business Protocol which she founded and headquartered at Bay Ridge Parkway,Cheap Stitched Jerseys, Brooklyn, New York.TRAINING FOR YOUNG & PROFESSIONAL GUYANESEPhillipa has been hands-on organizing the courses in Guyana scheduled for August 3rd to 6th for school leavers, and 9th to 12th for professionals at the Guyana Pegasus.? She is has been working closely with school administrators and business executives in the public and private sector and has been amazed at the positive response the course has received especially? from people working in the education sector, in the civil service and the hospitality industry. They have told her enthusiastically that this kind of training and exposure comes at a very opportune time in Guyana’s development, and have asked her to turn the course into an annual series at least to reach as many people as possible.“We are all in need of this level training,” one happy prospective participant stated.? The almost hearty response these courses have evoked in Guyana has encouraged Phillipa to begin creating a series of programmes in Guyana, some of which would be specially designed for the business sectors.?? She has already been approached by several organizations requesting specialized courses for their employees.Modules for the August courses at the Pegasus include Handshakes and Introductions,Wholesale Jerseys, Creating a Positive First Impression, Clear and Confident Elocution, Posture and Deportment, Etiquette at the dining table/in a restaurant, Business Lunches, Wardrobe Chic for men and Women, and Striding Confidently in a Strange Country.? The courses will involve interactive sessions and demonstrations on formal and casual table settings, standing, sitting and walking with poise, introducing oneself in different circumstances, and the art of ‘mirroring’.? Especially for the younger people she will focus on job interviews, CV preparation and techno-telephone etiquette.This social education programme is designed to gear participants to step confidently into the harsh realities of our world, to stand out from the competition, to seamlessly transition from one circumstance to another with confidence, charm and elegance, and to be prepared for the unexpected.?? From personal experience she knows that “there is nothing more embarrassing than to be thrust into a new situation where etiquette is required and not know what to do or say”.The bedrock of Phillipa’s commitment to improving social protocols wherever she goes is her favorite quote, the words of Allison Lurie: “Long before I am near enough to begin a conversation with you on the street, in a meeting or at a party, you announce your gender, age and social class to me … and very possibly give me important information (or misinformation) as to your occupation, origin, personality, opinions, tastes and current mood.? By the time we meet and converse, we have already spoken to each other in an older and more universal tongue.”? These words, Phillipa believes, should be remembered by everyone; they should direct our actions and thoughts, our body language, our treatment of others and the resolution of difficult situations.ETI’s curriculum goes way beyond the strict rules of etiquette, Phillipa said.? She offers a fresh approach to contemporary social skills and image management.? She teaches how best to evaluate each social and business circumstance and how to respond with appropriate dress and behavior depending on the relevant cultural situation.?? Image to her is everything that depends on the presentation of self and surroundings.? It is a very effective communication tool that will define and develop a personal or professional brand.

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