In today's business environment knowing how to deal with people is a key factor for a business' success. Organizations that deal with customers face-to-face in particular are obligated to have good business etiquette. Business etiquette is about presenting oneself with pose and polish to show seriousness and professionalism. Having good business etiquette proves that one knows how to be comfortable around others while doing business. In hindsight, on November 4, 2011 the Baruch College FWA mentoring program had a special event in the Bank of America Corporate Headquarters regarding business etiquette. Beth Dorfman hosted this event along with the guest speaker, Bridgitt Haarsgaard. Bridgitt is the president of POINT Consulting Group and she did a magnificent job in providing the Baruch mentees with information and tips on business etiquette. The event was very interactive and catered to Baruch College mentees only.
The event started at 5pm in the executive dining room, which exposed a beautiful and panoramic view of Manhattan. The view of the city stimulated a desire in the mentees to want to learn while allowing them to reflect on the many opportunities in New York City.
The evening commenced with a communication skills exercise. In this exercise the mentees completed a social style questionnaire. The point of this exercise was for the mentees to learn about which social style category they could mostly relate to. The four categories were "Analytical", "Driving", "Expressive", and "Amiable"; Bridgitt explained each social style with illustrations and in great detail. She pointed out that the social styles are themes of behavior and that we all have characteristics of each style but have one dominant style. The exercise was very meaningful to the mentees because this relates to business etiquette. Having good business etiquette means knowing how to interact and be comfortable with different people and settings. It is very helpful to understand the different social styles that you will encounter when doing business, dealing with your boss, and your colleagues. As Bridgitt pointed out in her handout, "building familiarity and comfort with the behaviors of each Style allows people to work better with colleagues of all Styles…social and self-awareness is key to interpersonal success" as well.
Following through with the agenda, the next part was the Dining Etiquette. Good dining etiquette shows respect and good manners to whomever we are with. The mentees had dinner and were given pointers about "do's" and "don'ts" at the table. One of the valuable tips that Bridgitt gave the mentees was the rule of 13, in which she should wear a maximum of 13 accessories and if surpassed she is over-accessorized. Bridgitt also elaborated on some general dining etiquette advice along with tips for doing business in other countries.
Two of mentees who was present said:
I thought the event was absolutely amazing and I enjoyed it very much. I really liked learning about the different communication styles because that is extremely helpful in every situation. It was also great learning about how to excuse yourself from the table and the orders of the drink placements on the table. I would definitely recommend this event to other future FWA mentees.
The location of the event was beautiful especially with the floor to ceiling windows that gave us an amazing view of the New York skyline. The sunlight and the bright atmosphere made it easier to pay attention. – Nancy Wong
The fact that the event took place outside of school made it more stimulating in that we were more alert especially in a corporate setting and were not necessarily confined to club hours and thinking of rushing back to class. The fact that it took place in such a prestigious firm forced us to be at our most professional manner and since it was a smaller setting, it was much easier to meet the guests and have deeper conversations with them.
The event ended with a warm thank you to Bridgitt and Beth Dorfman followed by networking. – Caroline Lu