For a lot of people, it can be a terrifying experience to make small talks at a business event or to behave correctly in international social situations. While manners are guiding principles of putting people at ease, etiquette rules society lives. We can become well mannered by following the rules of etiquette. Claire Nguyen, the founder of Claire Etiquette Ltd., shares with us how she has pursued her career in etiquette teaching.
Tell us about yourself
I am Vietnamese-French. I went to France at the age of 11 and spent more than 20 years in Europe and subsequently years in international business.
What has brought you to the idea of etiquette teaching?
Having spent many years abroad and in international business, I have become passionate about teaching etiquette to people of all ages in Vietnam. As Vietnam opens up to the world, there is an increasing needs to acquire etiquette skills especially international business etiquette: entrepreneurs or businessmen doing business with foreign partners, current and prospective employees in multinational companies, students going overseas for living and study, girls and boys wishing to behave as ladies and gentlemen, you name it!
Why are etiquette skills important?
Knowing etiquette helps you to become well mannered in social and business situations. Hence, you become confident and stand out from the crowd. This helps you to be successful in both social and business context.
How have you been trained in etiquette?
Yes, I have been trained in France and certified in etiquette teaching in England. My many years of international business have given me the experience of international etiquette that I could share with my students.
What are typical etiquette training programs?
I offer social etiquette courses for teenagers especially girls (Lady etiquette). I also teach international business etiquette for students and employees especially managers. Last but not least, I offer household management course to wealthy families. Of course, programs can be tailored to clients’ needs.
Can you tell a bit more what you mean by international business etiquette?
Ideally, every employee shall learn basic business etiquette such as how to correctly use phone & email, how to do business greetings especially in English, what is the dress code in their workplace, etc. Managers could ideally learn more about how to ensure proper deportment and dress code, make small talks at business events, be familiar with Western dining, etc. Those skills really help them stand out in a business context.
How would you define an elegant woman? Any people in mind?
There are many quotes which define an elegant lady. My favorite ones are as follows:
• Being female is a matter of birth, being a woman is a matter of age but being an elegant lady is a matter of choice (unknown author)
• Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance (Coco Chanel)
• Your dress should be tight enough to show you are a woman and loose enough to show you are a lady (Edith Head)
What do you consider as etiquette “faux pas” that we should avoid?
It really depends on circumstances that you are in. However, they are etiquette rules that people have to know to avoid the “faux pas.” As Vietnam gets integrated more and more into a global economy, we should know etiquette not only in Vietnamese society but also in the international business setting for example the way of talking, walking, eating, socializing and doing business.
Finally, if you have to define the etiquette (“Savoir Vivre” in French) in three words what would they be?
There are many words which define Etiquette ( “Le Savoir Vivre”), but If I have to choose three words then they would be:
• Kind: Be kind to others
• Respectful: Respect yourself and respect others
• Elegant: Ensure your elegance in the way of thinking, dressing, walking, talking and behaving.
CLAIRE ETIQUETTE Ltd. provides different course as Social, business & Dining etiquette for Individuals & Corporate training. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org