The last two posts I’ve been discussing the importance of the outward appearance and grooming standard of the female politician. I also mentioned that due to their significant position of power how they dress either supports or sabotages the image they’re wanting to project. While dressing well is vitally important for anyone in the work, business or political arena, correct business and social etiquette is as equally important.

Over the next fortnight we’re going to look at many etiquette aspects that help make great impressions in any situation.

There’s several important things to consider before you even walk into a room – some preparation will get you ‘off on the right foot’!

Firstly, try not to be in a rush before entering a room of business. It’s a good idea to get rid of or put away any distractions like your mobile phone, tablet or laptop.

Now gather your thoughts – this will help you to feel calm. Remove any negative thoughts from your mind and begin to be more ‘in the present’ so that you’ll be noticed for the right reasons.

Make sure your posture is good also: head up, shoulders back, chest out, and stomach in. This will effect your mood significantly and you’ll look more confident too.

Just after you enter the room step aside slightly and pause for a moment, at the same time you can calmly gaze around the room – this helps to make a good ‘non verbal’ impression of yourself from the beginning.

Here are some interesting and useful facts to be aware of when in a business, networking and social setting.

1. What is the rule for making a proper introduction between two people in a business environment?

You introduce the most important person by using their name first to the second most important person by mentioning them second.

2. What is the appropriate distance you should stand to a person in a private conversation?

Anywhere from 46 cm (18 inches) to 122 cm (4 ft)

3. How long should eye contact be maintained for in a one on one conversation?

80% of the time

4. To create the greatest impact in the workplace what is the best way to achieve this through your clothing?

High contrast clothing combinations – i.e Black and white, dark grey and white/cream or navy blue and white/cream.

5. When somebody proposes a toast in your honour at a function what do you do with your glass of wine or champagne?

Be gracious, polite, smile and do not touch your glass!

6. In a business environment who should open the door for whom?

Whoever reaches the door first should open the door for the person they are walking with.


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