NHLA member Deborah Thomas-Nininger, DTN Productions, is giving great tips in how to handle business etiquette in the new environment in which we now find ourselves. Last week she gave us several good tips. She is continuing her guidance with more great advice.
Networking is slowly returning and will remain a cornerstone of conventions, conferences, and business-building opportunities. Because networking, working the room, making small talk as we move from person to person is “up close and personal,” it can be daunting, albeit necessary, to adhere to pandemic guidelines.
- Respect everyone’s space – an arm-length distance between you is ideal.
- Acknowledging people with head nods rather than handshaking is becoming the norm.
- Take time to read body language for their comfort levels – don’t assume people are equally at ease.
- Observe (partake) in hand sanitizing stations before heading to the buffet.
Boundaries are needed, and reassurance is critical as we move forward.
- Resist the temptation to give pats on the back, pull a hair or lint off of someone’s clothing, give a touch on the arm…boundaries exist, and everyone’s personal bubble of space should be respected.
- Even McDonald’s washroom door handle pumps out anti-bacterial gel on your exit – we are obsessed with germ-free everything, and that’s a good thing. Be sensitive and don’t mock that fact…it’s not good manners to make fun of people!
- Companies are making people feel safer with hand sanitizer stations and signage promoting staying healthy and safe – people notice if you follow the guidelines (the eyeballs see all.)
- Boundaries include whether to ask if someone is vaccinated, how they feel about wearing masks – we have experienced and continue to experience diverse opinions and perspectives. Personally, I don’t ask those questions. I find listening to people will reveal all. When I’m asked those questions, my response is straightforward – “I’m immune-compromised, so yes, I’m vaccinated and have no issues wearing a mask.”
Follow the rules and go the extra distance so we can get through this faster!
- Air travel is not that different…I am traveling on planes again, so I get to see (and hear) it all!
- Bad behavior (drunks, rudeness, divas) is not new on planes, but it has gotten out of control and should be stopped for all of our safety.
- Give the flight attendants a break and pay attention to their requests such as 1 finger for Coke, 2 fingers for Diet Coke…
- Travel etiquette in general requires thinking of others – while you wait in line at the airport, wait in line for a taxi, when you observe COVID guidelines on the subway, tram, or bus.
- Don’t crowd onto an elevator – be patient and wait for the next one. And once on the elevator push your floor button with a finger knuckle or a barrier (clothing or tissue) or you can offer to push the floor buttons for everyone! Yes, I do all of the above!
Good manners also mean taking responsibility for your impact on others.
- Stop the whining – we indeed are all in this together. Of course, we have been inconvenienced, but it sounds so petty to complain in light of the tragedies of the lives lost and those struggling.
- Kindness is needed…in abundance! More compassion, less judgment.
- Simply put…be the example!
Deborah Thomas-Nininger – DTN Productions International – 614.888.7790 – DTN-PRODUCTIONS.COM