European Etiquette

Traveling to a foreign country for work is exciting, but it can be just as enjoyable as it can be stressful. In business it is important to always have some knowledge of local customs, in order to always be giving the best personal image we can of ourselves. Learning etiquette is the best way to not only be proper during social events or meetings, but it also helps to show respect and gratitude for the culture in which one is at the moment, hence why etiquette can vary from place to place and why it is relevant to know the specific rules for each culture one has to participate in. Here are the general etiquette guidelines for three of the most known countries in Europe: France, Germany, and Italy.

Euro Dining

France- 5 things to watch out for dinner: Your voice, the bread, the substitutions, the silverware, and your hands and elbows. A common complaint from restaurants in France regarding Americans is that they speak too loudly, so try to always keep your tone soft, subtle, and the volume low. For the bread, you should not be surprised if it is not served before the main dish as it happens in the United States. The bread it is served along the main course, and you should not worry about having to put your bread on your table if you do not have a plate to put it on; this is sometimes expected. For the substitutions, they should not happen. It is better to stick with the dishes you asked for in the first place, as French restaurants expect the customers to defer their expertise of the chef. For the silverware, remember that the knife goes in the right hand while the fork goes on the left hand. Make sure that between breaks you cross your knife and fork on your plate, with the fork on top, otherwise the server may assume you are done with your food. For your hands and elbows always keep your elbows off the table and your hands visible throughout the meal.

Germany- 5 things to watch out for dinner: Your food, the water, your napkin, where you pass to, and your plate. For your food, utensils are used even for food such as pizza. However, Germans use knives only when absolutely necessary, cutting their food with the side of the fork when they can. For the water, always ask for it, since servers do not bring water unless you ask for it, and they usually charge for it. Always make sure to place your napkin to the left side of your plate when you’re done and folded when you are just leaving for a moment. When passing a dish to someone to the table, always pass it to the left, but if it is something like the salt or the pepper, pass it directly to the person who requested it. For your plate, always make sure to finish your food, as hosts assume that something was wrong if you do not finish the food served to you.

Italy- 5 things to watch out for dinner: Punctuality, your pace, silverware use, coffee. Always arrive on time, and be prepared to wait for your colleagues. Slow down your pace, as Italians eat much slower than us Americans do, and dinners can last from 3 to 4 hours. For silverware use, the same guidelines are used as in Germany and France; always eat with your silverware.

Guys: Focus on the Styling Tips Your Parent’s Didn’t Teach You!

It was once said that ladies represented “the fairer sex”, while the idea of the gentleman signified a braver, more serious gender.  Any truths related to these assumptions may be due to human genetics, one’s upbringing, or both.  You can check out shows like Mad Men (AMC Networks) for brilliant examples of characters dressing for success.  By following the classic rules of dressing, these characters always looked their very best.

Science and television aside, the world in 2014 maintains a certain code of basics for men and women’s fashion; following such a code can help men embrace the shapes, colors, and styles that build confidence and increase the affect of their personal brand.  Let’s talk about some of these basics now.

 

Man's suits

Color 

It is important to think about the relationship between your complexion and your outfit.  If you have a higher contrast between your hair, skin and eyes, then you should add a stronger color contrast to your outfit.  Try to use your body’s natural pigments in your outfits; accentuate your handsome eyes, freckles and smile!

And for accessories, if you don’t know which tie to wear, wear one that’s the same color as your shirt – it’s the easiest way to complete your outfit.

Shirts and Pants

When it comes to shirts, if you have a rounded face you should use long, pointed collars.  If you have a narrow face, you should use spread collars.  It’s a similar paradigm with pants: If you have a long torso with short legs, avoid low-rise pants.  If you have wider hips, look for suit jackets with side vents.

Jackets

Your seams should fall along the shoulder, always, and the length of your sleeve should allow some shirt cuff to show.  ¼ inch – ½ inch is acceptable; jackets and shirts will vary slightly in length.  Play with these, as you’ll usually enhance your look by contrasting the jacket with the shirt colors at the end of the arm.

Ties

Your bow ties should fit within the frame of the outer edges of your eyes.  Normal ties should reach the middle of your belt buckle; no longer, no shorter.

 

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP & the team of NYC Image Consultant Academy

For more info www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

Office Etiquette

The way we behave can deeply impact the way others perceive our personal image. Bad manners or not following the proper etiquette in different situations can deeply hinder our progress in the workplace. Many of us have mastered proper etiquette for dining situations, but it is important to note that proper etiquette extends to any social events. Parties, cocktails, and even interactions in the office such as meetings or encounters with co-workers, are expected to be respected by certain social conventions that we just call etiquette. The best way to establish good relationships with the people that surround us at work is by behaving properly, in order to leave a good impression, and improve the way we socialize with others. Here are some basic guidelines to follow at the office: business meeting

Cellphone updates can wait – Using your cell phone during meetings or presentations is disrespectful, and it shows the person you are supposed to be paying attention to that you are uninterested in what he/she has to say. Therefore, attend to your phone outside of these situations. If you decide to use your cellphone during these events, this might strain your relationships with your coworkers.

Respect personal space – Regardless of the setting in which your office is, it is important to always respect personal space. Shooting an email as a way of communication before you try to chat or approach a coworker is a great way to show your respect for their personal space and their time. Pretending those walls of the old private offices and old cubicles are still there is a great way to learn how to respect others’ personal space.

Respect the dress code – Dressing up or dressing down might be equally bad calls for the workplace. Dress to fit in with the others. Ask around or follow the lead of your boss or coworkers that have been at the office for a longer period of time. Dressing too formal is just as bad as dressing too casual for work; that is why it is important to do your best to fit in.

Always be prepared to learn – At the workplace it is important to be confident with the work you do; It is, however, important to not be arrogant. Always be open to the ideas of others, and be respectful when sharing your own ideas. Don’t hold back in sharing, but don’t close your ears to ideas that may help improve your own work, especially from those who are more experienced than you.

Personal affairs are to be kept out of the workplace – Two examples: Job searching and gossiping. These two things can wait. Gossiping in the office is unproductive, not just for you but for your co-workers as well. It is distracting and it creates an unprofessional environment. On a similar note, do not use company resources to search for a new job. A lack of respect and loyalty is all that can be accomplished by performing a job search at your job.

Are your co-workers polite? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

For more information visit http://www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

#business, #consulting, #consulting-for-men-2, #consultoria, #conversation, #conversation-etiquette, #etiquette, #image, #image-consulting, #manners, #new-york-city, #shanna-pecoraro

Getting Clients

One of the worries of any new business is how to get clients. It is probably also the most important concern. As wonderful as it would be to be told to not worry about getting clients, it is definitely something that should not happen. Focusing on getting clients is a huge component of every strategy for a startup company, and should, therefore, be a priority task. However, a question arises, which may not have any immediate answer: “How to get clients?”. This question can be answered in different ways depending on the industry in which a startup may belong. Nonetheless, a universal way of getting clients is to get referrals, which will be the focus of this article. Getting referrals might seem harder of a task than it actually is, and we will evaluate the most efficient ways of implementing this system to get clients for our business.  sunglasses-hand-smartphone-desk

The best way to ensure that you will get referrals is to do a good job. Good work goes a long way, because it is the most relevant factor that can differentiate a company from others. Good quality of work is claimed by every business out in the market, however, not all of them live up to these claims. Those that do will surely get referred to others by previous clients. However, good work can be offered by many companies at the same time, so, how can one decide which company is better for one’s interests? Being nice to you clients might seem like a good answer, but there is an even better way of leaving a greater impact on clients. Being pleasant. Being nice can be deceiving and can lead to companies taking the wrong choices in order to “be nice.” Being pleasant is a more straightforward strategy, as it implies making the client comfortable with the company, but it also calls for honesty and clarity, without being rude or unpleasant. As Mike Monteiro mentioned in his book “Design is a job”: “There’s a difference between being enjoyable to work with and being ‘nice.’ Being nice means worrying about keeping up the appearance of harmony at the expense of being straightforward and fully engaged. Sometimes you need to tell a client they’re making the wrong call. Part of client services is being able to do that without coming off bad. But being afraid to do it because you’re too invested in being “nice” is worse than coming off bad.

Referrals also extend outside of direct contact with clients. It also involves being clear and enthusiastic about the business one is a part of. Being able to communicate effectively what you do in an interesting manner is something that can be accomplished if you are genuinely enthusiastic about your work. This relates to networking, a very crucial factor in today’s market. Networking is market research. Take the task of networking with genuine confidence and interest, and it should be easy to then be visible, and to maintain relationships with prospective clients, or people who can get you referrals. Getting referrals is a proven effective way of getting clients in any business, and it is up to any startup to decide how to take on this task, in order to expand and become the company one desires.

How do you get clients? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

For more information visit http://www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

#business, #consulting, #consulting-for-men-2, #consultoria, #shanna-pecoraro

Dressing For an American Event

Life is full of events that require different attires. Dressing in certain ways is part of the event one attends. From high school graduations to weddings, it is important to understand the basics of dressing for all the events that one may encounter in life. Some are formal, some are semi-formal, and some are just casual. In any case, there are certain guidelines that can help one in deciding the correct and most proper attire for every occasion since this affects our personal image. Here are some tips and advice on how to make sure to be well dressed for any of event.

The first step in figuring out what to wear to any event is to decipher the invitation. This means to look in the invitation first. Most events have set guidelines on what should be worn and what should not, which is beneficial in narrowing down choices to just style and color. Different places tend to use different terms, but here we will use American terms, which differ from the English and European terms. The best way to follow the different dress codes is to follow these simple guidelines:

Black Tie: In these events, a tuxedo is expected. Weddings, operas, balls, charity dinners, and receptions are some of the events at which you can expect to see this dress code. Black Tie may also be referred to as evening dress.

Polo store

Black Tie Optional: In these events, a dark suit is just as acceptable a tuxedo. This is a product of evolution in dressing standards, which became more and more relaxed. As a result, instead of excluding those without a tuxedo from the events that required them, it was decided to just include them. For these events, if you own both a tuxedo and a dark suit, just choose the one fits you the best, the one that fits your image the most. If you only own a suit and not a tuxedo, remember the suit is just as acceptable as the tuxedo, so there is no need to buy one. However, if many more of these events are expected to be present in the future, buying a quality tuxedo is a better option.

Semi-formal: A dark suit, crisp dress shirt with a non-obtrusive pattern, and a conservative tie. For these events, tuxedos are not expected, and, therefore, should not be worn.

Black Tie event

Business Casual: For these events, ties are optional, but dress shirts and nice pants are required. Sports jackets or blazers are optional, but might be a nice addition to the outfit.

Casual: Fit well, free of holes and wrinkles. That is the best way to simplify the expected outfit for these events. Jeans, cotton trousers, and shorts are acceptable. In cool weathers, button up casual looking shirts are a good option, whereas for warm weather simple collared polo shirts that fit nicely are a better option.

If you are not sure what kind of outfit is expected from you at any event you are invited to, the best and most efficient way of finding out is to ask, in most cases, the host directly. If the host cannot be reached, try to contact someone participating at the event. In any case, if you are not sure on what to wear, try to wear an outfit that can be adapted to an event. If you show up over or under dressed, you can just excuse yourself to the bathroom and modify your outfit accordingly.

How do you dress for events in America? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

For more information visit http://www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

#business, #consulting, #consulting-for-men-2, #etiquette, #fashion, #image, #image-consulting, #mens-fashion, #menswear, #shanna-pecoraro

Los clientes difíciles

Los clientes difíciles son parte de los obstáculos que se presentan en cualquier industria. Clientes que no están felices o satisfechos con los productos o servicios de una compañía, o que simplemente parecen ser difíciles por ninguna aparente razón, siempre van a aparecer, y la manera en que se manejan estas situaciones puede ser crucial. Aunque estos clientes pueden ser un problema, son solo un desafío que se puede superar, y pueden convertirse en oportunidades de las cuales podemos aprovecharnos. Hay ciertas reglas generales en cuanto a cómo se deben tratar este tipo de clientes, aunque debe tenerse en cuanto que los procedimientos específicos cambian de acuerdo a cada industria. Sin embargo, el saber cómo actuar en estas situaciones se basa en ciertas técnicas que pueden ayudar a sacar lo mejor de cada una de estas situaciones. Client service 2

La mejor forma de lidiar con clientes que no están felices, es cambiando nuestra mentalidad. La prioridad en estas situaciones es tener una mentalidad de servicio al cliente, dejando de lado nuestro punto de vista en la situación. Una buena forma de alcanzar esto es simplificando la situación a: El cliente no está feliz con cierto problema, y yo debo resolverlo. De esta forma nos prestamos más a prestar atención al cliente. La razón por la cual el cliente se acerca en primer lugar es el querer expresar su opinión y ser escuchado. Empezando la conversación con “Repasemos lo sucedido” o “Por favor explíqueme la situación por la cual usted está molesto/molesta”. Son formas neutrales de empezar, y preguntar por la información que puede ayudar a resolver el problema. Preste atención al cliente al 100%, evitando cualquier distracción e interrupción.

Mostrarle al cliente que la atención que exigía se le ha brindado es importante. No se trata solo de escuchar, sino también de entender la situación. Los clientes buscan por señales que les dan a entender que si se les ha escuchado. Por eso, cuando el cliente termina de hablar, es importante repetir, en palabras propias, lo que el cliente nos ha dicho. De esta forma se muestra un entendimiento desde el punto de vista del cliente.

Después de todo esto, depende de cada quien como resolver el problema. De las situaciones con clientes se puede aprender, y también se puede mejorar las relaciones. La efectividad del servicio al cliente de una compañía puede atraer más a la clientela, ya que las personas se sienten más felices al estar con una compañía que muestra interés por hacer feliz a su clientela.  Presentar una solución, ya sea dando al cliente una solución clara y específica, o tomando sus solicitudes. Tome acción, y mantenga contacto con el cliente para conocer la efectividad de su servicio al cliente. Es así como se logra resolver el problema de aquellos clientes difíciles, logrando así mejorar a la compañía.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

For more information visit http://www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

Job Interviews

Applying for jobs is a tedious and repetitive process, which always makes the same question pop up in our heads, regardless of how many times we have done it, “What do I need to get hired?”. This question does not have a straight answer, and all responses seem to vary based on many factors, such as what job we are applying for, what person is in charge of the hiring process, what are the qualifications for the job, etc. Nonetheless, there are some guidelines that can help us stay on track in making sure we do our best to show we are the best fit for the job we are looking to get hired for. We will focus on the interview part of the job application process, since this is where we get to have the impact, while we also get a greater variety of choices as of what to do to adapt for the different job applications we may have.

The first thing we want to cover, since it is probably the one that catches most of us off guard, is the question “Why do you want to work for us?”. In order to answer this question properly, we need to do our research beforehand. We need to know exactly what the company’s purpose is, what it does, what it expects from its workers, and how it handles its customers. By doing this research, we will be able to see how we fit into the company’s needs, and answering this question will becomes easier. It is important to do our research not only to know what to answer to the questions that involve the company itself, but also to know if that job is what we are looking for, and if we are the fit THEY are looking for.

In addition to understanding what the company does, we need to be prepared to explain what we can do for the company. In a market like the one today, the competition faced by every applicant is not one to be underestimated. In order to prepare to stand out from the vast pool of applicants, we need to make sure our image is sharp, that we are on time for our interview and any other type of appointments, and again, that we are prepared. As job applicants, we are selling our personal image to the employers, so we need to make sure our attire is appropriate, since this is the first impression we have for our job interview, and the employer wants to make sure its employees offer a clean image of the company itself. Being on time for our interview is also part of our personal image, it shows that we are punctual not only to appointments, but to the job and any meetings we might have to attend.

It is almost a necessity to reiterate the importance of being prepared to our interview. Besides doing our research of the company we are applying to, we need to also have the material to support us when we make statements about ourselves that are relevant to the job. Having extra copies of your resume, reference letters, and paper to take notes, are all important things to keep in mind when going in for an interview. Although the interview might be the most nerve-racking step in the process, it is when we get our chance to show the employer what we cannot show them in paper, so make good use of that interview time and do your best to impress, and be impressed, by your future employer.

What is your favorite interview question? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro

For more information please visit www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

#business, #consulting, #consulting-for-men-2, #etiquette