Does Your Taxi-Taking Etiquette Need Some Work?

Whether you’re accustomed to taking a yellow cab daily, or perhaps an Uber, Lyft, or other taxi/ride-share program here and there – you’ve at some point encountered an unexpectedly rude driver. In fact, folks in our community have told us they’ve had such frustrating experiences so many times that they avoid taking taxis as much as possible.

Taxi etiquette rules

Taxi etiquette rules

Whether you like them or not, taxis are ubiquitous in many urban environments and at some point, you’ll need to jump in and take one.

 

We’ve put together a list of taxi etiquette rules to remember, both for taxi drivers and for you – the rider.  Etiquette, like all things in life, works both ways.

 

For Taxi DRIVERS:

  1. Welcome the passenger with a warm “hello” and ask for their destination address and cross street; remember they are your customer from the moment they hail your cab to the moment they step out
  2. Repeat the address to the passenger, and confirm the desired street corner as you near the destination. Speak loudly to avoid miscommunication
  3. Ask the passenger if the temperature is acceptable, and confirm that the current background volume (radio, Taxi TV etc) is acceptable
  4. Drive safely, obeying traffic signals and avoid honking
  5. Use your mobile phone as minimally as possible while a passenger is with you
  6. Ensure your taxi’s bankcard system is functioning; alert riders to any issues with it upon their entering your taxi
  7. Do not smoke in the vehicle at any time
  8. Avoid using heavily scented air fresheners in your taxi. Many people are sensitive to the chemicals in these fresheners, which can cause migraines or allergic reactions to some

 

For Taxi RIDERS:

  1. Greet the driver upon entering the taxi
  2. Be ready to announce your intended destination’s address, and a preferred route if you have one (highways, no highways, etc). Listen to your driver’s opinion on specific routes; they have been on shift most of the day and may be aware of traffic issues or alternate routes you won’t know about
  3. Your driver is not a mind reader – so alert him or her to temperature and volume needs shortly after entering the taxi
  4. Take cups, gum, Kleenex, and other trash with you upon your exit. The taxi is someone’s workspace and a future rider’s safe space, not a trashcan
  5. Put on your seatbelt for the duration of the ride. Your safety is paramount
  6. If you are feeling ill or have motion sensitivities, alert your driver immediately if you need to pull over
  7. Treat the driver with the same respect as you would any other professional; you may end up riding with them again
  8. Upon reaching your destination, pay your bill promptly and tip appropriately. 15% is acceptable for most rides, although late nights rides or heavy rain/snow conditions justify an additional few dollars in tip

 

Do you agree with these basic considerations? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy

 

  • What does your taxi etiquette say about your personal and professional brand? Find out more at our next “3 Steps To a Winning Personal Brand” class on February 20th in New York City. www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

#conversation-etiquette, #etiquette, #manners, #shanna-pecoraro

Gifting, Re-gifting, and Giving in this Holiday season

Plenty of people, it seems, stress about holiday gifts.  From the inscription on the card to delivery methods, to the actual gift or service (or gift card, as the case seems to increasingly include), we worry whether what we’re gifting is appropriate and will be received with delight.

 

What we don’t speak about as often is the challenge of what to do with that gift you didn’t ask for, or that doesn’t fit, or that just doesn’t work.   As a receiver, do you politely return or exchange your gift, and as a gift giver, how can you reduce the likelihood of giving a bad gift in the future?

 

gift or re-gift

gift or re-gift

We suggest a few tips as a gifting best practice, here:

 

  • Regifting is recycling. It’s actually a fairly innovative practice, but should be used sparingly and with as much thoughtfulness as you would expend in purchasing a brand new gift.
  • Regifted items should always include their original box from the store or site, and original manufacturer wrapping if at all possible.
  • Don’t regift something that you know the receiver would never desire. It is better not to gift at all than to place your host/friend in an awkward situation.
  • Do not regift items like fresh food, or personal items that involve size and color (like hats, gloves, scarfs or clothing). If something is vintage or truly retro, note it in the message inside your card.
  • Whether it’s a regift or an original purchase, if you think your gift’s receiver may not understand the intent behind the gift, write a nice sentence or two about your idea for its use in the corresponding card. Or, if you’re going to exchange gifts in-person and the timing is appropriate, nudge the person and explain your intention. This can help to eliminate questions and ease your anxious “gifter” mind.

 

To avoid gifter’s anxiety, start to designate a section of a drawer or closet as your “Gift Storage” to save a few unisex or last minute gifts that could be appreciated by most anyone.  Use this place to store items you’ve received that are unused and worthy of a possible regift.  Include a few roles of wrapping paper (solid colors without a holiday theme are best) as well as a few gift bags with handles, a few blank cards, and a pair of scissors and tape.  This will help you be prepared for any unexpected situations – and come out ahead.

 

Here’s to your season of giving,

 

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

#business, #conversation-etiquette, #gift-giving, #holiday-shopping, #image-consulting, #shanna-pecoraro

Budapest Taxis

Budapest taxisTaxi services are so widespread and common it seems that the taxi industry should have itself figured out and under control. Obviously, this isn’t the case. Sure, new startup companies like Über and Lyft are starting to innovate and revolutionize the marketplace, but traditional taxi providers are still extremely relevant and act as such.

The difference between taxis in Budapest and New York City is dramatic. New York City’s taxis are driven by (excuse the generalizations) frustrated, often unfriendly people. There are few dress requirements – it’s always a surprise. The taxi experience in New York is different every time one steps foot in a taxi. Sometimes there’s music, sometimes there’s a fresh scent, sometimes the seats are comfortable. This gives traditional companies a bad image. Nothing is standardized so they are being replaced by companies that are successfully standardizing a difficult to standardize industry. Consumers want what they expect – nothing less.

Budapest taxis are much better standardized. Every time you step into one of these taxis, the cars smell good, drivers are well dressed, and are polite. Even further, they understand English enough to professionally communicate with western tourists.

Budapest churchAs you step into a taxi in Budapest, you will be greeted and asked if you would like to listen to music. If you don’t want to listen, they won’t make you listen the music they like. As a passenger you are entitled to travel in an environment free of disturbing such as the radio, honking, and mobile phone by the driver.

Perhaps this is why these standardized companies like Über and Lyft have had less success integrating into Budapest than they did integrating into New York City. Budapest’s taxi experience is far superior to that of New York’s.

What has is your most favorite taxi experience? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

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

#business, #conversation, #conversation-etiquette, #etiquette, #fashion, #image, #image-consulting

Online Networking

Networking is a vital component to any business in any industry. The connections you make can either lead you to success or failure, and it is not dependent just on the number of people you know. To network correctly, a lot of thought, work, and time has to be put into this process of networking. As an example, a study by Aberdeen Group has found that 73 percent of 18-34 years old people have found their latest job through the connections they have, and it is likely that this number is increasing with the trend of increased usage of social media. As a result of this, online networking has become the best and most effective way to connect with others. A girl in the park bench

Online networking is definitely the most effective way to network right now, however, it has to be done with some factors in mind. When networking online, personal image takes on a higher importance level. It is important to make sure that any social media you use (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) excels at showing the best version of yourself, the one you want everyone to notice. Grammar and spell checking your posts is a great way to make sure you do not make a fool of yourself online. Always proofread any content you post on social media. When using social media platforms that focus on job searching or providing data to employers, for example LinkedIn, make sure to have a complete and updated profile.

The dynamics of social media are worthy to be given a look at. There are many websites that provide information on trends and all types of statistics that can be helpful when trying to maximize your use of social media to reach out for others. Although it is important to like and share posts by others that may be interesting to you and your connections, make sure you also share your own opinions. This opens the window to discussion, which can eventually lead to better connections with others. On the same track, it is also a good idea to join groups that share a common interest. As an example, joining a group in Facebook that serves the purpose or connecting people is a great way to network with others. These groups usually share posts and have discussions, which lead to great networking opportunities.

As effective as social media is, online networking is not the only way to make connections, and it also is not as effective if not linked with what can be called offline networking. As great as you can make your profiles and posts look, you can never be as effective in giving off your best personal image as in a face-to-face interaction. After making connections online, make sure to arrange in-person meetings, phone calls, or even video call meetings. Make sure to attend any conferences or presentations that you may find from the groups you have joined or people you have added. An in-person discussion can leave a great impact. Offline networking is crucial in keeping those connections you make, as it is important to nurture a network you want to grow. As final advice, always do your research and know the market is as full of competitors as it is of opportunities, hence why being intimidated should not come off as a surprise. Always do your research on what you want to do, and take your time to make sure you give it your best.

What is your favorite online networking strategy? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

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

#business, #conversation, #conversation-etiquette, #etiquette, #technology, #technology-and-consulting, #technology-and-image-consulting

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

Cocktail Party Etiquette

Cocktail parties are high profile events that people love hosting. It is a great way to keep in touch with friends and acquaintance. It is also a great opportunity to develop new friendships that can potentially lead to professional relationships. Although free food and drinks can be found all over the place, cocktail parties are the best opportunities you can get to socialize with new people. However, these type of parties have an etiquette to follow, and it is important to follow it in order to leave a good impression on those that attend the party. Here are some of the most general rules to follow at any cocktail party:  Office party 3

Invitations and arrangements – As a host, it is important to always make plans depending on the number of guests on your list of invitees. Seating arrangements and appetizers are examples of things to plan along those lines. As an invitee, make sure to inform the host of the party whether you will be able to attend the invitation or not.

Showing up on time – Usually the time “starting” time of these type of parties are a time range rather than a set time. 30 minutes after the start time is a good time to arrive.

Follow the dress code – Do not try to just show off your clothes at the party. Follow the dress code the host has set. If you are not sure what the dress code is then just ask the host of the party.

Socializing – Always offer a handshake when meeting a new person. Offer genuine smiles. Give your name and ask for the other person’s name too. Remember these parties are made to meet and talk to people, so take advantage of it and make the most out of your time. Always be polite when retiring yourself from a conversation: When talking to a group of people, excuse yourself from everyone in the group. When talking to a single person, try to get them to meet others with you, if not, then you can walk off by yourself without feeling guilty. Be authentic when talking to others and as motivational speaker Jonathan Sprinkles said to me once “Always be interested rather than interesting”.

Eating – As a guest, always make sure you’re eating small portions. Make sure to eat small bites you can chew up quickly in order for the eating to not interrupt your conversations. Cocktail parties usually have waiters walking around with appetizers or a buffet to line up for.

Gossiping – Do not do it. Gossiping can show disrespect and can be misinterpreted by others. Keep your topics away from gossip. Cheap talk is not for these events. You want to learn more about other people and have them learn more about who you are, so make sure to stay away from those other topics.

Drinks – Alcohol will be present at almost every party, and drinking it is a regular activity at these parties. However, make sure to drink with moderation and away from your limits, to not embarrass yourself in front of others and to be safe in situations where you might have to drive home for example. When holding drinks, use your left hand to hold your drinks in order to always have your right hand available for handshakes and greetings. Familiarize yourself with the different types of glasses and how to hold them.

Saying goodbye – Do not sneak out. Always thank the host and say goodbye. This will show your appreciation for the invitation. Remember you got invited to the party because you are appreciated by the host, so make sure to keep up a good impression by maintaining discipline and good manners, which will also help you make new connections with people you did not know before!

What is your favorite cocktail? 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-etiquette, #etiquette, #image, #image-consulting, #manners

First Impressions

First impressions are a reality: They influence the perception people have on others. In business, books ARE judged by their covers, and we are nothing short of literary works walking around trying to be noticed by passionate readers that are looking to find books that fit their interests. As a result of this, one needs to make sure to work on a cover, one that shows the story to be told; one that attracts and stands out. In this article we will discuss the importance of dressing for success, why it is important, and how to make sure we are able to do it.

It is not necessary to go over many studies in order to prove the importance of dressing for success, but it is a nice addition, in order to assess the better the reasons why it is relevant. According to a survey of business leaders published by the Center of Professional Excellence at York College of Pennsylvania, two-thirds of the employers said that when it comes to getting ahead, image makes a major impact. In addition, a 2012 study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, subjects who donned doctors’ lab coats scored higher on attention-related tasks than did those who did not. There are evident psychological phenomena that factor into the importance of dressing for success, and knowing how to harness them can help us prepare a better personal image. Jennifer Baumgartner, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist, author of You Are What You Wear, said: “We tend to directly correlate financial success with the characteristics that help achieve prosperity, such as discipline, hard work, and intelligence. Due to these subconscious associations, we may give the person we believe to be successful a higher salary or more opportunities.” There is an implicit correlation between our commitment to our personal image and our commitment to our jobs, or this is at least how employers see it.

An emphasis on a competitive market can be found in every business related article one can find. However, this is not one of those situations that can be overlooked. Modern marketing strategies revolve around ideas that make the individual stand out. Disruptiveness is a way to do this, and by putting aside its negative connotation, it is actually a very neat strategy in our quest to be differentiated from others. Many people want to be the “regular guys” at their jobs, but dressing more extravagantly might help you stand out in more ways than just your clothing. It might even attract attention from your superiors, as someone who steps aside from its coworkers.

Head-to-toe designer pieces, timeless suit, sloppy genius, trendy, young and casual, or rainbow bright, the style you can take on is filled with countless possibilities, and it is up to you to decide what image you want to convey to others, and which one supports your approach to work. As an example, a man working at Wall Street who wears bold suits and colorful ties, will give off, from his image alone, that he is one to take risk. On the other hand, if you’re a financial planner, and you dress with the “sloppy genius” style, you might convey the message that you will be sloppy with your employer’s money. Hence, why it is important to evaluate the possibilities that fit the market we will jump into before deciding what kind of dresser we will be. Do not underestimate the importance of dressing for success, because to others, you are your personal image, and first impressions are greatly impacted by your clothing alone.

Are you quick to make first impressions? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

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

#consulting, #conversation, #conversation-etiquette, #etiquette