Client Interview: Carolle Vargas, Owner, Chief Executive Protocol Director, Your Etiquette Style

Hi, this is CBA Kevin Monahan. I had the opportunity recently to catch up Carolle Vargas: a client of mine who has an interesting business training people in the art of etiquette.
                                                   Carolle Vargas, Your Etiquette Style
Kevin: Tell me what you mean by etiquette?
Carolle: I define etiquette as manners, rules and other accepted norms of behavior within a group or organization. These norms establish boundaries so that people treat each other with care, respect, and dignity. The purpose of etiquette is to remove obstacles and minimize the irritations and distractions so that interacting with others, including doing business becomes a pleasure rather than a pain.
Kevin: What is the worst mistake in etiquette you have ever seen?
Carolle: I was at a semi-formal dinner and one of the guests, elbows on the table, began flossing her teeth. This was unpleasant for everyone. An even worse mistake was one that left someone feeling ignored and very unimportant. During an introduction, one of the participants began yelling greetings to another guest across the room and over the top of the person’s head he was shaking hands with. No eye contact, no nice to meet you, just a handshake while talking loudly to someone else. Talk about feeling invisible!
Kevin: It seems the world today is much more informal than it has been in the past. Why is it (etiquette) important now?
Carolle: Etiquette does not have to mean “formal”. It does mean treating people with respect and dignity. In some cases our culture has moved away from a family core nucleus where many etiquette values were taught. We experience fewer face to face interactions as media competes for our attention. We have a tendency to tune into our communication gadgets that encourage abbreviated digital interactions. At the end of the day, people want to connect with people they know, like and trust! Reestablishing strong forms of communication and interpersonal contact is critical. As competition increases and knowledge and skill sets are more readily available what will make the difference in one’s success is the knowledge and practice of social skills including etiquette—being able to present a great first impression, establish relationships and build trust. Whether one is leading a major organization or contributing within a team, treating others with respect and being interested in them builds strong relationships that lead to success.   
Kevin: I know you do a lot of corporate work but you have an event coming up for young professionals. Tell us about it.
Carolle: Most of my work is within organizations but I wanted to make a seminar available to individuals who are looking to leverage the power of business etiquette to enhance their ability to present themselves with power and confidence.  The two hour seminar will cover topics that are most requested by young professionals including mingling and greeting etiquette and tactics, how to enter and work a room, handshakes, and eye contact. The event will be May 18, 10:00 am at the Hampton Inn, 1331 Prudential Dr, Jacksonville. To register, or for more information, see my contact information below.
  
Kevin: What advice would you give somebody today who has just decided to start a business of their own?
Carolle: Identify what you love to do. Identify your product/service. Know your target market. Determine if the market will support it. Set goals, make a plan, then do it! Get yourself business coaches/mentors that are right for you because you can never know everything you need to be successful. Determination, preparation and faith in yourself can get you to your goal. If you aren’t good at something—and never will be— (bookkeeping, marketing, website design), hire someone to do it for you but pay attention to what is going on. You are then free to concentrate on working on your business in the areas you can impact best. Use your brainpower involving instinct, intellect and intuition and always pay attention to the metrics. Never stop learning. One more thing—take good care of yourself. 
Carolle Wells Vargas  | Executive Protocol Director
Polish up! Move up! Stay on Top!
(Cell) 512-638-0323
(Office) 904-701-8225

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