Mention Etiquette and people instantly think of manners and which fork to use, when it is something more that can put your career in overdrive. The current podcast episode shows you how to use it to make connects that can power a career.

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Having Naretha Hopson as a podcast guest based on her being the founder of The Ever Appropriate Institute was an eyeopener because I was expecting a Miss Manners list of things not to do in social situations. To my surprise, rather than talking about which fork to use she demonstrated how etiquette is more about appropriate things you can do to make an impression on the people you encounter.

The age of social media casualness has made many of us think that the social graces are a thing of the past, but Naretha makes the point that now more than ever they are needed because there are so many things coming at you the listener, the reader, the participant, that it serves to make you stand out. Her podcast interview provides some great points to consider no matter where you are in your career path:

Add value to every encounter
Naretha HopsonAs she puts it: Add value and add it early in any encounter. Often we think adding value is giving someone something when the mere act of letting another know you are giving them your full attention is an act of value in itself. Think about it, do you really feel valued when you’re talking to someone and they are checking their phone or looking off into the distance?

Listening can tell you the other person’s interests
Social media has made us think that broadcasting to others is making a connection when real communication involves a message being sent and an acknowledgement of what was received. She makes the point that if you really listen in an encounter a person will give you subtle hints of the things they are interested in. Etiquette means finding a way to use that information in a appropriate way that says “I heard you” and in turn helps you stand out.

Networking is not about collecting business cards
I loved the statement Naretha makes during the interview that “A business card is only worth the paper it is printed on if you do nothing to make giving it worth the givers while.” Let’s be honest here, we are all thinking “what is in this for me” and the sooner you satisfy that requirement the faster you are able to make a connection with others. Finding a means of showing interest in another’s interests and reinforcing your connection to it actually works with how the brain makes connections. If I’m interested in golf and you send me an article about it and mention you thought of me when you saw it potentiality causes me to think positively about you when I think of golf. The brain likes to make associations… just something to think about.

Reciprocation is a powerful force
A small gesture can often have a better effect than a large grand gesture. The law of reciprocation is based on the culturalGender marketing habit that a kind gesture deserves an act in response. If the gesture is huge you run the risk of turning the person off because they now feel pressured to make just as large a gesture which may not be… appropriate. If someone gave you an expensive diamond immediately after meeting you, the first thought that goes through your head is “What do they want from me?”, see what I mean?

These are just a few of the tips that Naretha provides during the interview that will amaze you in their simplicity and huge effect. And, to add value as well as connection she is providing every listener with a small gift. Simply click the highlighted link to download “5 Simple Steps to Impressive Soft Skills“. A great door way to making an impression. We’ll cover which fork to use another time…