The Image Counsellor

Posts Tagged ‘Etiquette

6a00d8345233a569e200e54f83d0de8834-800wiOne of the toughest job in the world requires managing human relations, which is a necessary part of the retail industry. I have been into the service industry since I started working 10 years back – as a teacher, spa therapist, usher, retail manager, outdoor consultant, image consultant etc. I cannot do without people because people IS my business.

Have you ever experienced dealing with an argumentative customer? So what is the easiest way to deal with this “difficult” customer?

1) Calm their emotions. They might have had a bad day at work therefore want to vent their frustrations on someone. Listen to their emotions followed by the content.

2) Apologise for the distressed that was caused. On whatever level, the customer is already very upset. Do not aggrevate the situation by defending yourself. You still want a returning customer.

3) Take action. Search for various options of compromise. The customers might be right however you (and your company) should not be taken for a ride. Understand the limits to which you can help the customers. Always look for backup if you cannot handle the situation.


1225082552_1591513691A great walk commands attention from the audience. It shows your confidence level and your mental state. A friend commented that I walked like an Amazon women going into a battle. After joining the image managment company, we were taught how to walk the proper way. It felt weird initially with practise, you will master the best walk ever!

1) Take a deep breath so that your chest is out. This helps to straighten your back and makes you look taller.

2) Shoulders slightly pulled back.

3) Erect your body comfortably. Make your body look tall by pointing your chin downwards and looking straight.

4) As you walk, swing your arms slightly and take long strides. Not baby steps.

How to pump up your confidence?

Have a mental mantra, “I look real cool!” or ” I feel like a million bucks!” My mantra is: I am the most beautiful woman walking down this street!

Smile! Let people wonder why you are happy!


A great clip for those learning the basics of Western and Continental dining.

superstock_1320r-190662Do you know… there are plenty of business etiquette with regards to meetings, phone-calls and emails? If you are able to watch all these “workplace manners”, you can earn the respect from colleagues and clients. Even at a Toastmasters meeting, we constantly change our meeting etiquette in order to maximise time and effort.

In a meeting… It’s important to call for a meeting and ensure that everyone is prepared for it. Communicate beforehand the 1. Objectives of the meeting, 2. The duration and 3. The agenda. Let everyone have an opportunity to speak up. Do not disagree with the other party immediately. There is no right or wrong to their opinions simply whether it’s applicable at that point in time and if it’s of priority to the company. Always thank the particpants for contributing to the meeting and appreciate their efforts for attending the meeting. After which, the meeting minutes should be sent so that people involved (present and absentees) are aware of the discussion.

Travelling …If you travel to a foreign destination, it’s advisable to learn about their culture and make appropriate allowances. Some key items you should take note:

– Language that they speak

– Time zone that they are in

– Food customs

– Working schedule

– Holidays

Emailing… Perhaps you email is overloaded with emails, however always make an effort to craft each email because y0u won’t know who is reading it. Be diplomatic when crafting an email and avoid using all CAPITAL LETTERS BECAUSE IT CAN BE TOO INTENSE FOR THE READER! And might cause a miscommunication of the “tone of voice” from that email. Be professionally courteous. Always address the person and sign off. When you are replying to a question, copy only the question into the reply mail then provide a response.

three20people20talkingBeing in Toastmasters allows me to network with people from various backgrounds. Not only do we learn about public speaking it also allows us to train on our social skills such as coming up with making simple conversation. It does get akward when 2 strangers meet and has “nothing” to talk about. So  here are some ways to practise “small talk”.

The most important thing about starting a conversation is to be as natural and relaxed as possible. If you seem nervous or uncomfortable, it is likely that you will make the other person feel the same way, and that the conversation will either fall flat. So, take a deep breath before approaching the person and make sure that you have something to talk about. The best two topics to open a conversation with are the present situation and something regarding the person that you are approaching.

For instance, at Toastmasters we would introduce ourselves and ask, “How did you get to know about our club?” . This would kick start the converastion and offer us more opportunities to market our club activities.

A possible conversation at an academic or professional setting, ” That was a great presentation. How did you manage to come up with those ideas? Would you like to share with us more on xxx points?”

Sometimes at work I would make comments on the books or things that customers are holding: Wow. I see that you are reading a book on Geomancy. How long have you been into it?” When you are striking such a conversation, it might be to your advantage if you possess some knowledge on the topic. Alternatively, just keep asking questions so as to allow the other party to share more. Be patient and look interested while listening.

Make an effort to ask open-ended questions so as to create a longer conversation. If they offer a Yes or No answer, probably he is not in the mood to talk. It’s about making 2 minds meet and it’s a life long skill. All the best picking up a conversation!


superstock_1569r-9012284One of friends is asking me to conduct a workshop for a group of undergraduates.  So I thought of offering my 2 cents worth of thought. Are you a graduate going for an interview for the every first time? How should you dress and behave?

A young executive…

– No need a suit unless you are sure to be offered a super high flyer job within minutes of the interview. However, a tie and long sleeve shirt is a must for ladies, a pair of pants of skirt

– No sling or bagpack please. You are no longer in school.

– Gel or tie up your hair. Wet hair is a No-No

– Light makeup will do. Lipstick is a must however avoid Hello-Kitty Pink

– Polish your shoes and iron your clothes please… neatness is the best impression you can offer

– It’s alright to be inexperience most importantly learn to Smile and be enthusiastic

– Speak at a moderate speed even though you are nervous

All the best!

1) Deodarant if you tend to sweat easily
2) Trim your nails regularly so that they will look clean
3) Brush your teeth so that they will not turn yellow from all that coffee and tea
4) Wash your face everyday so that the ladies will not stare at your blackheads

Only when you take care of yourself can you show that you can take care of others.