Two of the biggest law firms in South African recently completed staff training by the School of Etiquette & Business Protocol (SOE&BP), proving they are not complacent about their current strong positions in the world of business.
According to Courtenay Carey, founder and CEO of SOE&BP in South Africa, Investing in staff is a smart way of staying ahead of the game in business, from corporate to government to non-government entities wishing to succeed and compete not only within South Africa but also on a global scale.
She emphasises the importance of not only securing successful businesses but also successful people; bridging the gap between education and the workplace is a tough business and many school and college leavers as well as university graduates are simply not equipped to enter the working arena without the necessary know-how of how to act, react and conduct themselves in the fields they enter.
In fact, since launching the school, Courtenay and her team have refined certain courses for particular fields in business as there are certain aspects in the world of law, for example, that require particular soft skills; just as there are certain protocols that need to be understood in the world of politics – or finance.
One of the top law firms who recently completed staff coaching at the School of Etiquette & Business Protocol said: “We attended the Workplace Assimilation and Business Etiquette course directed at Candidate Attorneys (CAs) and Accountants entering the workplace; we had no idea about how to interact with partners, peers and clients. We had enormous anxiety concerning interactions and this affected our analytical and conversational skills. This obviously impacted negatively on our firm as clients are reluctant to entrust their legal affairs to someone they do not trust.
“The course was incredibly powerful and empowering and provided our team with the very competitive advantage – our CAs now have the necessary skills to be confident in their dealings with clients as well as colleagues, which will not only benefit THEM but also our firm!”
Many newcomers to the workplace are not always in a position to pay for the valuable training and coaching involved in preparing them for success and this, says Courtenay, is where top companies are proving why they are indeed recognised for their well-earned top spots in business: they provide their valuable staff with the necessary soft skills to create success for their companies.
Very often, well-established staff, management and mature personnel believe they know it all, yet, having the edge on other businesses is understanding that we are never too old to learn, acquire and fine-tune our soft skills in dealing with tricky situations, and people, through appropriate rules of engagement – the correct business protocol.
Cultural, corporate and professional gaps must be bridged for people and businesses to become successful, remain successful and create further success into the future. This is why educated people in China and the USA are lining up to acquire the necessary soft skills of business diplomacy and protocol to compete in the international, as well as their local, arenas.
Courtenay says we need to collectively work together to make our country stronger and more competitive in business as well as more approachable for foreign investors. Does this mean we are uncouth and unmannered? Not necessarily, however, given the many cultures gathered in our country, it is essential for us all to understand the importance of good etiquette in our daily lives as well as in business; this, in turn, results in good self-esteem, which leads to more self-confidence – and success!
First impressions are extremely difficult to change as other people’s perceptions of our personalities and abilities are formed in the first few minutes of a meeting, People prefer to deal with people they trust and like.
The School of Etiquette teaches individuals the social and people skills to interact comfortably and confidently in any social, diplomatic and business environment.
Studies have proven students with extremely high IQ’s have less success later on in life than students who scored average grades in their IQ tests. This reflects on EQ (emotional intelligence) often proving more successful than high IQs – in fact
85% of your financial success is due to your soft skills and only 15% due to your academic knowledge – this is according to Stanford Research institute, Harvard
University, The Carnegie Foundation.
A valuable tool for corporate companies wishing to achieve long-term success is to ensure that behavior and communication complement the team brand as well as the company brand.
- Business Entertaining and Dining
- Business Etiquette and Behavior
- Executives Finishing School
- Conversational Intelligence
- Corporate Image
- >International Diplomacy and Protocol Master-class
- Success Seminars
- Workplace Assimilation & Business Etiquette
- Workplace Happiness
Contact the South African School of Etiquette & Business Protocol at:
Facebook: The School of Etiquette; Twitter: @schoolofetiquet.