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How To Socialize and Stay Professional

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Daniel Post Senning

How To Socialize and Stay Professional

Daniel Post Senning

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Lesson Info

1. Hosting

Lesson Info


How to socialize and stay professional. We've been getting very granular with a lot of the content that we've talked about in the courses that are related to this course today. We're gonna start to take a little bit of step back. And we talk about business social experiences, we're gonna talk about some more of the concepts that are really important, that are gonna help you navigate whatever business social situation you find yourself in moving forward. I wanna start by sharing an agenda, where we talk about what we're going to talk about today. Talking about what we're gonna- it's like making a plan to make plans. It's not always a great idea, but it's an important part of structuring and organizing a meeting, or any situation where you're responsible for guiding people through content. We're gonna begin our course today by talking about host and guest roles. Oftentimes the role that you're playing in a situation, is gonna help you identify the expected behavior for that situation. Yo...

u might expect something very differently of yourself, in the same room, in the same chair, with the same people, if you're playing a different role in that situation. Understanding the host and guest roles is a big part of deciphering correct social conduct. Business social top seven tips, are ten tips that are gonna help you navigate all kinds of business social situations. Crossing cultures is one of my favorite sections to teach. This is where we're gonna talk about how you can use fundamental ideas and principals about good etiquette to navigate cross-cultural boundaries and expectations. One of the places that those skills are most applicable, is when we're talking about traveling, and navigating international situations. Situations where we're navigating cross-cultural expectations from one country to another. Whether we're traveling to do business, or whether we're hosting people from another country, who are doing business with us. We're gonna look at some common mistakes that people make. And we're gonna look at some top tips, some best practices for how to approach these situations intelligently and well. Some of those tips involve how to work with translators, and how to give and receive gifts well. So let's start by talking about hosts and guests, and the role of the host, and the role of the guest. This is one of those sections where I can't help but think about my grandfather, Bill Post, who was the steward of the Emily Post tradition when I was growing up. He was Emily Post's only grandchild. And he had a pretty close relationship with Emily Post. When I was growing up, he was the person within the family who was the one who shared with us information about Emily as a personality. About her life, but also about what it was like to interact with her, and relate to her on a personal level. He spent a lot of his young adulthood taking care of his grandmother. She retired to a home that she had built in Martha's Vineyard, and he spent the summers there with her. She doted on and loved her grandson Bill. I called him Poppy. Now, sometimes people would ask me as I was growing up, what it was like to grow up in the Post family. Pardon this little diversion. It will come back to hosting skills. They say, did you feel any pressure on you as you were growing up to behave in a certain way, or to meet a certain standard? And I'd tell people absolutely not. It never even occurred to me, until I started working for the Emily Post Institute when I was about 30 years old, that this was even a possibility. As I started doing this work, as I started to think about that question, I said, well I never felt that pressure. I think it's entirely possible that maybe some of my friends growing up did feel that pressure a little bit. When I invited them to come with me to my grandparents' house, the home of Bill and Elizabeth Post, my grandmother wrote under the pseudonym Emily Post, so she was the Emily Post in her day. And I called Bill Post Poppy, but to other people he was Mr. Post. And I can imagine there was probably a little bit of nervousness, about interacting with him, about meeting him, about going with me to his house. That nervousness never lasted more than a couple of seconds, once you engaged with Poppy. He was a true gentleman. I think about that word, gentleman. He was a truly gentle man. It was impossible to be in his company, and feel judged or assessed. In fact, exactly the opposite. He was incredibly skilled at interacting with people, and making other people feel comfortable. I think about him whenever I teach this slide. These are the six tips for being a really good host. And for every one of these tips, I can picture my grandfather, I can picture the way he conducted himself, and the way he put other people at ease. He used to tell a story about introducing his fiancee, my grandmother, to Emily Post. And the trip that they took to meet his grandmother when that introduction was going to first happen. And how my grandmother was a little bit nervous about it. But that Emily Post was the same way. That she was also known for putting people at ease, almost instantaneously, when they came into contact with each other. This is mark of good etiquette. The ability to prioritize the comfort of others. The art of good etiquette. The skill of a good host. The dance that a host plays with a guest, that makes them feel good, that makes them feel accomplished, and like they've done their job well. It begins right from the start. So you do establish yourself as the host? What's the first act that establishes you as a host? Well, it's the invitation. And you wanna invite well. Invite clearly. Give your guest enough information to participate well. That information begins with the medium that the invitation happens in. Hey, it's so good to see you. Would you like to come over later? That's a verbal invitation. Guess what, I'm starting to establish my role as the host. I'm gonna be home by five, you could show up anytime after that. I'm giving you enough information. I'm telling you when. Do you know where I live? It's x, y, and z. That's a very informal invitation, but it's still done well. A wedding invitation, probably the most formal invitation many of us are going to receive in the near future. Maybe we're so lucky as to be invited to a Met gala, or a ball, or something like this, but for most people a wedding is the situation where they might receive an engraved invitation. That engraved invitation, the weight of the paper, the engraving, communicates something about the event. The invitation itself starts to set the tone, starts to set the standard. That wedding invitation also includes enough information to participate well. Maybe it's just an address for the wedding website, where that information is really going to be distributed. Maybe it's all included. Invite well. It's important to know that you've done this, because it's going to establish you as the host. There's a certain expectation that follows doing the inviting well. The role the host plays at the end of the night. They're gonna pick up the bill. It's particularly true in business situations. If you've invited someone to a business lunch, you're gonna pick up the tab at the end of the meal. So you've identified yourself as the host by making the invitation. You've also built in, and this is a very traditional etiquette, the expectation that you're going to pay. The one sort of counter example to this, is socially, when you're asking someone out on a date, there's an emerging standard that oftentimes first dates, that check is split. This gets into some social etiquette territory that we get a lot of questions about at the Emily Post Institute. It's a pretty common standard. As a guest, one of your first jobs, and we're gonna start to identify, on our next slide, six reciprocal behaviors that are the responsibility of guests. Those reciprocal behaviors require that a guest reply quickly. And if you want to say split a tab, that's a reasonable, in fact a very common expectation, to setup for a first date. That's the time to do it. Even if it's not a first date. If you're a guest in a business context, and you would like to pay, because the other person has paid repeatedly, and you think it's your turn. Or just because you'd rather not put yourself in a situation where you feel indebted to them, the time to say something is when you respond to the invitation. So, the host, they've done the inviting, they've done their job. They've set the stage. The next thing that they have to do is prepare. They have to prepare well. If you've invited someone out to a restaurant, this means you call and make a reservation. This means you have a favorite table. This means you choose a restaurant that serves a type of food or cuisine, that will accommodate your guest's preferences. If you're inviting someone to your home, this means you plan a menu. You prepare food that you know how to prepare, that you can deliver in a timely fashion. My aunt Tricia would give you the advice that you actually wanna be ready about 10 minutes before you expect anyone to arrive, which is actually probably a few minutes before you've invited them to be there, because they might show up just a little bit early. So you're gonna prepare to be ready even earlier than their early arrival, because you're gonna give yourself a minute to breathe and relax. Why is this important? Because ultimately your mood will set the tone. People will forget the food that you serve. People will forget the little details of the night. The music that you have playing when they walk through the door. What the special was on the menu, the day that they met you at that restaurant. What they will remember is the warmth of your company. They will remember the quality of the experience, and the time that they spend with you. The impression that that creates on them. The impression that creates on their soul. What was it like to be with you? This is what will stick with people. This is the lasting impression that you're likely to leave as a host. You give yourself the best chance for making a strong and good impression, by being ready early. And then relaxing, and enjoying yourself, and enjoying the company of others. Because really, that's what it's all about. How do you make guests feel welcome? What are the explicit things you can do? This is the little checklist that you can have running in your mind all the time as a host. You wanna greet people when they arrive, introduce yourself, introduce guests to each other, and you wanna check in periodically throughout the course of the event or the meal. How do you like it? How's it going? Could I freshen your drink? Is the temperature in here too much? I notice you're kind of shivering, I don't know. This is one of the places I really think about my grandfather. He was so good at this. He always met you at the door. Always welcomed you. Always introduced himself to people that he didn't know well. Come in, take a seat. Can I get you anything? A little later in the meal, how are you doing? Would you like to take a walk? Would you like to go downstairs? Whatever it is, greet, introduce, check in. Have this little checklist running in your mind all the time as a host. I've had organizations where I've done business etiquette training, where this was one of the most effective pieces of information that I was able to give out. Organizations that host mix and mingle features, where they invest a lot in creating social environments and spaces where they're hoping business will get done. And then, when people arrive, there's sort of this awkward milling about. Nobody's engaging. Nobody's interacting. The junior associates, the new hires are wallflowers. They're hiding around the periphery of the room. They're not engaging these potentially high value clients, the company has worked very hard to get to come out and walk through the door, and participate in these events. Greet people when they arrive. Introduce yourself. Introduce people to each other. Check in periodically throughout the course of the meal. Have this little checklist running in your mind. If you're a member of a host organization. If you're having someone at your home. If you've invited someone out to a restaurant. Be flexibly and gracious. Accidents will happen, mistakes will be made. How you handle them says as much, maybe more about you, than how you handle your successes. The meat will be overcooked. The wine will be spilled. Guests will show up with unannounced extras, plus ones. Oh by all means, come in. We'll put another chair at the table. We'll divide the food up. Little smaller portions, we'll be sure everyone is served. I can't believe you just spilled wine on this tablecloth I inherited from my Great Great Grandmother. Oh, that's quite alright. We'll get it laundered. It's amazing it's lasted as long as it has. Be flexible and gracious. It's easy to be poised. It's easy to be at your best when everyone around you is also, and things are going smoothly. The real test, the real moment to shine is when things go badly. When things go awry. These are your opportunities for distinction. These are special moments, and they are guaranteed. My final tip is be appreciative. Thank guests for coming, and for any gifts. Thank people for being present. Thank people for making the effort. If they brought you a little something, thank them for that. And thank them when they go.

Class Description

Our work lives are full of opportunities for socializing, whether it’s a business lunch, a team offsite, an out-of-town conference or an office party. But beware of looking at these social situations simply as a way to have fun, take a break and blow off steam. In truth, they’re either opportunities to advance your career or get into trouble.

This course addresses the secrets of combining business and pleasure. It explores how you can use your personal skills outside of work to earn the respect of colleagues and superiors, win new business and clients, or secure a promotion.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Define the roles of host and guest and understand the manners that apply to each.
  • Participate at conferences and mix-and-mingle events.
  • Behave when traveling for business and participating in offsites.
  • Conduct yourself in interviews.
  • Avoid common problems, mishaps, and awkward situations.
  • Stick to the one-drink rule.

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