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Posts Tagged ‘Manners’

Sep 05 2014

Uluru in Australia is Sacred


I didn’t know what to expect when I found myself on a small plane to Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) with my client. It was a sudden decision to go, and only a few of us were invited. Forget that I always had a fear of small planes, and the ride to the middle of Australia was especially bumpy; I wanted to please my client and I shared her sense of adventure.

There are many things to know about this part of the world; most important is that it is considered sacred by the Aboriginies. In fact, much of it is off-limits. There are a few areas around the base that even discourage photography, which is hard to observe because the very site of this massive rock formation is heart-stopping beautiful. And I must say that if you touch the rock, it really does seem to possess an unusual energy.

But, take care not to remove anything from the site. I warned my client to observe this rule and she laughed it off and put some of the red earth into a jar to take home.

It may have been an amazing coincidence, but from the moment our plane touched ground in San Francisco, she encountered bad luck for the next few months—until I advised her to send the dirt back to the rock. Then everything was fine again. We remain friends to this day.

It was a reminder to me that customs in other countries, no matter how bizarre, should be observed and respected.

Safe Travels,


Come learn Cultural Intelligence skills with Curavo Etiquette and ensure that your clients are a success when doing business in other countries. We offer workshops and seminars that include:

  • Cultural analysis / intelligence
  • Cross cultural effectiveness
  • Community relationships
  • Vendor recruitment and relationship management
  • Effective travel manners

Knowing how other cultures do business will put your clients or employees at an advantage while attempting to get something done in a land far from home.

Call Curavo Etiquette at 415-777-0852 or email:

Aug 11 2014

How Confident Are You With Your Etiquette Skills?


traveletiquetteimageEverything from the way you dress, how you communicate, and how you make others feel…to which fork to use, your handshake, and the knowledge of how to behave in an unfamiliar environment can open doors to new opportunities…or leave you outpaced by the competition.

At Curavo Etiquette, we offer customized workshops, seminars, keynotes, and private executive coaching in the areas of:

- Business Etiquette
Medical Etiquette
- Dining Etiquette
- Travel Etiquette

And we can also ensure that your “destination” event reflects the customs and culture to help you establish and build lasting relationships.

Aug 11 2014

Look Them in the Eye



In many cultures, it’s considered polite to avoid eye contact as a show of respect—especially to elders.  But in North America, making direct eye contact is essential. It sends the message that you’re listening and are sincere. Maintaining eye contact during a conversation, even if it’s about the weather, will project an air of confidence and credibility.

On the other hand, if you don’t look somebody in the eye, they may start to worry and think something is wrong. Your motives become suspect and somewhere along the line a trust is broken.  People will say, “I wanted to like him/her, but they just couldn’t look me in the eye.”

Successful business people understand the importance of trust in relationships and have perfected the skill of sending strong nonverbal signals.  When they are engaged in conversation, they look directly at the person and rest their eyes upon the space between their eyes—at the point where the nose meets the forehead.

Aug 11 2014

Which Bread Plate is Mine


breadplateFormal dining skills have become a little less formal these days, particularly in the U.S.  People can be found eating their meals most anywhere—on lawns or parks, in fast food restaurants, at an office desk, or in front of the TV. But what happens when your boss invites you to dinner and you aren’t sure which bread plate is yours?

I’ve heard the phrase: “Social intelligence is no replacement for abstract intelligence, which get’s you in the door. But social intelligence will get you to the top.”  And having a few good manners under your belt will make a good impression when you need it most.

Think of it this way, the table is set in a way that guides you through a meal.  You can anticipate what is coming by which plates and silverware are present.  Knives, spoons, and possibly a seafood fork are on your right. Forks are placed on the left hand side of the plate.  Liquids are on your right (your glasses); solids are on your left (your bread and salads).  The dessert spoon or fork will be placed above your plate, kind of like the crown of the meal.

Consider the BMW trick to remember where things go:  B is for bread plate, which is on the left, M is for the meal plate, which is in the middle and W is for water, which is on the right. And if by chance somebody grabs your bread, don’t breathe a word…simply ask the server for another roll, and keep it on the left hand side of your plate.