Many millennials may be familiar with the classic and elegant Plaza Hotel from reading the beloved children’s book Eloise. However, few are likely aware that the New York City establishment is offering business etiquette lessons to young professionals.
The Plaza Hotel Finishing Program, launched in conjunction with the Beaumont Etiquette School’s Myka Meier, emphasizes the importance of showing respect in business situations. Meier covers a host of topics from proper e-mail rules, when to use emojis, and even modest sitting positions.
Offering either hour-long or five-hour intensive courses, the curriculum tackles such issues as dining manners, social interaction, and networking, all with the objective of countering the relaxed manners that typify the young generation of new business professionals.
Other topics addressed are proper hand shaking (only two pumps for business events), starting conversations (avoid the clichéd, “So what do you do?”), and improving eye contact. However, increasing participants’ charm quotient is the real goal. Meier notes that charm is a required ingredient for success, but that it can be learned.
One of the biggest problems facing millennials, Meier says, is that the increase in technology use has made personal conversations land mines for the unpracticed. To help her students, she encourages networking among classmates at the hotel after class sessions.
- Myka Meier has stated that etiquette “has become trendy.” Do you agree? If so, to what do you attribute this new interest in manners and civility?
- Many claim that millennials are careless and lax in their business behavior. What repercussions might such conduct have in the workplace?
- Why is engaging in personal conversations so important for success in the professional world? What can you do now to help prepare yourself to become a more confident conversationalist?