A finishing school for adults

Confidence... School of Etiquette founder Courtenay Carey shares her views on success and finishing school for adults.

Etiquette is the fine art of getting along with people. With a keen eye for social behaviour and the request from her mother to run an etiquette school at the boutique hotel, Carey stepped into the role of teaching people to get along with each other.

She often watched how people behaved in certain social situations when they felt uncomfortable or inadequate. “They either got extremely obnoxious and rude or lost their personality completely and withdrew socially,” she said. She saw social antics as an opening to formulate a programme that would benefit people in their daily lives and future. Carey studied as an International Protocol and Etiquette Consultant and then completed a course in social make-over and personal success. She is a firm believer in reading her environments and people before approaching them.

Casey thinks authenticity stands out in a crowd, and therefore takes the time to focus on a single person when interacting socially. She can set a social tone with nothing more than a question. She sees the opportunity to connect and listen and make people feel important. This helps the focus shift to the person in front of her instead of on her, which eases her nervousness in different social situations.

Carey said, “The biggest gift anybody can have is to be interested in someone. If you take the time to listen, everyone has something exceptional they have experienced. Give them the opportunity to get there and share it.”

When asked what makes a role model, she thinks charisma is a vital characteristic to have. Good listeners are interested in what people have to say, and therefore have the ability to make people feel special. The stigma that finishing school is for the wealthy and ‘proper’ is not true. “There is always a fee to everything in life, but it is not an elitist programme. These are life skills for everyone, they are not frivolous,” stated Carey.

Carey has several courses and workshops that deal with diplomacy, success and building a foundation for one’s future.

Details: [email protected] or www.etischool.co.za

Tamara Arden

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