Cleveland Business Connects

For immediate release (October 6, 2017) Media Contact: Judy Abelman Email: Phone: 440.725.8861...

There is a time and a place for everything

By Colleen Harding

I teach etiquette. I am considered a protocol consultant in the corporate world. I am hired to coach individuals on how to be prepared for situations and environments that require some considerations. I help participants to think outside of themselves when making choices on clothing, conversation topics, networking, dining, etc.

A good example of the skills would be the younger generations who tend to gravitate toward casual attire. They may find a business suit to be rather uptight; however, the more seasoned veterans in Corporate America may strongly disagree. They may find a casually dressed individual to be ill prepared and lacking in professionalism. These are two totally different views, and neither one is right or wrong all the time.

There is a time and a place for everything. A protocol consultant coaches individuals on recognizing the differences between the environments. For example, our conduct would be very different when hanging out with familiar friends vs. mingling at a networking event. Our dining skills would be very different at a picnic vs. a formal wedding.

It sounds very much like common sense, but unwritten rules of politeness and protocol are broken regularly. A protocol consultant provides information on what is acceptable for the different settings. When we think of only our personal opinions instead of considering what might be more acceptable, we travel a slippery slope into potential inappropriateness.

There is a time and a place for everything. The key is knowing, in different settings, what to do and when to do it; what to wear and when to wear it; what to say and when to say it. Adapting to an environment is how we demonstrate that we know what is expected and that we belong here.

If you are interested in participating in a corporate protocol program, The Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol is presenting a three-hour corporate training seminar — How to be Socially Confident in the Corporate Market — on April 9 from 1-4 p.m. For more information, visit or call: (216) 970-5889.

Colleen Harding is a protocol coach and the founder of the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol. She can be reached at (216) 970-5889 and



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