- Ekaterina, you are a lawyer by education. How did you become an etiquette trainer?
- I will correct right away: I am not an etiquette trainer, but a specialist. The coach is the highest level in the hierarchy of people involved in this business. A specialist is a person who understands etiquette and advises on the rules of good form, one-time or periodically at the request of the client (a course of several classes). I can call myself a coach when I study at the European School of Etiquette. Coaching etiquette in Russia can be counted on fingers. However, many people do not even think about the hierarchy and call themselves coaches - everyone’s business.
And I began to study etiquette for myself, I just woke up once, and that word was spinning in my head. I began reading everything on the Internet that came across, but this stage quickly passed - knowledge was fragmentary and there was no confidence in the sources. I bought books and it became boring again - there were no experts on good manners among the authors. This is after I came across one book. I decided that it would be great to go somewhere to learn, she graduated from the law faculty of Tomsk State University and went to Moscow for her first courses on etiquette. I studied British and French etiquette at the International School of Etiquette, the Austrian Higher School of Etiquette and the Center for Effective Communication of Ivan Artishevsky. I also have a mentor - it is necessary to become an etiquette coach. I dream about this day.
- Remember your first student?
- It was a group of wedding organizers. 3 months after training with trembling knees, I went to the first training group. The fear was vehement. I wanted to come up with any excuse that a tram hit me, that I got sick, just not to go to class. I am a very critical person, it seemed to me that I did everything badly, but to my surprise and joy the reviews were good. When knowledge becomes a lot, there is a natural desire to share them, and if it turns out, you realize that this is your vocation. This is cool! I decided to become an etiquette specialist because I like to make people better, to help them develop. It is impossible not to notice a person who is familiar with the rules of good tone, he stands out in society.
- What do you teach students? What "ills" do they apply to you?
- Here is the usual message: “Catherine, hello. I would like to get individual training. So that only me and no one saw me and did not know at all what ... ". People feel ashamed to admit that they don’t know something: how to behave, how to use instruments and other subtleties. Authoritatively I declare: there is nothing “such” in it. Education does not equal etiquette. If you do not know how to eat pasta, it does not mean that you are uncultured, illiterate, impolite and so on. This means that you still do not know. Until. You are not bad, and your parents are not bad.
- By the way, how do you eat pasta?
- There are two ways, and experts argue which one is better. True, most real and correct - there is one device, a fork. But few people in Russia are used, as Italians, to eat pasta from infancy. It is believed that in Italy only children, tourists and the elderly take a spoonful of pasta in their hands. But the rules are changing, and today recognized lovers of spaghetti use the spoon. We hold the spoon in the left hand, the fork in the right, in exceptional cases, you can swap the devices. Modern etiquette does not prohibit the use of two instruments.
- And what other insidious dishes in terms of etiquette?
- Hen. Especially legs and wings. The bird, which is eaten in every home, in a restaurant can drive into the paint. In institutions we must eat with instruments, separating the pulp from the bone, cutting off the meat from the bone to the maximum. In general, it is not easy to eat any meat on the bone with instruments, especially since we rarely do this at home. If you can eat a dish with one fork - eat with a fork. If you started with two cutlery - eat two, without delay. At the same time, the best training is at home.
Fruits are also difficult products, according to etiquette, fruits should also be eaten with instruments. Another type of meringue desserts, Pavlova — those that crumble, and fish — we are not used to eating whole fish with a fish knife, at first it will be difficult. By the way, a salad with large leaves and arugula can also be embarrassing at first.
- Regarding education. From what age do you need to instill good manners? Are you involved with children?
- Parents - this is the second largest group of students. I work with children over seven years old. It happens that parents ask to work with a child of 4–5 years old, in this case I propose to hold a lesson with adults, so that they introduce the child to the rules of etiquette in their daily life using their own example. The best teachers for a small child are his parents, and the best age, anyway, is 3-4 years old. As a rule, moms and dads understand that change begins with themselves, and before teaching their child, it would be nice to make etiquette the everyday norm. A child should not only hear, but also see everything clearly, using the example of his parents. Etiquette - this is not dry rules, not some kind of rules that bind people hand and foot.
I teach you to be yourself, but do not forget about tact, courtesy, attentiveness, restraint. Do not block emotions, namely restraint. I am not Mary Poppins, I am a living person who knows how good tone rules are, how versatile and they help out in unfamiliar situations.
- You said parents are the second largest audience? And who needs etiquette the most?
- First of all, the people of the business sphere. They need to correspond to the high status of their position. They understand that manners will tell about a person better than any presentation. They don’t say at the table: “I was trained on etiquette,” but a person who was engaged and uses knowledge of etiquette is easily recognized by his confidence in handling the devices, the napkin, and by the ease of behavior. If a person automatically follows etiquette, his brain is occupied only with business thoughts. In general, people come to study from 20 to 45 years. There are more women than men.
- How long can you learn the rules of good tone?
- You can read the book and remember. The question is, how quickly will you begin to use the knowledge? To apply the rules, you need to remember them every day. Someone takes two months, others have a year. I have been practicing etiquette since 2013 and I still learn the rules to this day. You can learn information for one master class, but the task of the coach is done when the rules become the norm. Manners are good when natural.
- Nowadays, all natural is in fashion: natural childbirth, eco-nutrition. There are communities of supporters of open breastfeeding, who believe that there is nothing better for a child, and the naturalness of the process will not offend anyone. What does etiquette say about this?
- There is no special rule. I will say: "Not recommended." I witnessed a case when a woman was breastfeeding in a restaurant, and another guest did not like it. The administrator had to ask Mom to stop feeding. This case suggests that, despite all the arguments about the naturalness of the process, not everyone is pleased and needs to see how the baby eats.
- What do you think about talking on mobile in transport? Negotiators are not interested in passengers, whether they want to know "about the Petrovs cleanly" and any other news of strangers. Is this also a violation of borders? How long can you talk on mobile in public transport?
- I think that in general it is impossible to talk on the mobile in public transport and in the environment of people, especially if it is not a working environment, and we are sitting in a restaurant or walking with a friend. The only thing I can do is say: “Sorry, I can't talk now. Can I call you back in 30 minutes? ”Or“ Call me back, please, in 30 minutes, if it is convenient for you, unfortunately now it’s not very convenient to have a conversation. ” It may be shorter: "Sorry, I am not comfortable talking now, I will be in 10 minutes." Some little explanation can be given. If I understand that the call suffers, I just turn off the sound and call back later. Because no one is interested in listening to what I am talking about. People go about their business, and information pollution, of course, annoying.
- And how long can wait messages on social networks? Are there laws of good manners on the Internet? Or in terms of etiquette there is weightlessness?
- It is advisable to respond to the message within a day. If you have opened a message, but you cannot reply immediately, at least in the next hour, write what you cannot answer now, but you can during such and such time. If the correspondence is business, then we forget about emoticons, follow the syllable. Always reread messages, verify spelling. Literacy and correctness are needed on social networking pages, because an open profile is not a private space. Your page can be viewed when applying for a job, for example, HR or security service.
- You said that women are more interested in etiquette than men. I offer a female blitz. Question one: how to dress up for a date?
- Let's first find out whether the date? If the invitation for the weekend came on Thursday, Friday or the day, then, like a real lady, the woman should respond: "I already have plans." Because the proposal must come at least three days. Especially if we are talking about the beginning of a relationship. The first date is like laying the foundation, the moment when we mark the boundaries in a relationship with ourselves. The same with clothes. Wear a blouse with a deep neckline and high heels - do not be surprised if your acquaintance will behave more boldly than you could imagine. Come in a tracksuit - do not be discouraged if the second meeting will not be. I consider it appropriate to be a discreet romantic style: a dress just below the knee and shoes with a steady heel. Wildly high heels and pencil skirt immobilize and ruin the city walk.
- What drinks to order?
- I do not think a scary glass of white or red wine to accompany dinner. One glass. Not more. A glass of water - 100%. For meat or fish - a glass of wine.
- Is it possible to kiss on the first date?
- As an etiquette specialist, I do not recommend. Borders are borders, the foundation is the foundation. Dine, walk, look at the stars and go home. It will not be worse.
- How to behave in a visit to the parents of men? What to talk about? Are there any taboo topics?
- Behavior should characterize you as a person. Be attentive, discreet, tactful and punctual. In the first meeting, the parents of the man for you are unfamiliar people. You do not know their temperament, their reactions to your statements and thoughts, so feel for the atmosphere. If you don’t know what to tell about, ask a question about sports, cinema, books, art, cultural life of the city, scientific achievements, weather, nature, food, institutions. Speak on common anti-conflict topics.
When you meet in person, you make a first impression, even if you have already been told about you. If you come home for a family dinner in a mini-skirt or in a bandage dress with collected hair and evening makeup, it will be at least strange. Relevance is the golden rule. Keep your posture and smile, smile, by the way, often underestimate, and she is your magic wand. Think over the minimum scenario, ten questions. And be sincere.
- And finally, what books on etiquette do you recommend reading?
- "A complete set of rules of secular and business communication" Tatiana Belousova. There is also a book by the founder of the Washington School of Protocol, Dorothy Johnson and Liv Tyler, “Don't put a smartphone on the table. Rules of etiquette that will help you to always be on top. " There are many good moments, I like how the rules are laid out, but the interpretation is American. At some points, it differs from English and French etiquette, which is followed in Russia. I also advise "365 rules of etiquette, which is useful for every child to know." Cheryl Eberle. Before buying a book, google: “Who is this author? Is he an etiquette specialist? Where did he study? What is his education? ”Checking is a good habit.