We recently did a small exercise in my daughter’s school. The task was for a 7-year-old to answer how the last few months has changed her. A ponderous question. Her reply: “It made me more creative as I had to find ways to manage my time.” A thought that is resonated by etiquette and corporate grooming expert Konkana Bakshi, who says, “All things considered, what has really gone up in the last few months is efficiency. Because you just can’t get away with a lackadaisical attitude towards your work or your school any longer.” It is a call to pull up our collective socks and look at the lessons we can carry forward from here.
Mistake #1: You are still not using your time constructively
Bakshi says that if you still haven’t figured out how to manage your time, you have already lost time. Successful people are not sitting and Netflixing, they are identifying and working on gaps in their profile. “Earlier, we would lose time in traveling, chit-chatting, prolonged lunches. Now, you have the luxury to cut down on the chaff. Focus on what you can do more to manage your time,” she adds.
What you do Figure out what you may want to learn more, with a clear answer for why you are doing this.
Mistake #2: You are still not dressing up
You have to appear well-groomed – from your hair to your clothes. Don’t wear crumpled clothes. It’s best to follow a dress code. It cuts down on decision-making time in the morning. If your school is letting you wear casuals, make sure they are not party dresses or home T-shirts. Wearing school uniform is best as it signals your brain that the class is in session.
What you do to get noticed: speak smartly, clearly and don’t slouch in your chair
Mistake #3: You haven’t figured your camera presence
Leadership and success coach Minocher Patel says that while the confusion of the initial days of lockdown is over, many still haven’t figured out a space and angle for their calls. By rule of thumb make sure the camera is at eye level and the light source is from your front. “While the audio is mostly on mute, your face is in full view all the time.
What you do, Wear your shoes. It will always give you a classroom feeling.
Always smile and mind your body language. You never know who’s watching you. We all have to be better actors now,” he adds.
Mistake #4: You aren’t greeting everyone in the morning
Bakshi says, now more than ever soft skills are a priority – it is what gives you the human connect. “A lot of young adults lack the first impressions connection,” she says. It means that they don’t start the class with a proper “hello” followed with a warm greeting. She attributes it to the lack of confidence or maybe just a casual attitude towards manners.
What you do: Start your class with a casual but firm “Good morning ma’am and friend. How are you today?” A greeting is a feel-good note to start the class
Mistake #5: You are not listening
A big part of communication is listening. Sitting alert is a subset of your body language. A good way to develop an alert body language is to exercise and build stronger muscles.
Etiquette is not a rigid system but a flexible one that adapts to the situation. Etiquette is all about logic.