Social skills in a business setting might just be more important than most people realize. Separate studies conducted by Harvard University, Stanford Research Institute and the Carnegie Foundation have all found that more than 85 percent of an individual’s career success depends on his or her social skills.
To help business owners and employees gain or sharpen their social skills, Tri-Lakes Business Incubator and Social Survival Skills have teamed up on a series of classes on social survival skills for adults.
Social Survival Skills is a company founded by Heather Buchman, a certified etiquette trainer who teaches mandatory social decorum classes for Air Force Academy freshmen and sophomores.
“I cover everyday good manners and more,” she said. “I’m surprised at how many people don’t follow common courtesies in the office.”
During her classes, she will cover how to behave at different company functions, following the lead of superiors, and what “business professional” and “business casual” dress codes mean.
“Business casual means khakis and a collared shirt, not jeans and flip-flops,” she said. “And business professional means a jacket even for women.”
Another area Buchman covers is business customs in other countries.
“Colorado is a very casual place and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” she said. “But it can cause problems when working with overseas businesses. Do some research and let your superiors and customers set the tone.”
The first four classes in the series will be at the Business Incubator, 14960 Woodcarver Road in Colorado Springs. The first class is business etiquette at 7 p.m. April 5, followed by wine etiquette at 7 p.m. April 12, then etiquette basics at 7 p.m. April 19 and, finally, successful business entertaining at 7 p.m. April 26.
The last class in the series is formal dining etiquette, at 6:30 p.m. May 10 at Sundance Mountain Lodge Bistro, 1865 Woodmoor Drive, Monument.
More information about the series is available at socialsurvivalskills.net/adultclasses or call the incubator at 719-481-4877, ext. 100
Buchman also offers etiquette classes for children and teens, as well as private instruction.