Education in Etiquette
June 5, 2015
New Epiphany Classes Empower Women with
Courtesy, Consideration, Humility and Humor
Author of Don’t Burp in the Boardroom – Your Guide to Handling Uncommonly Common Workplace Dilemmas, Rosalinda Randall is a popular etiquette expert who recently began teaching weekly classes for the women of Epiphany Center. Randall has been spreading civility throughout the Bay Area for over fourteen years and touts the relationship-building power of age-old fundamentals such as respect, tact, humility, and humor.
Rosalinda’s approach to the out-of-style term, “etiquette,” is different. She believes etiquette is an attitude. “If you are tactful and considerate, most people will not notice if you pick up the wrong fork,” says Rosalinda. In other words, it is how you make people feel when they are around you. Etiquette often comes down to being respectful, one of Epiphany’s core values.
“I learned a lot of things I never knew before about eating out in social situations,” says a class participant. Interactive, straight-forward, and fun, Rosalinda’s workshops for the women focus on topics such as interviewing, responding to awkward social situations, and formal dining.
“I loved the classes, and loved Rosalinda. I can’t wait to attend a formal dinner to practice my new skills,” says a client.
1. The women really enjoyed learning new things that they had no knowledge of before taking your etiquette classes. What kind of feedback did you hear from the women? The feedback that I received over the course of several weeks was initially via their facial expressions, followed by their willingness to comment as the weeks progressed, and finally by their asking questions and sharing their opinions. To me, their sharing is the greatest testament and feedback. Naturally, this did not happen in the first couple of sessions, but as the classes advanced, the women seemed to become more comfortable participating and laughing along.
2. What did you learn from the women? Trust can develop in a short time. However, patience and steadiness is required to build trust. I am always reminded that we are all the same; some of us take a detour or two along life’s journey.
3. Based on your website, it looks as if you work with many business executives regarding etiquette. What brought you to Epiphany Center? Yes, the main portion of my business is serving the business community. In my opinion, there is not much difference in serving the women of Epiphany; they one day will be a part of that business community.
The person I must thank for introducing me to the agency is Suzi Desmond. Our relationship began in a previous program, similar to Epiphany’s. In fact, Suzi is a contributor to my book, Don’t Burp in the Boardroom (Chapter 12). I am honored to continue my relationship with her, and to be invited to serve the women of Epiphany Center.
4. How did you like working with the women? Well, it is somewhat selfish of me; I am humbled to be around women who have the courage to deal with and make the necessary changes to improve their lives. Not everyone has the motivation or perseverance to make such changes. I am inspired by them.
5. How did you become an etiquette expert? It was a natural course. That is, my parents provided me with a strong foundation which included, respect, consideration, courtesy, tact, humility and a dose of humor. In my humble and professional opinion, demonstrating those character traits is more important than picking up the right fork - which, by the way, I did learn about when I was trained and certified several years ago. With ever-changing societal trends, continued research and collaboration with others in my industry keeps me current.
This career choice also allowed me to be in control of my schedule, which came in handy while I was a stay-at-home mom, teaching etiquette on a part-time basis.
6. Who inspires you? I am moved by my parents. I am inspired by my sons to practice what I preach. I am also inspired by my religious beliefs, particularly the part about “Do unto others…” And finally, if I am pointing out the incivility in today’s society, I had better not be contributing to it.
7. Of the five major Vincentian Values of Respect, Compassionate Service, Simplicity, Advocacy for the Poor, and Creativity, which one is your favorite to practice and why? If I could select only one of the above traits, it would have to be “respect.” I believe respect is the foundation to more civil communication and interactions. If we respect a differing opinion by acknowledging it (not accepting it, or even liking it), the chances of a conflict diminishes. This would allow for the other values to prosper.
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