Good Manners Equal Good Business, Advises President of Etiquette School of Oklahoma

Article excerpt

Sometimes a meal isn't about the main course.

"There really is an art to the business meal," said Jana Christian, president of the Etiquette School of Oklahoma. "Some people are amazed and don't realize how important it is."

Etiquette is a code of behavior that has been around for centuries. Though the rules of etiquette may be unwritten, there are certain skills that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Even in a fast-paced, high-tech world, people still are judged by public behavior, Christian said.

"Etiquette has been around since before any of us were born, and it continues to evolve," she said. "It really is relevant to our growing world."

Christian was born and raised in Oklahoma. She went to finishing school as a teenager and viewed etiquette as a hobby. While working in the corporate world, Christian saw a niche area where she could utilize her etiquette skills.

She turned her passion into a business and opened the Etiquette School of Oklahoma in 2001.

"There was an immediate interest from across the board," Christian said. "It was clear that this was a need to be filled."

The Etiquette School, a consulting and training firm, is designed to train people of all ages and all professions.

Christian customizes every program to fit the specific needs of a client.

Once a customer schedules a session, Christian will visit with that customer and observe habits.

"There are so many topics under the umbrella of etiquette," she said. "Not every topic will be necessarily relevant for that particular industry or corporation. That is why we customize to fit their needs."

Examples of Christian's program for the corporate community include business dining skills and wardrobe essentials. …