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"Teaching business etiquette as the subtle, redefining confidence which enables people to excel and succeed in today's corporate culture."~ Cindy Grosso, Founder

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A Life Well Lived - Having Style 

Manners are her business

By Heath E. Combs, Staff  writer

A High Point woman was so convinced that good manners would help young people that she started an etiquette business to teach them just that.

"I always felt that if kids could be taught good communication skills and etiquette, they might fare better and make better students," said Linda Hanes, who recently founded Manners First, where she teaches etiquette to youths up to 18 years old.Hanes also recently retired after 27 years with Guilford County Schools, where she worked with alternative school and SCALE students. She said her years in the school system taught her that many students didn't always know the best communication skills or manners."Some get in trouble because they don't know what's expected of them. We live such a busy life that a lot of things are taken for granted," Hanes said. "So if you point something out to kids, then they may be prone to hear it."

After her retirement, Hanes enrolled in classes with The Academy of Etiquette & Protocol in Orlando, Fla. There, she was taught the basic behavior curriculum that she now teaches to students at her home on Briarcliff Court. Another etiquette educator believes there's a resurgence in how much the general public values manners. Cindy Grosso, founder of The Charleston School of Protocol and Etiquette Inc. in South Carolina, said youth etiquette programs provide
answers to teens wondering why manners are important. "They're the why generation, wants to know why do we do this. When you explain to someone why, they can understand and see the value.""To teach them to say please and thank you, give up a chair, or how to eat soup correctly, you're not teaching actions," Grosso said. "You're teaching attitude, and that's why manners are very important."

"When you hold the door for someone that's not an action, that's an attitude, and when you instill that in children... you create an understanding of others." Grosso said manners programs are a lesson in how to be successful, especially in corporate America, at which many of her seminars are aimed. "It's sort of faded away for a while but people are understanding and getting it. There's lots of people in corporate America that are not getting ahead and are not understanding it," Grasso said. "Corporations want someone who represents themselves well because they'll represent the corporation well. The new measure of success is how you handle yourself and others. And that's manners."

Hanes' curriculum includes everything from telephone and dinner etiquette to public speaking, handshakes and introductions. Hanes said she would like to eventually grow the scope of the manners business and work with after-school programs and local youth organizations.

Author: Heath E. Combs, STAFF WRITER

Source: High Point Enterprise

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