Corporate Etiquette & Protocol by Shital Kakkar Mehra, Founder – International School of Corporate Etiquette & Protocol
On 6th August, 2015 Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur was graced by the presence of Ms. Shital Kakkar Mehra, a Corporate Etiquette and International Protocol Expert. Other than being a Corporate Etiquette specialist, Ms. Mehra also serves on the board of directors of Third Sector Partners, a boutique search firm that helps organizations recruit top level management talent, and Katalyst, an NGO that works towards holistic and realistic empowerment of the girl child. She is also the founder of International School of Corporate Etiquette & Protocol, a one of its kind ‘Business Etiquette & Cross-cultural Consultant’ program. Her book based on Professional Etiquettes titled ‘Business Etiquette: A guide for the Indian Professional’ has been ranked among top 10 business best-sellers and is regarded as a must read for all business professionals. In this two hour long session, Ms. Mehra concentrated on the importance of Corporate Etiquette for success in the international business arena.
Ms. Mehra started off by emphasising on the importance of Corporate Etiquette in today’s business world of cut throat competition. She did not shy away from sighting research based facts and figures to further strengthen each of her points. The students were enlightened about the benefits of Etiquette and Protocol Intelligence as to how it helps position you as a distinguished individual who projects confidence and positivity. Ms. Mehra constantly resorted to interactive exercises that would reiterate each and every observation she had first highlighted as a possible skill the students should work upon if they wish to succeed as managers. She divulged into specifics by talking about the importance of first impressions, as to how most recruiters and industry leaders make a decision within the first few seconds of meeting an individual. While talking about the peculiarities of first impressions, she presented some ‘Presence Power Points’ that talked about individual factors of one’s personality such as appearance, handshake, posture, body language, etc. By indulging us in a fun-filled exercise of replicating the perfect webbed handshake she told us about the common mistakes one can make in a handshake and how different handshakes affect an individual’s perception of you.
The session slowly shifted gears and moved towards specific business situations that varied from greeting a person from a different culture to introducing yourself to someone who is at hierarchically different position than you are. Citing the importance of eye contact in different situations, Ms. Mehra helped the students understand as to how they should maintain eye-contact and the appropriateness of eye contact under different business and casual situations.
A hilarious joke set the tone for communication etiquette, where in the emphasis was on different types of electronic communication and how an individual can avoid the most commonly made mistakes under each of them. To answer a student’s question, Ms. Mehra described various roadblocks that hamper small talk and cited various incidents from her own experience where in an individual did not resort to proper electronic communication etiquettes.
A famous video that underlined the uniqueness of the Indian culture provided an amazing start to a thorough discussion on the importance of cultural awareness. The video was followed by a series of minimalistic posters that used contrasting images to accentuate the points that had been put across in the video. Through the posters, Ms. Mehra pinpointed the most routine ways in which our culture differs from that of the west, and how some of our habits are hampering us from reaching our full potential and establishing ourselves in the global world. After an in-depth analysis of the ways in which cultural differences determine corporate etiquettes, Ms. Mehra discussed several interview mistakes one can make and recommended her own formula for success in the professional environment. After talking about specific incidents that acted as examples for the points she had mentioned, Ms. Mehra answered a number of questions asked by the students.
At the end of the lecture, Ms. Mehra spoke from her own personal experience about the relevance of Corporate Etiquette in India when she started working in this industry, the challenges she faced and how being at the right place at the right time helped her become the successful business woman that she is. Vinod Gupta School of Management would like to thank Ms. Shital Mehra for delivering this valuable lecture on Corporate Etiquette which will definitely help the students make a successful transition into the corporate world.