How to deal with corporate blunders

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Abbygale Arenas shares tips in ‘88 Things Every Professional Should Know… or else’

Former model-beauty queen-turned-professional image consultant Abbygale Arenas-de Leon has jot down in a book easy-to-follow guides in dealing blunders both in the workplace and personal interactions.

From dressing up, developing rapport, navigating workplace etiquette and business dining with manners, the 1997 Binibining Pilipinas and Miss Universe Photogenic shares in her book “88 Things Every Professional Should Know… or else” tips she learned over the years to avoid fashion misdemeanors, conversational pitfalls and ways to master nonverbal communication.

Subjects include what to do when faced with a person whose name slipped the mind, declining [or accepting still]a handshake from someone who is clearly suffering from colds, or as simple as how to use the array of utensils beside the plate during a business lunch.

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“After having the chance to travel the world and meet people from all walks of life, I had realized that inspiring people by sharing my own stories and experience is what I wanted to do, and by writing this book, I believe I am doing just that,” wrote Arenas-de Leon in her book.

Abbygale Arenas-de Leon

Recognized by the Association of Image Consultants International, she also shared tips how to deal with clients and colleagues through electronic messaging and apply the right attitude in making manners count in the daily corporate life.

She disclosed no nonsense recommendations for readers, whether for those who are starting out in their career and those in the far midst but needing cues on office etiquette.

First impression lasts, especially when one is carrying the name of a corporation, she intoned.

“When you are meeting someone for the first time, you only have six to eight seconds to make a first impression. The moment you are identified as part of the company, clients will see you as the whole company, and that’s great responsibility.”

In a chance meeting, the author advised to say “good to see you again” and encourage conversation while trying to remember the name of a forgotten colleague. She said, “continue chatting general topics until you remember the name. If no such luck, be honest and ask for the first name.”

When dealing with clients, the multi-slashie personality stressed the importance of posture in exuding candor.

She wrote, “as a professional, you should embody credibility so that clients would trust you. You could easily project it through proper posture.”

The author likewise underlined the need to be tactful at all times in the professional setting. When there’s a need to correct someone, she suggested, “Praise in public, criticize in private. Trying to get respect by playing the bad guy or scaring your associates is an old tactic that will never work.”

Being in any profession requires eagerness to learn, to contribute and to collaborate.

“If you don’t have enthusiasm, do something to possess it. Make yourself realize the importance of what you are doing and the contribution you are giving,” she wrote in the book published by ABS-CBN.

The former beauty queen is the managing director and chief trainer of Personi-fi Image Studio. She is among ABS-CBN Publishing’s elite roster of authors that includes the late Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Boy Abunda, Francis Kong and Charo Santos-Concio.

88 Things Every Professional Should Know… or else is available in leading newsstands and bookstores nationwide.

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