For the 2015/6 school year, we will add a couple of "new" skills to the lineup. In the first day, I will attempt to seriously present the importance of posture when in the presence of others. While there is a time for slouching and relaxation (I'm doing that right now.), we need to be aware that it is disrespectful to do so when others are with us.
When I teach the art of shaking hands, I go into the details:
- Web touches web (referring to the skin between the thumb and pointer)
- The grip includes the engagement of all four fingers on bottom and the thumb on top.
- The grip is not too hard and not too limp.
- The grip lasts only a couple of seconds.
- Throughout the process, the shaker's eyes must remain on the second individual.
Now, we will focus on postures. That means we need explicit instruction about how to sit, how to stand, and how to walk - not so I can micromanage my students, but to make them more engaging, more attentive, more attractive, more employable, and more confident.
We will also work on the proper etiquette of entering and exiting a room, and of receiving and addressing guests. I have some ideas along this line - nothing earth shattering, mind you - that should help these simple acts become something that awes our visitors and administrators. I want my gentlemen and ladies to stand out as polite and immensely respectful at all times. I want it to come naturally to them, and the only way that can happen is to break down the steps and practice. Adam Dovico, author, teacher, and visiting professor at Wake Forest University, created the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. acronym, which will assist us in achieving greatness in this area. I've converted his explanation into this graphic: