To Shake or Not to Shake: Etiquette in the Post-Pandemic World
After more than a year of a pandemic where health recommendations and social norms remain in flux, uncertainty with how to approach interactions reigns supreme.
On Monday, July 19, Carol Campbell Haislip ’69 began her talk on etiquette in a post-pandemic world with the reminder that we’re all learning the new guidelines of etiquette. “This is not a one-size-fits-all conversation. Everybody has to figure out this navigation for themselves.”
Cultural and pandemic distance between people has changed dramatically, as is something as simple as how to greet people. “In our culture, the only appropriate form of touch in the business world was the handshake. And now that we don’t necessarily have that form of touch, it creates an awkwardness that we didn’t have before.”
Carol emphasized the need to reread body language in this nuanced world to gauge people’s comfort level. “After more than a year of the pandemic, we’ve haven’t had to focus on body language on Zoom, and we’re now relearning the messages people are sending through their body.”
Carol closed with, “The easiest way for all of us to move forward is to embrace the awkwardness” and a reminder to most importantly, “be kind to others.”
Carol is co-director of The International School of Protocol, a company that provides the highest caliber of protocol and etiquette training for businesses, educators, adults, and children. She is also a founding partner of Road To Success: Career Development Program, a company focused on helping adults and students identify their personal strengths and become workplace-ready.