Etiquette Expert Liz Taylor Offers Tips for Local Businesses

Business etiquette for the modern world.

Sometimes it seems like business etiquette has gone by the wayside in our modern, fast-paced world. With email, texting and instant messaging taking over, it’s easy to forget about basic manners when communicating in a business environment. Wayzata’s Liz Taylor created Etiquette Principles to bring business etiquette back to the modern workplace. “Etiquette is not a bunch of stuffy rules; it’s about confidence and being comfortable in any situation,” Taylor says.

Having worked in human resources for 10 years, Taylor is well-versed in how businesses run and how employees interact. She started Etiquette Principles five years ago because she felt there was a need for teaching respect in the business world.

Taylor attended the Emily Post Institute in Vermont, a renowned institution in etiquette standards. With that knowledge and her HR background, Taylor set out to help business people polish their professionalism.

According to Taylor, there seems to be a lack of awareness. “People aren’t intentionally rude, but if you grow up a certain way, how can you know any different? My job is to teach common sense, but common sense is not so common.”

One of the areas that Taylor specifically focuses on is generational differences. As more millennials (employees ages 15 to 33) enter the workplace, older employees have to adapt to a new way of thinking. Adept in technology, millennials communicate more through text, email and instant messenger, which are newer skills for many older employees.

A common example, Taylor says, is that employees of the baby boomer generation, ages 51 to 69, will often schedule meetings or face-to-face conversations, while millennials tend to prefer email communication. She also notices that younger employees multi-task, often using their phones to complete work or check emails during meetings. Taylor educates both older and younger employees, and facilitates understanding so they can learn to communicate and work together effectively.

Beyond generational issues, Taylor offers instruction on a wide variety of topics, from dining to international travel to simple body language, communication skills and professional image. She tailors her seminars to the needs of each client.

If a group wants to learn about dining manners, she might schedule a lunch. Most often, Taylor puts together a PowerPoint presentation with different activities so participants can work on the skills she teaches.

That was the case for Jim Wiese. Wiese was the president of the Minnesota chapter of Tax Executives through July. The group brings together tax professionals from large Twin Cities corporations such as Cargill, Target and 3M. Each year, the group hosts business trainings, and Wiese brought in Taylor to teach business etiquette. Taylor’s presentation focused on several topics, but business communication was the biggest. “It’s frustrating that we live in an email world and it seems like people ignore simple things like creating a proper subject line,” Wiese says.

He adds that Taylor’s presentation really helped his group understand some basics that are easy to forget. “A lot of what we talk about is common sense, but we just have to show respect for people around us,” Wiese says.

Many of Taylor’s clients, of all varieties, come from the Lake Minnetonka area. Taylor emphasizes that, big or small, any company’s employees can use a little refresher when it comes to learning business etiquette.

To schedule a presentation with Liz Taylor or find tips on business etiquette, visit the Etiquette Principles website here.