Before conducting business in foreign countries, it is important to familiarize yourself with the customs and cultures of that country. What is acceptable here in the United States may be taboo in that country. By preparing ahead of time, you will lessen the risk of embarrassing yourself and sticking your foot in your mouth and potentially damaging your business relationship. President Obama is currently making his first official visit to Australia and kudos to him for taking the time to familiarize himself with some common jargon. During a speech at the Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, President Obama worked in Australian jargon terms like earbashing and sticky wickets while talking about the relationship between the United States and Australia. Having used these jargon terms correctly, President Obama has shown that he prides himself in preparing himself for business in other countries and hopefully this will improve our foreign policy and help get us out of our sticky economic situation
Rap Mogul P. Diddy hasÂ hired etiquette expert Dawn Bryan to give his employees at Bad Boy Records a lesson on social niceties.
Ms. Bryan reportedly taught the staff how to hold chopsticks, present a business card in Japan, choose wine, hold a wine glass,Â eat caviar and how to select appropriate business gifts.
All new employes at Bad Boy Records will nowÂ be required to take anÂ etiquette lesson.
With all of the attention President Obama’s Royal Mishap when toasting the Queen has been receiving,Â here is a great article that gives some insight on why we follow protocol when meeting the Queen?
President Barack Obama raised eyebrows when he continued speaking during the national anthem with commentators suggesting protocol had been breached. But what is royal protocol and is it necessary?
Barack Obama was probably not aware that he was doing anything unusual when making a toast “to the Queen” and then continuing with a short speech. According to protocol, however, he should have stopped after the toast.
The band, taking its cue from the word Queen, struck up with the national anthem leaving the president struggling to make himself heard.
What happens when the Queen is toasted is all part of protocol, an elaborate set of customs and rules that govern interactions with the British royal family.
Some fuss was also made during a previous visit by the Obamas, when Michelle put her arm around the Queen, another protocol breach.
Mrs Obama’s action echoed similar slip-ups by Australian prime ministers. In 2000, John Howard appeared to have put his arm around the Queen, but that was as nothing compared to the furore caused by Paul Keating when he put his arm around the Queen during her 1992 tour of Australia, and was dubbed “the Lizard of Oz”.
Michelle Obama took the unusual step of hugging the Queen during the First Lady’s previous UK visit When meeting a royal, there are rules about who can speak first, where to look, what to call them, how you should stand and when you should sit. It is a mysterious business to the uninitiated.
But it stems from a time when monarchs were accorded an almost divine status and had to be treated accordingly.
“From medieval times, monarchs were divinely appointed to rule by God, so they were kind of seen as gods, so they demanded to be treated as gods,” says Dr Kate Williams, a historian at London’s Royal Holloway university.
“They are treated as people set apart from the rest of us, so primarily what it is creating is distance and grandeur.”
In short, says Dr Williams, “you don’t kiss them, you don’t touch them, you bow — over and over again.”
But in an era when a woman with ancestors who worked in the coal mines can become a princess, does royal etiquette really matter?
The reaction to Mrs Obama touching the Queen in 2009 would suggest it does to some people.
“Meeting the Queen may never be the same again after an extraordinary show of affection with Michelle Obama,” wrote Andrew Pierce in the Daily Telegraph in 2009.
For David Miller, director of Debrett’s, royal etiquette is a helpful set of instructions to show people how to behave in an unfamiliar social setting.
“It’s a code of conduct in terms of the way in which people behave at occasions and eventualities that they do not encounter on an everyday basis,” he says.
“Yes, it’s wrapped up in history and tradition, but it’s also practical, universal and there to avoid embarrassment.”
Royal protocol can be viewed as an expression of respect for the Queen.
William Hanson, a protocol expert who trained staff for the luxury liner Queen Mary II, says the Queen, with all she has been through, her unique perspective and position in the nation’s history, deserves the respect she is afforded.
“It’s because we respect her and what she stands for — she stands for all that is great in British society,” he says.
But there is evidence that things are becoming more relaxed.
Jennie Bond spent 14 years negotiating royal protocol as a part of her job as royal correspondent for the BBC.
“I don’t think that they are as hot on etiquette as most people think they are,” she says.
“They like people to curtsy, but you’re always told at royal briefings that it’s up to you. As a journalist, I never did.
“All this thing about not speaking to the Queen unless you’re spoken to, I don’t believe that, I always used to tell her jokes.”
Dr Williams says royal etiquette has adapted to reflect the shift in what we expect from our royal family.
“I think it is changing, I think in the earlier period people wanted their monarch to be set apart from them, that’s what they wanted, they wanted someone more powerful [to protect them],” she says.
“We’re less and less engaged with the idea of a monarch being distant. For example, Princess Diana gained popularity because she was so much less formal.”
But Mr Hanson believes etiquette still has a role to play, beyond royal circles as much as within them.
“These things matter, especially when you’re doing business with eastern countries such as China, where they take it even more seriously than Britain,” he says.
“The Japanese, the Chinese, the Middle Eastern countries, are more concerned with protocol day-to-day.”
Mr Hanson sees a deeper importance behind the principles of etiquette.
“If you get the little things right, all the other things fall into place. It’s about respect and deference in society, and that is what we’re lacking.”
As for the recent faux pas by Mr Obama, Mr Hanson says: “It’s not going to spell the end of cordial relations between America and Britain, but it’s always nice to get these things right.”
Source: BBC News
Yesterday President Obama began a toast to the Queen at the wrong timeÂ as a result “God Save The Queen” was playing during hisÂ toast. Protocol states that the toast is to be given after “God Save the Queen” is played.
â€œAnd now I propose a toast to the Queen,â€ President Obama began, but only got as far as â€œTo the vitality of the special relationshipâ€ before â€œGod Save the Queenâ€ cut him off.
He continued to give his toast and raised his glass saying “To the Queen” she smiled, but becasue the song was playing no one drank from his or her glass including the president he put his glass down on the table.
Once the song was over everyone raised their glass.
Analysts on Thursday criticized US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks on human rights in China as “totally improper and impolite” for a diplomat.
“The comments made by Clinton go against “diplomatic etiquette,” Zhang Shengjun, a professor of international politics at Beijing Normal University told the Global Times.
Clinton claimed in an interview with the Atlantic Monthly published Tuesday, the second day of the third round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), that China had “a deplorable human rights record” and feared the political upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa might spread.
“They’re worried, and they are trying to stop history, which is a fool’s errand,” she told the magazine.
James Palmer, a British history scholar living in Beijing, told the Global Times that “Fool’s errand” are harsh words, which are very unusual for diplomats to use.
“It’s wrong for Clinton to compare the situation in the Middle East to that of China because the issues China is faced with are totally different than those in other regions,” Ni Feng, director of the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times yesterday.
Washington has recently stepped up its rhetoric on China’s human rights, as Chinese analysts say the Obama administration is catering to public pressure within the US by using the issue to press China during the S&ED.
“The US has no economic and strategic choices to press China so human rights is naturally the only thing it could use at the moment,” Yuan Peng, director of the Institute for American Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times.
China Tuesday dismissed the accusations by the US, stating that no country is perfect on human rights and China is ready to continue to engage in dialogue, enhance understanding, reduce differences and expand common ground on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
China said on Thursday that tolerance and communication are vital for a harmonious Sino-US relationship that not only serves the fundamental interests of both sides, but is also conducive to the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.
“The Asia-Pacific is one region where the two countries’ interests are most interlaced. As countries with a major influence in the area, their harmonious co-existence and favorable interactions will be conducive to regional peace, development and prosperity,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said at a regular press briefing in Beijing.
The two countries share more common interests and responsibilities than disputes and conflicts within the Asia-Pacific region, and the mutually beneficial co-existence of China and the US depends on confidence and trust, she added.
The statements came a day after the end of the S&ED, during which the two sides have agreed to establish a mechanism of consultations on Asia-Pacific affairs.