Monday, April 1, 2024

Contributor Spotlight on Elizabeth Soos

 

Meet Etiquette Coach and Etiquipedia Contributor, Elizabeth Soos, Founder of Auersmont School of Etiquette & Protocol


When Elizabeth SoĂłs, founder of Auersmont School of Etiquette and Protocol in Australia, was growing up, “etiquette was King” in her household. Her parents taught her European etiquette standards throughout her childhood. Later, together with self-directed studies, she completed the Train-the-Trainer course offered by Emma Dupont’s School of Etiquette in London. To further her education, Elizabeth became certified in Chinese Etiquette with Ms. Joy Koh at Image Avenue and she studied with Guillaume Rue de Bernadac at Academie de Bernadac, based in Paris and Shanghai, for excellence in customer service. 

Elizabeth’s enjoys working with clients of all ages and backgrounds, at home and abroad. Over the past 10 years, Elizabeth has positioned herself as a voice of authority in etiquette as a contributing writer to the Etiquipedia Etiquette Encyclopedia, co-sponsoring global etiquette competitions, and has been featured in The West Australian and The Sunday Times, among other media outlets. Ms. Soos firmly believes that etiquette is a life-changing skill, an attainable precious possession that lasts a lifetime.
Below are links to just a few of Elizabeth Soos’ numerous articles on global etiquette you’ll find on Etiquipedia:
Profiles in Etiquette — June Dally-Watkins 
Etiquette of Mauritius or “Mini India” 
Etiquette of Mauritius or “Mini India” 
The Royal Favourite Tokay Wine 
Etiquette and the Melbourne Cup  
Japanese Etiquette Shines at World Cup
The following is a Q. & A. with Elizabeth:

What was the impetus for starting your Etiquette business?
From a young age, etiquette was like a second language in my household. I'd constantly observe and participate, always curious about the "whys" behind everything, from proper hosting to phone manners. My mother’s love for learning fuelled my own fascination with social interactions and cultural nuances. 

After owning and running a business in a completely different field, I craved a new challenge. While diving deep into the world of etiquette, I researched and found there were many differing etiquette perspectives around the world, but all with the same core basis: Respect. After receiving differing certifications in many types of etiquette, I returned to Australia with a burning desire to share my knowledge. Building Auersmont School of Etiquette and Protocol was only the beginning. 

Crafting the curriculum ignited a deeper thirst to understand the very history and evolution of etiquette, and to learn why others felt compelled to teach it. The pandemic pause presented a fortuitous opportunity to connect with Maura J. Graber of The RSVP Institute of Etiquette, a fellow etiquette expert, who further enriched my journey as a coach. It's safe to say, my lifelong fascination with etiquette blossomed into a full-fledged passion project!

Elizabeth at work, addressing a room full of young business women.

What do you enjoy teaching the most?

There are two parts to a great lesson, and I truly enjoy both. Firstly, I relish delving into the fascinating history and scientific underpinnings of etiquette with my clients. It's incredibly rewarding to share the "why" behind the rules, not just the "how." This deeper understanding creates a foundation for using etiquette authentically and confidently.

However, the true magic happens when we get hands-on. Dining etiquette becomes an interactive adventure as we explore proper utensil use and tackle tricky foods with finesse. Whether it's mastering a multi-course meal or navigating a formal event, these practical exercises equip my clients to navigate any social or business situation with grace and poise. It's incredibly satisfying to see them transform from apprehension to amusement as they embrace these new skills.

What do you find rewarding about teaching Etiquette?

The true reward of teaching etiquette lies in those "a-ha!" moments. When a client, regardless of age, suddenly grasps the "why" behind a particular rule – understanding the history or cultural significance – it's like a lightbulb clicks on. The same goes for mastering a formal table setting; the look of accomplishment on one’s face is truly heartwarming. But the ultimate satisfaction comes months later. 

Hearing from a client who successfully used an etiquette or protocol point I taught them, whether in everyday life or a work setting, is the ultimate validation. It lets me know my lessons have a real impact, empowering them to navigate the social world with confidence and grace. That's what truly makes my work rewarding.

What types of classes do you offer?

My passion truly lies in crafting programs that cater to real-world situations. That's why I've developed three core etiquette offerings: 1. Social Etiquette, 2. Business Etiquette & 3. Dining Etiquette. These areas touch every aspect of our lives, and I find immense satisfaction in equipping my clients with the skills they need to navigate these areas with confidence. The beauty of my approach is that clients can choose to focus on one area or combine all three to create a well-rounded skillset.

What age group do you enjoy working with most? And why?

There's a special joy I find in working with two distinct age groups: children and school or university graduates. Firstly, children possess an incredible openness to learning. They're like sponges, eagerly soaking up the rules and customs of etiquette. Witnessing their learning journey in classes like mastering skills like table manners or polite conversation, is incredibly rewarding. In a way, it's like giving them a secret code that unlocks a world of social confidence. 

On the other hand, when working with school and university grads, it feels like I’m empowering them for the exciting but sometimes daunting transition into adulthood. Having missed out on etiquette education myself during those years, I understand the challenges they might face. Equipping them with social graces and professional know-how – from introductions to business dinners – gives them a head start in navigating the professional and social landscapes with confidence. It's a privilege to be a part of their journey.

Who are some of the older etiquette authors or authorities you enjoy most?

When it comes to navigating the intricacies of etiquette and protocol, I rely on a few trusted authors whose works have profoundly shaped my understanding of social norms and behaviours. Maura J. Graber stands out with her insightful analysis and extensive research on historical etiquette, offering invaluable insights into how etiquette has evolved over the centuries. Additionally, Amy Vanderbilt's timeless classic, "New Complete Book of Etiquette," has been a personal favourite, providing not only clear guidance but also a warm and personable approach to the subject matter.  "Australian Protocol and Procedures" by Asher Joel and Helen Pringle has become my go-to resource for everything related to governmental, royal, business, and dining etiquette, offering comprehensive guidance tailored to various contexts. These authors and their works have been instrumental in shaping my understanding of etiquette and protocol, offering guidance that is both informative and enriching.

If you’d like to reach Elizabeth, she can be contacted via her website, email, etc… listed below:

www.auersmont.com | +61 466 344 331 | auersmont@gmail.com


🍽Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

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