Tuesday, October 3, 2017


What would you do if you’re faced with a person whose name slipped your mind? Or when there are so many utensils in front of you during a business lunch and you don’t know what to do with them? Can you decline a handshake from someone who is clearly suffering from cold?

From dressing up, developing rapport, navigating workplace etiquette, and business dining with manners, corporate trainer and former beauty queen Abbygale Arenas-de Leon answers all these questions and more in her book under ABS-CBN Publishing entitled “88 Things Every Professional Should Know… or else.”

The professional image consultant, recognized by the Association of Image Consultants International, jots down easy-to-follow guides in this self-improvement manual’s latest edition. It includes tips the author has learned over the years to avoid fashion misdemeanors, conversational pitfalls, and email no-no’s in dealing with clients and colleagues plus ways to master nonverbal communication, apply the right attitude and make manners count in the daily corporate life.

“After having the chance to travel the world and meet people from all walks of life, I had realized that inspiring people by sharing my own stories and experience is what I wanted to do, and by writing this book, I believe I am doing just that,” wrote the 1997 Miss Universe-Philippines in her book.

She disclosed no nonsense recommendations for readers, whether for those who are starting out in their career and those in the far midst but needing cues on office etiquette.  

“When you are meeting someone for the first time, you only have 6-8 seconds to make a first impression,” shared the former model. She highlighted the value of first impression to the company one is representing. “The moment you are identified as part of the company, clients will see you as the whole company, and that’s great responsibility.”

In a chance meeting, the author advised to say “good to see you again” and encourage conversation while trying to remember the name of a forgotten colleague. She said, “continue chatting general topics until you remember the name. If no such luck, be honest and ask for the first name.”

When dealing with clients, Abby stressed the importance of posture in exuding candor. She wrote, “as a professional, you should embody credibility so that clients would trust you. You could easily project it through proper posture.”

The author underlined the need to be tactful at all times in the professional setting. When there’s a need to correct someone, she suggested to “praise in public. Criticize in private. Trying to get respect by playing the bad guy or scaring your associates is an old tactic that will never work.”

Being in any profession requires eagerness to learn, to contribute and to collaborate. “If you don’t have enthusiasm, do something to possess it. Make yourself realize the importance of what you are doing and the contribution you are giving,” wrote Abby.

The former beauty queen is the managing director and chief trainer of Personi-fi Image Studio. She is among ABS-CBN Publishing’s elite roster of authors that includes the late Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Boy Abunda, Francis Kong, and Charo Santos-Concio.

ABS-CBN Publishing, known for bestselling books that redefine genres, is a magazine and book publisher and a wholly owned subsidiary of ABS-CBN. Aside from a variety of fiction and nonfiction books, it includes lifestyle, culinary, youth, and entertainment glossies in its portfolio.

Read more of Abby’s helpful tips in “88 Things Every Professional Should Know… or else,” available in leading newsstands and bookstores nationwide for only P345.

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