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Etiquette consultant teaches “the rule of 12” at UNCP

April 1, 2009

by Chris Adams

“Harvard research shows that 15 percent of people get jobs due to technical skills, and 85 percent of why they are promoted is due to their social skills,” said Corporate and International Business Etiquette Consultant Karen Thompson recently at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.


Etiquette consultant Karen Thompson

Thompson spoke to a eager audience of approximately 90 and taught the fundamentals of etiquette when attending a business luncheon or dinner.

“Social skills must be mastered,” she said. “These are skills that you’ll never learn in the classroom, no matter what your area of study.”

Thompson is the owner of Arrow Business Dynamics and is certified in business etiquette and international protocol by At Ease, Inc. and The Protocol School of Washington. She has presented her etiquette techniques to corporate and government executives, Fortune 500 companies, academia and numerous industry organizations.

“Whenever I make presentations to professionals, they are more reserved about asking questions,” she said. “I have no problems with students asking questions because that’s what they’re used to.”

During the seminar, “Outclassing the Competition Business Etiquette Dinner,” she taught “the rule of 12.”

“Employers will remember your first 12 words, first 12 steps, top 12 inches and bottom 12 inches,” she said. “Between your eyes and ears is your business zone.”


Misses Manners Heather Evans, left and Brittany Anderson show off their placesettings

Thompson has taught this seminar for many years at UNCP, and said she is amazed at the growth every year.

“Obviously, the word is getting out about how beneficial this (seminar) is.”

Brittany Anderson, a senior Exercise and Sports Science major, said she feels this kind of training is necessary and that it is a great experience for students.

Heather Evans, a senior Business Management major, said that she has business dinners all of the time. Evans also works as a physician recruiting assistant for Scotland Memorial Hospital in Laurinburg, N.C.

“I’m in charge of showing new doctors around the city and dining out is a part of my business,” Evans said. “The worst thing to do is not to know what to do in these (professional) kinds of situations.”

Thompson said she is grateful to the students for supporting the Career Center, who sponsored this event.

For more information about programs at The Career Center, please call 910.521.6270 or email

Chris Adams a senior Mass Communication major.