From Homegrown to a Global Standard: How the International Image & Etiquette Standards Can Advance Your Business

What is your biggest obstacle as a business owner? Is it the sustainability of the enterprise? How
to find success day in and day out?

As image consultants, we are our own brand. However, what really differentiates us from others?
Is it our company name, the product or services we provide, or the way we train new consultants
in the industry? The uniqueness of our brands makes us appealing to a variety of clients who are
looking for our unique brand.

Imagine, however, your client runs a multinational company with 20 branch offices in 10
countries. How can you make sure everyone (local and expats) can work smoothly together,
knowing they have different cultural background, and may also have different expectations?
Would it be better to a variety of unique and differentiated brands and solutions or one unified
global solution that’s been tested and proved effective around the world? A global standard that’s
recognized and appreciated for it’s consistency.

Engineers, lawyers, nurses and doctors have uniform standards that provide the confidence in
profession and in those hiring anyone of these professionals. As Patrick Chun noted, “There are
currently 800,000 licensed professional engineers in the USA and Canada. The market
understands the engineering profession because of these standards and as such has the
confidence to hire and pay for engineering services.”

Image consultants can use the added benefit of IITTI for their current business operations today. Using a world standard makes us look more professional. When our training can stand up to this test, our clients pay attention. Second, there is no conflict of interest as the assessment is done by an unbiased, independent body making the image consultant look more credible. As a bonus, World Civility Points (WCI) are earned by all exam passers. This raises the awareness of civility and the importance of connectedness. IITTI has a 3-level international certification standard for business applications. Certifying job-seekers is the biggest market out there because fresh graduates from universities yearly will all require landing a job somewhere. Certifying employers will show their customers they value people skills, hence the positive gain of company branding by improving company culture.

IITTI is an open standard; which means the requirements for this standard are open for all image and etiquette trainers to obtain. They just have to submit their application and comply with the requirements which can be found at the website. Any image consulting school can readily download the Standard & Guidelines and build their training program towards this standard. This ensures a potentially large pool of IITTI graduates from which various companies can eventually hire from.

Step 1: The Pre-Meet. An ice-breaker should be something small, but useful. The best is to introduce a small part of IITTI that can easily be adopted. This would be the ‘Rocktell resume video;. Here is why. Every HR would love to see a prospective employee’s communication skills before an actual interview. But up to now, there is no way to do that. So recommend them to use the Rocktell resume video; this asks a job-seeker an impromptu question to show the person’s ‘think on your feet’ skills. It saves HRs time and money, plus it can be done today!

Step 2: Recommend Adopting IITTI. As the Rocktell video is part of the requirements for the IITTI Level 1 certification, the natural second step is to encourage HRs to improve their ’employer branding’ by adding an extra line in their job ads stating they prefer applicants with both the Rocktell video and the complete IITTI certification. Again, it costs HR nothing, and can be done today!

Step 3: Use Job Ads as Advertisement. Now you can use their job ads as your own advertisement for your public workshops to train job seekers to be good at doing Rocktell videos and to get their IITTI certification. Everybody wins!

Without standardization, there is no measurement. Unlike hard skills which are a measurement of precision, soft skills are a measurement of awareness. People fail to measure soft skills because they try to measure them the same way as hard skills such as engineering or finance. They are trying to measure the wrong thing! Once we realize that soft skills are about awareness, we can start to measure awareness instead of accuracy.

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