The Touch of Finesse

Post 1591 of 1734


It began with a career in the corporate world, a life full of numbers and legalities, but an eye for detail and obsession with making people look smarter, had Balsam Al Khalil completing her education at the Euro Protocol School in Brussels. She speaks to Sharon Carvalho as she delves into the world of protocol and etiquette

What inspired you to take up fashion styling and image consultancy?
Throughout my career as an executive banker, I have been training people to look good and be professional at all times but it was my belief that everything you do should be backed up with a solid education in the same field that had me studying at the London College of Fashion.

How did you get into etiquette training?
It was all about circumstance. I was supposed to be a diplomat for Lebanon but, at the time of my graduation from law school, things were difficult for the country and that was how I got into the banking world. But the world of etiquette and protocol had always fascinated me. So I followed my heart and went on to study it in Dubai and then did my MA in Brussels.

How relevant is etiquette training today and what is the minimum age for someone to enroll into your course?
Etiquette training is essential to achieving success in life and in the work place. Which is why everyone from fresh graduates to new employees to senior members of staff to even newly married individuals should undergo some amount of training. As for a minimum age, we design courses for children from the age of eight. At that age, I believe it is important to interact and share to make the experience enjoyable.

What is your go-to tip?
Investigate the details of the occasion you are going to. This will help you determine what to wear and will avoid a situation where you could be overdressed or under-dressed.

Tips for: A travelling businesswoman:

  • Travel light.
  • Pack essentials,
  • Mix and match but keeps a dark colour as a base.
  • Use plenty of accessories.

A job interview:

  • Wear a dark suit with a light shirt.
  • Always wear formal dark shoes.
  • Keep the accessories to a minimum.

A formal dinner or event:

  • Check the details of the event.
  • Always network. Do not stick to the same group.

The workplace:

  • Be professional.
  • Respect the rules and regulations.
  • Never gossip.
  • Never share your company’s secrets with anybody.