IKC Professional Services

Irma Kalnina Consulting offers the highest quality standards of training programs and consultation in business etiquette, communications, and protocol based on long-standing professional expertise.

IKC Professional Services

IKC offers a diversified, comprehensive, and individualized approach to mastering the skills of business and social etiquette.

This includes business communications and even small talk, which can be invaluable in developing a wide variety of skills in the broader aspects of international relations. Subjects and consultations are tailored to each client’s needs and type of work. IKC training is organized as seminars, corporate events or individual consultations. Teaching methods are customized depending on the number of participants and specific nature of the business, and can include interactive discussions, role playing, video instruction, and situational analysis. Frequently clients choose to receive their training in real-life settings, for example, the study of table manners while dining in restaurants or the analysis of clothing selection in store showrooms.

1/10: The Basics of Business Etiquette

While the forms and substance of etiquette have changed and developed along with society and its customs, in every culture it has served as the unwritten and written laws that regulate all forms of communications.

Knowing the basic essentials of etiquette allows you to be natural and comfortable in any situation. A savvy, self-confident yet respectful person ascends the corporate ladder more successfully. Mastering business etiquette lets you focus on goals and longterm cooperation that is based on mutual respect and solid professional relations.

  • Business etiquette—meaning, advantage, and value
  • Etiquette in social life
  • The basics of business etiquette
  • First impressions
  • Business etiquette in open office
  • Understanding 4 generations in the workforce
  • Social media, social networks and their influence in communications

2/10: Impression Management

In both our daily professional and private lives, we each use drama to some extent to bring about results that further our goals and needs. Our attitudes and behavior change, in both conscious and unconscious ways, depending upon the nature of the situation and the purpose we are trying to achieve.

We adopt different roles in our lives in order to influence, or even manipulate, the people around us. Impression Management is a set of skills devoted to making successful first impressions. Understanding the psychology of Impression Management will also sharpen your awareness of how IM affects your relationships with others. It will also alert you to how others may using it to communicate with and influence you.

  • Evolution and survival
  • Impression management essence and objectives
  • First impression—key determinents and observable signals
  • What do others observe about your? Three possible Selves
  • Self-presentation techniques
  • Professional or personal IM tactics
  • Small talk—Greeting and introduction conversations
  • Networking
  • How to present yourself in one minute using Elevator pitch

3/10: Communications Laboratory

Small talk, brief exchanges and even eye contact can offer opportunities to increase effectiveness. Learning how to talk as well as listen, and understand as well as explain is essential in establishing effective lines of communication. Get to know the signals of body language and eyes, and learn how to make the most of brief conversations. Conversations take place between people with different experience, knowledge and values, but these barriers can be overcome with informed and fully developed communication skills.

In business etiquette, appropriate communication can promote manners, politeness, mutual trust, confidence, individual motivation and sustainable corporate development.

  • Harvard method of negotiations
  • Formula for constructive conversations
  • Constructive and destructive criticism
  • Say ‘NO’ without losing
  • Small talk is a business bonus
  • Presenting yourself in 60 seconds

4/10: Professional Image

Clothes, as well as behavior and competence, provide the initial impression of a person, company, its corporate culture and reputation in the business community. In the corporate world, identity and image becomes an essential part of a company, which is why during this course emphasis is placed on understanding the role of the visual image and finding a balance between personal and corporate identity.

Business Casual
Irma Kalnina (business casual) and Ingrida Karina-Berzina (business formal). Appropriate dress for the situation.
  • The significance of your wardrobe
  • Personal branding and your wardrobe
  • Professional identity in the business world
  • Business formal; business casual and smart casual basic principles and appropriate variations
  • correct outfit for the specific occasion

5/10: Cross-cultural Communication in the Business World

To increase competitiveness in foreign or multinational markets, one must think globally. This includes an awareness and familiarity with cultural and communications differences in different countries. Culture informs, guides and shapes all business processes and goals. This course looks at the essential and most commonly encountered cross-cultural communications barriers in the corporate world, and offers ways to resolve them.

  • The influence of culture in business
  • Identifying cultural differences
  • Basic guidelines for working with international clients
  • Corporations with diverse multicultural employees

6/10: Business Entertaining and Dining Etiquette

Corporate social events offer an opportunity to fully develop professional contacts and get to know colleagues, clients and working partners on a more personal level. Proper use of business etiquette, executive table manners and refined communications skills can often be a key element in developing a positive image and successful working relationships. But most important, mastering these skills enhances confidence and a sense of well-being, which reduces the likelihood of embarrassing mistakes.

  • Corporate lunches/dinners
    • Conversations during dining
    • Behaviour at the table
    • Basic principles of table manners
    • Popular difficult foods, table situation and solution
  • Corporate entertaining
    • What to know when organizing an event, the right choices
    • Responsibilities of the host/hostess
    • Responsibilities of the guest
    • Strategic socialization
    • Never, never…

10/10: Diplomacy in Hospitality

Diplomacy in Hospitality consists of the professional education and training of hospitality workers and teams according to the highest international service standards. Mastering these standards benefits both the establishment and its employees by increasing client satisfaction in all aspects of customer contact, communication and service.

Understanding of essence of hospitality:

  • Forms of address
  • Attitude
  • Ability to listen
  • Small talk
  • Confidentiality
  • Is the guest always right?
  • Serving according to protocol
  • Arrival of guests and taking orders
  • Understanding and selling the menu
  • Communications with the customer during service through to payment and guest departure

8/10: Business Conversations in English

Business Conversations in English is designed for non-native English speakers. This course teaches the nuances of conversational English during business discussions –from phrases that strengthen your message to potential pitfalls and misunderstandings.

  • Small talk
  • Conversations at the table
  • Introductions and greetings
  • Business phrases
  • Most common mistakes

7/10: Four Generations of Colleagues and Clients

Each of us has a circle of colleagues and working partners, and they represent four different generations. The same is true in the hospitality business. The generations are different and these differences influence interpersonal relations at work, as well as our communication with the people around us.

Born 1922–1945
interwar generation, traditionalists
Born 1946–1964
postwar children, raised during the Cold War
Born 1965–1980
X generation or alternative generation
Born 1981–2000
Y generation or the millennial generation

Why are they important?

Each of these generations holds firmly to their values. personal characteristics and lifestyle, work ethic, education, communication style, understanding of material wealth, family. To get the best result, colleagues at work or business partners must learn to get along and successfully cooperate. Understanding one’s working partner is the basis of a good business deal.

What should you know?

The first thing you must determine is which generation you belong to and what are your unique characteristics and values. Simultaneously you should undertake a similar analysis with your colleagues. Managment must understand when and why conflicts have arisen between colleagues, and whether generational differences are a factor. What must be done to harmonize points of view? The ability to understand value and working style differences, and noting each generations’ unique characteristics, it is possible to develop and outstanding team where each member feels valued and motivated.

What should be remembered?

Most important is respect, tolerance, patience, empathy and understanding. Often, young people who experience disagreements with their parents, will say They don’t understand me! Bet have these young people asked themselves, Do we understand our parents? It is important to remember that generational-based values can overlap (for example, those born in 1945 and 1946 may belong to different generations but still have common values.)

9/10: Handbooks

A corporate handbook of business etiquette is a useful guide for new employees and can serve as a reminder to existing employees about the standards, values, and image requested by the Board of Directors, management or the owners. IKC offers to develop an individualized professional image and dress code handbook, as well as a guide to business etiquette.

Ernst & Young: Guide to dress code

This handbook is like a daily guide before going to work. Practical tips on clothing choices allow one to feel at ease, confident, and professional in any situations.
Linas Dičpetris, Ernst & Young Baltic partner
Protocol and dress code nuances in various circumstances can create confusion and awkward situations. To avoid that, it is important to not only know the theory of dress codes but also how to use it practically in your life, which is no longer difficult with such an easy to use handbook.
Jonas Akelis, Ernst & Young Baltic partner

Swedbank: Your Style – Practical dress styles for Hansabank employees

With our outward appearance we can show ourselves as competent employees and good company representatives, or just the opposite – destroy the impression of our professional offering.
Marika Viktorova, Hansabanka (Swedbank) Personnel Department Director

Accenture: The Golden Rules of Business Etiquette

Work with Accenture began with the goal of developing a unified business etiquette code. Seminars on each topic were saved in digital form which became a book with structured behavior principles which offered daily pointers on how to better organize a professional and team effort. Accenture’s Latvian team is the first affiliate in the world to make use of a professional etiquette handbook.
Irma Kalnina, author

In the News

What are people saying?
With regards to the upcoming Latvian Presidency in the Council of the European Union, I had the honour of attending a lecture on diplomatic etiquette presented by Irma Kalniņa. Irma Kalniņas experience and knowledge were what made this lecture into one of the most useful throughout the preparation. The lecture was well adapted to the young audience and therefore made the diplomatic etiquette easy to understand. From this lecture, I learned a great deal of useful information and advice that will be used during the whole presidency and in the future.
Justīne Elferte — Liaison Officer for the Latvian Presidency in the Council of the EU at Riga Graduate School of Law
In the era of global economy, one cannot excel in the marketplace without cross cultural awareness, proper etiquette and effective communication skills. In fact, a business person who trades internationally must have formal diplomacy skills. Having understood this necessity, we booked two full days seminar for our C level executives with Irma Kalnina’s firm. It is my pleasure to say that everybody has been deeply impressed with the quality of the presentation, the usefulness of the material and overall charisma and passion with which Irma Kalnina delivered her two day course in etiquette and formal protocol.
Denis Gorškovs — CEO of Diatom Enterprises
The student fraternity Tervetia successfully cooperated with Irma Kalnina to organize etiquette courses for fraternity members. These courses achieved the desired result in keeping with our fraternity’s goals: to unite and educate new students so that they can be developed into honorable and capable members of the country and society; individuals who act according to the principles of honor and justice, and are courageous, self-sufficient and responsive.
Irma Kalnina has demonstrated that she is social partner we can rely upon to provide us with the highest level of courses in etiquette. As an instructor she not only offered lessons but also undertook preliminary research which allowed for Dlexible responses to a variety of professional and scheduling challenges. We welcome working with Irma Kalnina on etiquette training in the future.
Mārtiņš Vilnītis — Tervetia (Latvian student fraternity)
Irma Kalnins’ Communications laboratory was truly valuable and exceptionally relevant for our firm’s lawyers. With her wealth of experience and captivating sense of humor, Irma motivated us to better understand ourselves and those with whom we speak. Irma stresses that the foundation of all communication is attitude, and with her positive and relaxed approach she inspires audiences toward enjoyable and successful communication. Even many months after our sessions, we have noticed how Irma’s advice has helped us polish our communications skills in various work situations.
Ingrīda Kariņa-Bērziņa — Raidla Lejiņš & Norcous partner
AS BALTICOVO worked with etiquette and protocol expert Irma Kalnins and participated in her seminars about working lunches, effective communication, and Gold Standard relations with clients. After these seminars I. Kalnins was invited to help with the development of a dress code handbook for our management. This handbook is still used when we bring in new employees. During the development of the handbook she also accompanied our employees on shopping trips for clothes and evaluated samples chosen by our company. During the seminars, theory was supplemented with assignments related to the given theme. She also shared examples from her professional life. Our employees remember I. Kalnins with fondness and are grateful for the opportunity to get to know such a highly qualified expert.
Ilze Eglīte — Office and Personnel Director, Balticovo
Participation in international meetings and conferences is an important part of the everyday work of Latvijas Bankas managers, economists and other specialists. Irma Kalnins’ course “Effective participation in international meetings” illuminated the nuances of international business etiquette that help lead to constructive discussions. It also strengthened confidence in effective communication, and offered practical and useful advice on the use of the English language, as well as resolving various business situations. In addition, the time spent in intensive work together with colleagues has been a valuable opportunity for foster teamwork and personal development.
Vineta Veikmane — Latvijas Banka Assistant Director, Personnel managment
Information technology is something universal. Today it is an inseperable part of our lives regardless of the kind of work you do. That’s especially why an IT specialist must not only know his product but must also detect and adapt to a variety of signals that come from the outside world. Etiquete is a complex collection of signals, the knowledge of which is essential in the arsenal of any IT specialist - after all, we are the ones building bridges between various worlds! Thank you to Irma for introducing us to the detection and translation of these signals!
Ēriks Eglītis — Director, Microsoft Latvia
We chose Irma Kalnins’ courses in order to improve the communications skills of our hospitality staff and to deepend their understanding of etiquette. These courses opened a new page in hospitality standards for us and not only enhanced our employees’ competence but also inspired them thanks to Mrs. Kalnins’ personal life stories. In my view, these courses were among the most valuable we have ever undertaken to fully develop the quality of our firms’ offerings.
Jānis Pinnis — Director, Le Dome Hotel & SPA
Irma Kalnins’ personal experience, professionalism, tactfulness and personal charm are value in and of themselves. Theory, practical examples and exercises were balanced and supplemented one another, giving added opportunities to identify with the subject matter. I especially liked the fact that during the course “Etiquette and Protocol” a personalized approach was used, tailored to the needs and requirements of each participant. This enabled them to better understand the internal logic of certain situations at work or in their personal lives. The opportunity to enjoy Irma Kalnins’ presentation has been one of the best experiences in recent memory. One of the main truths that I personally received was understanding that good style requires both heart and mind!
Inga Veinberga — Latvijas Gāze, International Relations Specialist