For many people, etiquette isn't something they learn formally; it comes into practice along the way. It doesn't stop them from leading powerful and transformative lives. At Peerless Etiquette, we are committed to sharing inspiring and informative stories of real people carrying the torch of civility and kindness in all areas of life. Today, we want to introduce you to a dynamic educator and boss mom who helps children, teens, and adults through education and powerful coaching.
PE: Tell us a little about yourself, April.
My name is April Graham, and I am a Coach/Consultant and the CEO of Levolution Coaching. My purpose and passion are to help women overcome obstacles and to bounce back from setbacks. In addition to my coaching and consulting, I own a preschool Academy in Miami and am establishing a grade school in Georgia.
PE: April, have you ever taken Etiquette classes formally?
No, I haven't taken etiquette classes formally. But I have had the pleasure of knowing the founder of Peerless Etiquette, who I can always call for etiquette guidance.
PE: Not everyone has taken etiquette classes formally, but we have found it doesn't stop them from doing great things. However, in your profession as an educator and coach who is in constant contact with people, we know kindness and good etiquette play a role in your work; tell us about it.
You are right; as a Preschool Owner, I set the precedence that my staff emulates. Every day, I model kindness and good manners to establish the tone of the workplace. We are the foundation builders for the children, so all children must see kindness and good manners as essential attributes. Because children learn from what they see, we know they will mimic the kindness and good manners we set as examples.
PE: As a mom, I know this to be accurate; children often do as you do, but not always as you say. So it's fantastic that you and your staff are showing them powerful examples of what that looks like.
Were etiquette and good manners something your parents taught at home?
Honestly speaking, not at all. I was raised in a one-parent household, and my mom had struggles that did not allow her to be hands-on in my child-rearing. Therefore, most of what I learned about etiquette and good manners was from observing others or information received from an elder or mentor.
PE: Observation of others and guidance from elders and mentors is priceless when it comes to etiquette; many people need to realize that etiquette changes depending on the room you're in, so observation does inform us of what's appropriate most times. As a mom, how do you model good manners and etiquette for your child(ren)?
My children are adult women now, but in raising them, I ensured they were kind, respectful, compassionate, loving, etc. Regarding etiquette, they were taught the basics like table manners; elbows off the table, no talking with food in your mouth, chewing with your mouth closed, and crossing your legs at the ankle. But I'm sure I only scratched the surface of what they should have learned.
PE: I have the pleasure of knowing your girls personally, and I can say what wasn't taught formally was learned by observation of you. Dr.Ramona and IT Specialist Zaria are the kindest and most gentle spirits I have met. I know you are proud of the women they have become.
What advice would you give a new mom or parents on helping their child grow up with good manners and respect for others?
As a Christian, I always advise moms to follow as the Bible has instructed in Proverbs 22:6. New moms need to be very aware that the world has changed and is not as warm and friendly as it used to be. I will tell them to serve as their children's first role models and display these attributes of good etiquette and manners at home, and then to take advantage of the available resources, such as the many courses offered at Peerless Etiquette that will help train your child in the way they should go. Thank you for doing what you do; etiquette is essential in our work, schools, and communities.
PE: Thank you for that glowing recommendation; we pride ourselves on inspiring today's youth to embrace the ideals of proper etiquette and good manners for our modern world. As you mentioned, the world has changed, and with it, we must expand on some of the traditional etiquette rules to temper them for the challenges of our era. What is one etiquette rule you think is most important?
An essential etiquette rule is Please and Thank you. These two words go a long way because we interact with people daily. Please, and Thank you will set the tone for respectful communication and is vital to the interchange of kindness. It signals to the person you are communicating with that they are respected.
April, how can our readers get in contact with you?
They can reach me on my Instagram at levolution_coaching, and they can also visit my website on www.thelevolution.net