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Work etiquette for men following the #MeToo movement

Carlsbad etiquette expert and founder of the Swann School of Protocol, Elaine Swann, says when it comes to interacting, it is always better to play it safe.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — The #MeToo movement has shifted the dynamics of today’s workplace environment for both women and men. While much of the focus has been given to female victims of sexual harassment or assault, men have found themselves in the spotlight of this new self-conscious era

“I think it probably makes some men think twice before they say something or offer something, like taking someone out to lunch... I think it has had an effect,” said Dan Lawton, who works in a corporate setting.  

Lawton says the #MeToo movement has left a profound impact in social and work environments, “speaking from my profession I would say it’s made them much more cautious and aware.” 

Carlsbad etiquette expert and founder of the Swann School of Protocol, Elaine Swann, says the movement has affected today’s work culture in the way men behave around their female colleagues and says when it comes to interacting, it is always better to play it safe.

“My advice for men today in the workplace, is to be very careful with compliments, make sure that they are not too personal in nature. We want to avoid complimenting someone on their body type, or perhaps that they’ve lost weight... or how great an outfit looks on them,” said Swann.

Instead, Swann says, if you wish to compliment a colleague, make it less about the person as an individual and more about how it relates to the company. 

“You might say ‘that’s a great color on you, it really compliments the brand that we’re representing’. So, something around those lines so that your comment has more to do with the workplace,” said Swann. 

Another important tip, according to Swann, is always make sure to pay attention to your body language. 

“Making sure that you’re not giving a signal that might be misconstrued as something more intimate in nature. And be mindful of personal space. Everyone has their own bubbles as far as their boundaries are concerned. So don’t stand too close to an individual when you’re talking to them,” added Swann. 

Swann also says that this can go both for men and women. 

“Although we should be kind and considerate towards one another, gentlemen do not necessarily have to go overboard for women and women can certainly step in and help men as well,” said Swann. 

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