Cynthia Grosso, Charleston School of Protocol, Tea Etiquette Certified, The Tea House Times, Gail Gastelu
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THE TEA HOUSE TIMES INTERVIEW WITH
CYNTHIA R. GROSSO, CHARLESTON SCHOOL OF PROTOCOL

RE: TEA ETIQUETTE CERTIFIED

 



Cynthia R. Grosso is a corporate etiquette expert. She has been a speaker, teacher and consultant in this arena for more than 15 years. She is the founder of the Charleston School of Protocol and Etiquette.  In addition to being an award winning speaker and a business columnist, Ms. Grosso has appeared as an etiquette expert on the Dr. Phil Show, Oprah, Faking It and Perfect Proposal reality shows on TLC, and written about in numerous prominent newspapers and magazines.  She is the author of several books on civility.  She is the host of Your Manners Matter radio show.

The Tea House Times and Charleston School of Protocol have teamed up to create Tea Etiquette Certified, an online tea etiquette certification program.  Today we chat with Cindy Grosso to learn more.

 

GAIL GASTELU/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  Cindy, it has been a privilege working on this project with you.  The Tea Etiquette Certified program is fantastic and teaches so much more than just how to hold a cup!  It is full of sound business advice, modern etiquette practices, tea information, and additional resources to succeed in a tea business.  Please give us a quick rundown on the main topics covered in the six modules.

CINDY GROSSO/CHARLESTON SCHOOL OF PROTOCOL AND ETIQUETTE:
Business Resources – Business resources is a section of the program which includes business support materials to help in conducting business, the administration of the programs and the marketing of the programs.  

Module 1 - Professionalism and Brand Awareness - Understanding the importance of brand definition, first impressions, handshake, dress, facial expressions and personal presentation.

Module 2 - Communication Excellence – Reflecting your brand with excellence… includes verbal communication, Listening and speaking, telephone etiquette, email, social media, techno etiquette, correspondence etiquette and more.

Module 3 – Networking Excellence – Networking, titles and honorifics, Business card protocol, introductions, the importance of names, etc.  

Module 4 – Event Success – Meeting host etiquette, guest etiquette, gift etiquette, re-gifting, seating protocol, presenting at a meeting/event and invitations.

Module 5 – Creating the Atmosphere for Tea – This module includes understanding the enjoyment of taking tea, which may be enhanced by the atmosphere created. Topics discussed are fulfillment of the senses…sensory enjoyment; sounds, smells, visuals, taste and feel, types of teas events and customer service.

Module 6 – Tea Etiquette – This module is about proper tea service, pouring, handling the cup, proper accompaniments, conversation, food, etc.

GAIL: That is much more than how to hold a cup!  It truly is an impressive program since students may access materials online on their own time through audio, video, and other resources, reading materials, and handouts.  How long does the program take to reach certification?

CINDY:  The program is broken up into six modules as previously discussed.  It is designed to take 6 months or less, but students are permitted to take up to one year, if necessary, without paying additional fees to access the program. 

GAIL:  What happens at completion?

CINDY:  Upon successful completion of the six modules, the tea professional will receive the Tea Etiquette Certified designation by the Charleston School of Protocol and will be able to carry and display that designation.

GAIL:  I know you also teach business etiquette, how does this tie in to the tea etiquette certification?

CINDY:  This program, as with any certification program developed by the Charleston School of Protocol, is not just about learning the etiquette of taking tea, as presenting and teaching is only one aspect of doing business. It is understanding the professionalism of doing business, creating the atmosphere, event success, communication excellence and the success of marketing your brand...It is more inclusive and comprehensive and designed to take the tea professional and their business to a new level.

Business today takes knowledge in not just your area of expertise, but also being able to convey who you are with excellence. Being able to market yourself as "Tea Etiquette Certified" will give your customers, clients and colleagues the understanding that you are committed to excellence, personally and professionally.

GAIL:  Who will benefit from Tea Etiquette Certified?

CINDY:  The TEC designation will provide a distinction to tea professionals around the world to include:                                                                           

  • Tea houses
  • Bed and breakfasts
  • Hospitality professionals
  • Tea shops
  • Tea Industry professionals
  • Hospitality consultants

GAIL:  Testing is conducted through an online provider for each of the six modules.  What is considered a passing grade? 

CINDY: A passing grade is 80 percent.

GAIL:  How much does the program cost? Are there different levels?

CINDY:

The TEC program has two levels of support to include:

GOLD Level Participation – The gold level participant will have access to the online TEC program and teaching resources only.  This is considered our Limited Access level.  The gold level participation is $595.00 with a goal for completion in six months.

PLATINUM Level Participation – This is considered our Full Access level. The platinum level participant will have access to the online TEC program and teaching resources plus additional value added benefits and support as listed below.  The cost for this level is $745 ($595.00 program cost plus $24.99 each module (x6) which allows the following value added benefits and support:

  • Enhanced resources to support the tea professional to include presentation materials, handouts and audio communications. (+-$400.00)
  • Daily Personal Protocol Coach (PPC) bonus audios appearing below the lesson plan on the home page - 20 per module.  Each provides one minute protocol coaching sessions to enhance your professionalism. ($125.00 Value).
  • Two - One Hour Personal Coaching Sessions to be scheduled within the six month period of the course ($500 Value).
  • Monthly Gift ($200 Value)
  • Up to one hour monthly general discussions call to answer any questions and have a group discussion.($300.00)
  • Access to discussion board and social networking.
  • Affiliate Rewards program opportunity.

 

GAIL:  Does the certification expire?

CINDY:   To ensure professional, continuing education, The Tea Etiquette Certification must be renewed every three years. The re-certification fee is $95.00 and includes a refresher course, testing, and updated certificate upon satisfactory completion.

GAIL: Thank you Cindy…..I would like to invite all tea business owners to visit The Tea House Times Booth 309-311 at World Tea Expo in Las Vegas, June 1-3, 2012 to receive a TEC enrollment special during those dates.  Enroll during World Tea Expo and receive one Level Up – enroll at Gold Level/Limited Access and receive an upgrade to Platinum Level/Full Access for no additional charge. 

Please visit http://www.teaetiquettecertified.com to learn more.  Or contact Cindy and Gail by email to info@teaetiquettecertified.com

 

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