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How do we wish each other a happy new year?

Wish your colleagues, customers or anyone a happy New Year in a video meeting or an app. It has been different from now on. Are there actually new etiquette rules for the New Year’s greetings and the forced change of interaction in general?

Subway called Anne-Marie van Leggelo about this (right on time, of course, because that’s how it should be), one of the etiquette specialists (if not “the”) in our country. She said earlier Subway how the Christmas days are not a burden but a joy. Her Etiquette Bureau is regarded as a professional training, presentation and consultancy agency. Everyone can contact her for modern, business and international etiquette, advice on image and tips about hosting, thanks to corona now also online. Not just companies, by the way. Anyone who calls or e-mails her about contact rules, tips and tricks will receive a proper answer.

A very “weird year”

Anne-Marie had a “weird year” to say the least. “Of course I give a lot of training and coaching on business manners at companies, universities and hotels, for example. And I am often booked as a speaker at events. That all stopped. In the summer there was a revival and I was able to do things again at a meter and a half. Now everything has been canceled again, 60 percent of the income has gone. I can still provide a lot of digital training and fortunately my TV presentation work and writing work will continue as usual, but 2020 was, to put it mildly, a challenge. ”

A photo of Anne-Marie van Leggelo talking about New Year's greetings
Anne-Marie van Leggelo of the Etiquette Bureau. Own picture

On the other hand, it must have been a very special year for an etiquette specialist due to the imposed new manners. Anne-Marie agrees immediately. “It is super interesting in terms of behavioral change. In the beginning of the corona period, I received many calls for interviews. Normally I tell about rules and “how it works”. We once determined that together ourselves. Now we still had to find out, so I couldn’t predict or say that at all. I thought it was technically fascinating to see what was going to happen. It is now there and you can see how people interact with each other, for example in supermarkets. And that there is more aggression and division. That makes the year interesting from my expertise. A little respect for and a little patience with each other is now starting to become very essential. Tact is good in conversations. ”

Happy New Year at an online party

This morning many colleagues working from home will have wished each other a happy new year via Zoom. Is that just it for this year? The expert: “Well, no. You can still make a party of it yourself and hang your own garlands, right? So it could be a bit more extensive. We are more limited, so you should rule out the big New Year’s drinks. You can still get together with a very small group, which will happen in a small company. Furthermore, there are virtual things to think up, I advise companies to organize an online New Year’s reception. There are plenty of options. ”

Subway already did this as part of Mediahuis, during a digital Christmas market. There you could virtually meet colleagues and choose gifts from stalls. Something like that? Anne-Marie: “Yes, great fun. This is also possible with an online New Year’s drink, which should be all about positivity. Supervisors can speak there, just as they normally would. They can convey that “we” are all going to rock and make something beautiful out of it. Yes, employers and managers have to take the floor. They must tell you where you stand as a company, what your wishes and goals are and how they can be achieved. Preferably in a nice speech in a light tone. And link that to being together digitally and having a drink. Also, send employees a bottle of champagne or bubbles if finances allow. Commitment, even if it is something small, is appreciated. ”

A photo of Anne-Marie van Leggelo
Anne-Marie of Leggelo. Own picture

No more limit to “Happy New Year”

Until what date can we actually wish each other a happy new year in the Netherlands? “A lot of people think that it is until Epiphany on January 6,” says Anne-Marie. “As far as I am concerned, that is not entirely correct, because you can actually do that until King Willem-Alexander has held his New Year’s reception, in the second or third week of January. He won’t be holding it this year, or at least, I haven’t been able to find a date for a possible virtual reception yet. If I may say it as an etiquette expert, I think we should continue for a while this year. Wish everyone a very good, positive and healthy New Year as often and for as long as possible. Let’s not put a limit on it in 2021. We all need it, so as far as I’m concerned the rule doesn’t apply. ”

A photo of an online drink to wish each other a happy new year
Build your own party with an online New Year’s drink. Photo: Colourbox

Agree on disagree

How should we deal with each other in this crazy year further on? If it is up to our national expert, the word “respect” comes first. First, let’s agree that we disagree. That seems like a good one and be patient about it. Respect everyone’s opinion and count to ten. Think for a moment before saying or roaring something. ” Anne-Marie also sees that the latter does not happen on social media. But still: „That is why I say it correctly. Freedom is a great good, we must keep it. But you can always think about how you deliver it. With a little style, a little friendliness and kindness, you won’t touch anyone and you will be better understood. You gain a better understanding of your points of view when you write or say something in a calm or normal way. If you scream, you will not be heard. Let’s keep up the mind a bit. ”

Finally, Anne-Marie also has a nice etiquette rule for the writer of this story. “Keep the article a little light, don’t make it too stiff. My subject can seem rather frumpy and I don’t want that at all, haha. It doesn’t affect people otherwise, they will only find it patronizing. ”

Also read: Antwerp mayor in underpants during interview: “How do you know?”

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