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Not your grandmother’s etiquette

Hello and welcome to the Clise Etiquette blog, a place to discuss savvy and not so savvy decorum. Etiquette may sound like a stuffy or old fashioned topic, but it’s really just about making yourself and others more comfortable and successful by being respectful, kind and professional.

I am an etiquette consultant, speaker, trainer, coach and author of Spinach in Your Boss’s Teeth: Essential Etiquette for Professional Success. I share etiquette and protocol tips, stories and techniques that you can use to feel more confident, at ease and successful in the workplace and socially.

I invite you to share your thoughts and questions on the situations in life that confuse you, anger you, give you pause or make you proud. Please feel free to let me know if there are topics you’d like me to discuss or hear more about. Some of my best posts come from questions or stories readers share with me.

Thank you for stopping by. I invite you to subscribe to my blog by either email or RSS. Just click on the RSS or email symbols to the right of this post.

Going up, going down, going round & round: Elevator, escalator and revolving door etiquette

revolving_doorMy friend got into the revolving door of his office building and was moving forward when, bam, the door suddenly stopped. He hit the glass front with his head and his glasses cut his face. What the heck just happened my friend wondered? Turns out a young man had jumped into the same compartment as my friend and caught his foot on the door causing it to stop suddenly. My friend, in a moment of frustration, sternly stated to the young man, “It’s really not that hard – one person to a compartment!” Continue reading “Going up, going down, going round & round: Elevator, escalator and revolving door etiquette” »

Thanksgiving (and other meals) dos and don’ts

turkeyCan you hear it? It’s the sound of busy hosts shopping, prepping and cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I’m thankful my sister is one of those hosts. She usually hosts Thanksgiving because she has the bigger house and bigger family. The rest of us get to enjoy the gourmet bounty and family gathering in exchange for bringing a dish or two. Lucky us.

Whether you’re hosting or attending the Thanksgiving gathering this year you may be challenged by a few etiquette dilemmas. Let me answer some of the common etiquette dilemmas that apply especially to the holidays but that are also useful for other gatherings. Continue reading “Thanksgiving (and other meals) dos and don’ts” »

Little niceties that make a big difference

holding-door-openEtiquette has some specific rules that help you know what to do and not do, such as which fork to use on a crowded table or that it’s not okay to cut in line when a queue has formed. But, there are a lot of little niceties that fall under manners that are sometimes less known and are more subtle.

Continue reading “Little niceties that make a big difference” »

What not to say or do when your coworker is sick or grieving

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Illness and loss can be hard topics to discuss. Most people simply don’t know what to say or do when someone they know has been diagnosed with a serious illness or loses a spouse or child. It seems extra hard when that someone is an employee or coworker. When personal matters intertwine with work we often don’t know how to handle it. Continue reading “What not to say or do when your coworker is sick or grieving” »

Smile, you’re on camera! Video conference dos and don’ts

video-conferenceHave you ever had a conversation with someone on the phone and wondered about the meaning of their words? If so, it’s possible the lack of body language made the conversation difficult to interpret. According to research conducted by Professor Albert Mehrabian, when we communicate feelings and attitudes, 7% of the meaning is contained in the words we use. 38% of the meaning comes from the way words are used – tone, volume, speed, etc. And facial expressions convey 55% of the meaning. Therefore, a conference call or phone meeting can lead to some miscommunication due to the lack of body language. Because of this and other reasons, many companies are converting to video conferencing technology for meetings to increase understanding, reduce travel expenses and increase productivity.

Continue reading “Smile, you’re on camera! Video conference dos and don’ts” »

How to win favors and influence opportunity

politeness-costs-littleOh the power of “hello,” “please” and “thank you.” When they are used you often get better service, lower prices, maybe even a seat on a crowded plane. When they are not employed, you’re put in the “rude” category and are faced with possible negative consequences.

Continue reading “How to win favors and influence opportunity” »

Five lessons from Craigslist for job applicants

craigslistMy husband and I are turning our media room into a guest room so we have been both buying and selling items on Craigslist. Craigslist is truly a great way to find and sell items at a reduced price. It can also be a lot of fun to meet interesting people. But, it has its down side too. Unfortunately there are many rude, clueless and dishonest people who use Craigslist. If being a Craigslist buyer or seller was akin to looking for a job, most of these people would never get hired. They would be perpetually unemployed.

Let’s look at the lessons Craigslist can teach us for being a good job applicant. Continue reading “Five lessons from Craigslist for job applicants” »

A lesson from toothpaste

Toothpaste-Tube-RedWhiteBluePasteMy fabulous children’s manners teacher, Jan Townsend, forwarded me a Facebook post written by someone I don’t know. The author’s name is Amy and I was both excited and moved by her words. In her post she talked about teaching her daughter, who was entering middle school, about kindness. To teach the lesson, she had her daughter Breonna squeeze out a bunch of toothpaste from a tube and then instructed her to put it back in the toothpaste tube. Her daughter protested and said she couldn’t and that it wouldn’t be like it was before.  Amy waited for her daughter to finish and then taught the kindness message. This is what she said to her daughter: Continue reading “A lesson from toothpaste” »