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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.

The message determines the medium: Dos and don’ts for event invitations

There are so many ways we can communicate with people – email, text, social media, instant message, phone calls and mailed notes. It can be confusing knowing what medium to use for event invitations. Just recently a friend received a birthday party invitation via a group text message. She thought it was a little odd that the invitation was sent via text given how casual and limited texting can be. It spurred a discussion on what is and isn’t an appropriate medium for event invitations. Continue reading “The message determines the medium: Dos and don’ts for event invitations” »

How curiosity strengthens connections

A client hired me for coaching because he wanted to feel more comfortable and be more successful when networking. Besides feeling uncomfortable in general when mingling, he mentioned that he didn’t know how to respond when people shared something he knew nothing about. He was afraid of looking ignorant or uneducated so he would change the subject. I talked about how sharing your ignorance about a job or topic is actually a great opportunity to connect with people. Continue reading “How curiosity strengthens connections” »

Eight graduation dos and don’ts for grads, family and friends

It’s cap and gown time; that wonderful time when high school and college students graduate and move on to their next adventure. It’s an exciting time. But, graduation can also be a bit of an etiquette minefield. I certainly made some mistakes with my own graduation and have made etiquette faux pas with other people’s graduations in the past. So, to avoid my mistakes and the others out there, here are some tips to help you navigate graduations. Continue reading “Eight graduation dos and don’ts for grads, family and friends” »

Six ways to tame a picky eater

Is your child a picky eater? Do you find yourself being a short order cook just to get your little one to eat something, anything? If so, it’s time to stop the madness. Being finicky is not a condition you have to live with and it’s not something that is hardwired into your kids. Here are tips for avoiding having a selective eater or turning one around to being more open to different foods. Continue reading “Six ways to tame a picky eater” »

Naked yoga and other no nos when rooming with a coworker

Business travel can be a lot of fun or a real challenge. One aspect of business travel that can be nerve wracking is having to share a hotel room with a coworker. While you may know and even like your coworker on a business level, it’s rare to be personally close to your colleague, making the intimacy of a shared room somewhat awkward. Dressing, toileting, sleeping are all rather intimate aspects of our lives and most of us are not comfortable sharing those aspects with relative strangers.  Therefore, it’s important to be on your best behavior and mindful of your roommate’s comfort. Remember, this is still a business trip. What you might do with friends and family in your own home is probably not appropriate in a business setting. Continue reading “Naked yoga and other no nos when rooming with a coworker” »

Please stop interrupting me!

“Wait, let me finish . . . what I was trying to say is interrupting other people is rude.”

When you interrupt someone it says to the person talking that what you have to say is more important than what they are sharing. It shows disregard for the person and what they are saying.

Continue reading “Please stop interrupting me!” »

What George Washington knew about etiquette

The concept of etiquette and civility has been around for a very long time. I recently finished a novel called “Rules of Civility” that included mention of George Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation. Apparently, at age 16, young George (yes, eventual first president of the United States) copied by hand for a penmanship exercise 110 rules of civility written by French Jesuits in 1590. Those rules were then made into a book by Mr. Washington. Continue reading “What George Washington knew about etiquette” »

Why brainstorming meetings rarely work

Meetings are conducted for a variety of reasons – decision making, company or department updates, project updates, brainstorming and more. One of the more challenging or difficult meetings to conduct effectively is a brainstorming meeting. It sounds like a great idea, but too often the meetings are run in a way that people don’t feel free to share their ideas. You’ve probably attended these meetings. You’re told it’s a brainstorming meeting and “no idea is a bad idea,” but after sharing a thought someone says, “That would never work.” Or “We can’t afford that.” In other words, the “No idea is a bad idea” premise is just lip service. Continue reading “Why brainstorming meetings rarely work” »

Eeek, there’s a bug in my borscht! Answers to common etiquette dilemmas

I first had the thought of teaching etiquette classes when I worked for Washington Mutual. My job at the time was managing sponsorships for non-profit events like breakfasts and lunches. Because the company often received a table at these events I had to fill them with willing WaMu employees. Not always an easy job. Inevitably, there would be a few people at the table who would look panicked at the multitude of utensils, plates and glasses. They weren’t sure which bread plate and glasses belonged to them at the crowded tables or which utensil to use first. I always felt badly for them. I knew if they learned a couple of etiquette tips they could feel more confident and would never be panicked again.

Continue reading “Eeek, there’s a bug in my borscht! Answers to common etiquette dilemmas” »

Are you guilty of any of these six speaking sins?

The success of your presentation will be judged not by the knowledge you send but by what the listener receives.

– Lilly Walters

Have you ever sat through a really bad presentation? Maybe the speaker rambled on and on and didn’t seem to have a clear direction. Or perhaps the presenter allowed an audience member to hijack the presentation. It can be really difficult to sit through a bad speech. To keep from being that speaker avoid these six speaking no nos. Continue reading “Are you guilty of any of these six speaking sins?” »