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 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.
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When I teach dining etiquette I often tell a story that my neighbor shared with me. When she was a teenager she went to her boyfriend’s house for dinner. She picked up her bread roll, cut it in half with her knife and buttered the whole piece. Her boyfriend loudly announced that she was eating her bread wrong. My poor neighbor was mortified. She had no idea there was a right or wrong way to eat bread. Perhaps her boyfriend thought he was being helpful. But actually, he made his girlfriend feel very embarrassed. Yes, she will never eat bread that way again, but the fact she shared that story with me tells me she still feels the shame of being told she was doing something “the wrong way.”
Well, I guess it’s official; the holidays are just around the corner. I received my first December holiday party invitation the day before Halloween. I don’t blame the sender; the holidays are getting busier and busier and if you have any hope of having people attend your soiree you need to send the invitation out at least four weeks in advance. If you are thinking of hosting a party over the holidays here are some other tips to ensure a successful event. Continue reading “Six tips for hosting memorable parties” »
When faced with the tip line on the receipt from the coffee shop do you hesitate and wonder if you should leave a tip for the barista who made your pumpkin spice latte? If so, you’re not alone. I’ve had a few people ask me recently about tipping protocol because it seems tipping has gotten very complicated.
Until credit and debit cards became the preferred payment method for even small purchases, businesses would set out tip jars. They were there to collect the change from your purchase or loose change in your pocket to thank the barista. But now with debit or credit card purchases we’re faced with the tip box on the receipt or the Square payment screen. And, somehow writing in 50 cents just feels chintzy even though that would have been a perfectly acceptable tip if it was in loose change. So, what’s a person to do? Here are some tipping guidelines for the most common tipping situations. Continue reading “Your tipping dilemmas solved” »
We’ve all heard the saying “You don’t know what you don’t know.” I’m reminded of this quote often when people share with me their etiquette annoyances or faux pas stories. So often a person’s misstep is simply due to not knowing that their behavior is inappropriate. Or they aren’t aware of the proper way to do something. For instance, when I was talking to a client she asked me to share in the training that people should not pass in front of others. Apparently, this is something she has experienced when out and about at her work and it annoys her. So, for everyone out there who doesn’t know what they don’t know, here are some social niceties that will make your social and business encounters a little, well, nicer. Continue reading “Do you practice these eight social niceties?” »
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” »
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” »
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” »
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” »
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” »