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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 a business etiquette consultant, speaker, trainer, coach and columnist for the Puget Sound Business Journal . 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.

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” »

Read the situation or risk losing business

This is a guest post by Stacy O’Daffer, Clise Etiquette Associate.

“She will finally appreciate you after she lives without you.” It’s a mother’s universal salve for the wound of a child leaving for college. That this loss will be filled at some later, undefined moment does little to sooth the heartbreak.

But then, it’s time. Not the emoticon hints via text or insinuation during a phone call, but the Mother’s Day Brunch moment. My family gathered together–Ali, my college freshman girl, teen boys Will and Henry, and dad Eric. Eric serves up the traditional holiday prompt to the group.  “Tell mom what you appreciate about her.” Continue reading “Read the situation or risk losing business” »

Three tips for making public speaking easier

public speakingIn 2001 I joined Toastmasters, a speaking and leadership skills organization, and it changed my life. I was a devoted member of the Seattle General Toastmasters club for eight years. Recently, I returned to my club to see all of my buddies, some of whom have been members for 30 plus years.  For many longtime members, myself included, the club is more than just a place to practice speaking; it’s also a place of fellowship. So attending a meeting was like homecoming for me. Continue reading “Three tips for making public speaking easier” »

How to lose a prospect and annoy others

Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

Dale Carnegie wrote this beautiful quote in his bestselling book How to Win Friends and Influence People.  And it’s true. As he pointed out, when you remember and use a person’s name it makes him feel special and important. It shows you are attentive and caring. However, there is a limit to how often you should use someone’s name in a conversation, especially when you haven’t met the person. Continue reading “How to lose a prospect and annoy others” »