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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.

A verboten topic

conversation“So, do you have kids?”

Have you ever asked someone this question? Such a seemingly innocuous question. But, it’s actually a very loaded, potentially painful topic.

A few days ago I received this email from a newsletter reader. Continue reading “A verboten topic” »

A frightening epidemic

I'm SickThere is an epidemic spreading in the Northwest. It’s infecting people right and left and it’s a doozy. Haven’t heard about it? You may already have this disease and not even know it. It’s the RSVPitis epidemic. I’m telling you, it’s bad news. Continue reading “A frightening epidemic” »

Setting attainable and enjoyable New Year’s resolutions

New Year's resolutionsI’m not a big fan of making New Year’s resolutions because I find they are easy to break after a few weeks. The gym I belong to is a perfect example of this – hordes of new people fill the classes in January and by February most of them have disappeared. It can be hard to establish new habits. However, for the second time, my husband and I made a resolution that shouldn’t be hard to keep. Continue reading “Setting attainable and enjoyable New Year’s resolutions” »

Navigating holiday gifting and tipping dilemmas

holiday sweaterWondering if you can regift that ugly sweater Aunt Mary gave you? Are you stumped by office gift giving protocol? Feeling tripped up about tipping the service people in your life? The holidays pose many etiquette dilemmas that can leave you fretting. No need to fret, here are answers to the most common holiday etiquette dilemmas: Continue reading “Navigating holiday gifting and tipping dilemmas” »

Conversation tips to make your holiday mingling easier

Making Toast at PartyIt’s the season of mingling and celebrating. That time of year when you may be attending holiday parties, family dinners and the company celebration. If these events fill you with dread, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with socializing with strangers or people they don’t know well even if they are family or coworkers. But small talk does not need to be challenging. Using a few tactics will make your conversations much easier. Continue reading “Conversation tips to make your holiday mingling easier” »

Avoiding Thanksgiving manners mishaps and misunderstandings

Hungry Boy at the TableI love Thanksgiving. Not only are turkey, gravy and all the fixings my favorite foods but I love being with family and friends celebrating our blessings. However, with most gatherings over meals there are often manners mishaps and misunderstandings. To keep the peace I thought it might be helpful to share answers to some common dining, hosting and guesting (I made that word up, like it?) dilemmas. Continue reading “Avoiding Thanksgiving manners mishaps and misunderstandings” »

The gift of presence: A Thanksgiving message

Family at Thanksgiving

Family at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love the focus on gratitude and being thankful for the blessings in our lives. I love spending time with family that isn’t centered around gifts, rather that we share the gifts of our presence with each other. And I have to admit, I also love turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce. Yum! Continue reading “The gift of presence: A Thanksgiving message” »

Seven ways to stay in the good graces of your coworkers when you’re sick

A fisheye image of a woman checking her temperature.

Hack, hack, sniffle, cough, sneeze. Cold and flu season are upon us. It’s never fun being sick and certainly not enjoyable being around someone who is coughing, sneezing and honking on a regular basis. During this germy time pay attention to these seven etiquette tips to avoid being ostracized by your coworkers when you’re sick.

Continue reading “Seven ways to stay in the good graces of your coworkers when you’re sick” »

How to check the time without appearing rude

Mickey Mouse watchI’ve been thinking about time lately. More precisely, I’ve been thinking about how to politely check the time when meeting with others. Keeping track of the hour in the presence of another person presents a few challenges.

Continue reading “How to check the time without appearing rude” »

Do your digital devices have manners?

Elevator Cell PhoneThe other day I was trying to get information on my iPhone by asking Siri, the personal assistant, to help me. As too often happens, Siri was not giving me what I needed. It seems I speak English and she speaks Russian. In frustration, I said, “Siri, you’re not giving me the information I need!” Her response was, “If you say so, Arden.” Argh! That only made me more frustrated. Whoever programmed Siri did not program her with courteous responses. If Siri had said, “I’m sorry I’m not being more helpful Arden” I would have been more forgiving. Continue reading “Do your digital devices have manners?” »