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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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.
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?” »
Have you ever made a cringe worthy mistake? One that ruins not just your day but the week or weeks following? One where you can’t stop obsessing about your failings? Yes? You’re not alone.
I made a big mistake last year. A mistake that I was so embarrassed about I couldn’t talk about it to anyone except my husband and one friend. I had a huge amount of shame around my blunder. But with time, distance and overcoming my gaffe I’m now ready to talk about it and share the lessons learned. Continue reading “How to recover from a major mistake” »
Kindness is showing love to someone else. I believe that kindness is the cure for violence and hatred around the world.
The January 1st Parade magazine edition had an article about making 2017 the year of being kind and included the lovely quote above by Lady Gaga. According to the article, studies have shown that being kind has many benefits not only for the receiver but the giver as well. When you are kind to others it lights up your brain’s reward center. Hospital patients who are treated with kindness and compassion have less pain, anxiety and shorter hospital visits. And conversely, kind doctors are less tired and are more engaged. Neighbors who are social and help each other have tighter knit neighborhoods and are less isolated. Kids who exhibit emotional intelligence, which includes kindness, are shown to have more success in life. Continue reading “The year of kindness: Join me on a kindness journey” »
“Where do you live?” I asked the man sitting at the table at which I was seated. He stated a neighborhood I hadn’t heard of so I said, “Oh, I’ve never heard of that neighborhood. Where is that?” As he revealed where he lived and the entire table listened I realized it was the wrong question to ask. He was obviously embarrassed by the neighborhood he lives in. The event I was attending as the speaker was held at an upscale Seattle club where one’s address is very important. I should have realized this when I asked that seemingly innocuous question. Further proof that this etiquette consultant is not perfect. Continue reading “Don’t ask these 8 questions: Conversation dos and don’ts” »
My 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” »
Can 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.
Etiquette 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.
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” »