Category Archives: Business etiquette

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” »

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” »

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” »

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” »

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” »

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” »

Five tips for workplace success

business woman with moneyHave you ever wondered why some people have more success in their jobs and others can’t seem to get ahead even though they are very smart? According to a Harvard University study, 85% of a person’s workplace success is due to their personal skills – those intangible skills that lead to better and smoother relationships with others – your coworkers, boss or employees.

It often doesn’t take much to be more accomplished and regarded in the workplace. Follow these five tips to help you be your best. Continue reading “Five tips for workplace success” »