Category Archives: Letters and notes

The year of kindness: Join me on a kindness journey

Kindness is showing love to someone else. I believe that kindness is the cure for violence and hatred around the world.

Lady Gaga

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” »

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” »

Five tips for being a gracious house guest

welcome matEvery year I speak on dining and business etiquette essentials to a group of college students who are in a leadership program hosted by the University of Washington Women’s Center. The program is called the Alene Morris National Education for Women’s Leadership. It’s a six day intensive program that focuses on increasing women’s representation in leadership positions in the non-profit, private, and political sectors. The program teaches the women participants many important and essential skills that will help them to be great leaders.

In addition to giving the training my husband and I also hosted one of the participants in our home. Our house guest, Charlotte, was a smart, talented and interesting young woman. She also was a great guest. She made it easy and enjoyable to host her. Continue reading “Five tips for being a gracious house guest” »

A fun way to stand out from the crowd

MP900309183[1]There is nothing better than getting a handwritten card in the mail. It’s the first piece of mail I open and it’s usually the last item I recycle. In fact, I usually hold onto hand scribed notes for at least a few days, and every time I see the card I think of the person who sent it to me.

Continue reading “A fun way to stand out from the crowd” »

Dear Ms. Clise

MP900387606[1]When people I haven’t met first email me they often address me as Ms. Clise. It always takes this casual Seattle gal by surprise. I understand why people are addressing me in a formal way; they assume it is the proper thing to do with someone who teaches etiquette.

Continue reading “Dear Ms. Clise” »

Alot of speiling and, grammer erors

blocksDespite having a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, grammar and spelling are not my strengths. But, I know that to make a good impression it’s important I follow the correct language rules when I speak and write. Therefore, it is something I work on.

I’m not perfect. In fact, readers have pointed out errors I’ve made, which, while embarrassing, has taught me the proper spelling or grammar. Continue reading “Alot of speiling and, grammer erors” »

A polite colleague’s dilemma

Dear Arden,

I enjoyed a lovely dinner with a colleague and would like to mail her a handwritten thank you note. Her business card doesn’t list a mailing address; this seems to be the trend with so many business cards in these days of electronic communication. I will email a note but I’m wondering if you have any advice for securing postal addresses to provide a more personal touch with our correspondence.


Personally Touched

A colleague sent me this email, and it turns out she was talking about me. I had invited her to dinner and she wanted to thank me for the evening. But, as you can read, I don’t list my mailing address on my business card nor on my website because I don’t want junk mail.

My client correspondence has my mailing address on it, so it seems to work out fine, with the exception of colleagues who want to send me correspondence via snail mail.

Continue reading “A polite colleague’s dilemma” »

The art of the (love) note

I love Valentine’s Day. It’s not the candy, flowers and other commercial trappings that make this day special for me, it’s that the day is a celebration of love. A day when we take the time to express our affection for the people we cherish. Continue reading “The art of the (love) note” »