We’ve all heard the saying “You don’t know what you don’t know.” I’m reminded of this quote often when people share with me their etiquette annoyances or faux pas stories. So often a person’s misstep is simply due to not knowing that their behavior is inappropriate. Or they aren’t aware of the proper way to do something. For instance, when I was talking to a client she asked me to share in the training that people should not pass in front of others. Apparently, this is something she has experienced when out and about at her work and it annoys her. So, for everyone out there who doesn’t know what they don’t know, here are some social niceties that will make your social and business encounters a little, well, nicer. Continue reading “Do you practice these eight social niceties?” »
There are so many ways we can communicate with people – email, text, social media, instant message, phone calls and mailed notes. It can be confusing knowing what medium to use for event invitations. Just recently a friend received a birthday party invitation via a group text message. She thought it was a little odd that the invitation was sent via text given how casual and limited texting can be. It spurred a discussion on what is and isn’t an appropriate medium for event invitations. Continue reading “The message determines the medium: Dos and don’ts for event invitations” »
It’s cap and gown time; that wonderful time when high school and college students graduate and move on to their next adventure. It’s an exciting time. But, graduation can also be a bit of an etiquette minefield. I certainly made some mistakes with my own graduation and have made etiquette faux pas with other people’s graduations in the past. So, to avoid my mistakes and the others out there, here are some tips to help you navigate graduations. Continue reading “Eight graduation dos and don’ts for grads, family and friends” »
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” »
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.
Whether you’re hosting or attending the Thanksgiving gathering this year you may be challenged by a few etiquette dilemmas. Let me answer some of the common etiquette dilemmas that apply especially to the holidays but that are also useful for other gatherings. Continue reading “Thanksgiving (and other meals) dos and don’ts” »
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.
There 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” »
Every 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” »
When I was a child I was very shy, and was uncomfortable greeting and conversing with adults. However, my mother would always make a point of introducing me to people she encountered and would encourage me to look at the adult and say hello. As I got older, while still shy, I became much more comfortable greeting adults without my mom’s prompting.
It’s Be Nice to Everyone month. In January, I wrote about 12 things you could do throughout the year to be a better person. February’s focus is to show everyone the love, in honor of Valentine’s Day.
When we show the same courtesy and respect to everyone, whether the receptionist at the office or your CEO, not only do we make others feel important, we become memorable to people. It doesn’t take much to show the love. Here are some ways to do so. Continue reading “Show them the love” »