Category Archives: Uncategorized

Eight graduation dos and don’ts for grads, family and friends

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” »

How to recover from a major mistake

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” »

Don’t ask these 8 questions: Conversation dos and don’ts

“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” »

How to win favors and influence opportunity

politeness-costs-littleOh the power of “hello,” “please” and “thank you.” When they are used you often get better service, lower prices, maybe even a seat on a crowded plane. When they are not employed, you’re put in the “rude” category and are faced with possible negative consequences.

Continue reading “How to win favors and influence opportunity” »

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” »

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” »

Keeping remote employees happy in conference calls

tin cansMeetings are a part of our work life, much to the consternation of many. Employees complain about how many meetings they have to attend, which are often poorly run and seem to lack purpose. Meetings are even more challenging when you are a remote employee calling in via conference call. Often those outliers dialing in are forgotten and struggle with hearing what is being said. But, in order for a company to thrive, the individuals in remote offices need to feel included, informed, and part of the team. Continue reading “Keeping remote employees happy in conference calls” »

Why I love the Seahawks but hate football

Two years ago, when I’d do my usual Sunday afternoon grocery shopping in the winter I’d wonder why the store was so empty. A few times I asked the clerk where everyone was and she’d reply “Watching the game.” I’d think, well I timed that right. I had absolutely no interest in football. In fact my memory of football was as a teen attending a Huskies game with my dad, freezing my rear end off in Husky stadium for no good reason. Continue reading “Why I love the Seahawks but hate football” »

Forget bossy; How to act like a leader

women high fivingGrowing up, a relative often called me bossy. The term was never used in a positive way. To this day the moniker has left me afraid that being bossy is akin to another b word.

Continue reading “Forget bossy; How to act like a leader” »

Informational Interview Etiquette Answers

Cups Under Espresso Machine PortafilterI received a very nice email from a graduate student who was seeking answers to coffee meeting and informational interview etiquette dilemmas. He wrote:

I found your “Coffee Date Dilemmas” (blog post) very informative and helpful, with its consideration of small but important details, and enjoyed browsing your blog.

I do have a few follow-up questions, if you have a moment.

I’m a graduate student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and was recently introduced via email to a few contacts in the industry. I’m meeting them for a basic informational interview to better understand roles in the industry, and to possibly parlay the meetings into an internship in the summer.

I have a few related etiquette questions. Continue reading “Informational Interview Etiquette Answers” »