Trick-or-Treat Etiquette Tips

Halloween Etiquette_Tips for Trick or Treat

Grow­ing up, Hal­loween is one of the great­est days of the year.  You get to dress up and pre­tend to be some­one else and peo­ple give you candy for it.  Fol­low­ing sim­ple eti­quette tips can help make this a great day for everyone.

In terms of Hal­loween eti­quette, your porch light and the lights in the front of your house say a lot about you.  Lights sig­nify that some­one is home and on Hal­loween that sig­ni­fies that this house is pass­ing out treats.   Candy Corn_Halloween-EtiquettePar­tic­i­pa­tion in Hal­loween is vol­un­tary.  You don’t have to do it.  If you were raised in an iso­lated com­mu­nity and never expe­ri­enced the joy of Hal­loween, you may not under­stand or want kids com­ing to your door.  That’s fine, but let peo­ple know by turn­ing your lights off.  To a kid, a dark house has no candy.  How­ever, a lit house where no one answers the door is sus­cep­ti­ble to the trick part of Trick or Treat.

Hal­loween eti­quette also says that you should not pass out home­made treats or fruit.  You could be the world’s great­est baker, but no par­ent is going to spend the time try­ing to fig­ure out your inten­tions. A good par­ent will go through their child’s candy bag and throw away all the unwrapped items.  Why go to all the work of bak­ing to have your cre­ations thrown out.  If you do not believe in pass­ing out candy, a trip to your local dol­lar store will pro­vide a wide vari­ety of fun, non-edible treats to pass out, such as super balls, pen­cils, and glo-sticks.

Par­ents need to remind their trick-or-treaters that reg­u­lar rules of eti­quette still apply on Hal­loween.  Their chil­dren should always say, Trick or treat when the door opens and thank you after receiv­ing their treat.  Chil­dren should only take one to two pieces of candy from the candy dish, unless they are encour­aged to take more by the home­owner.  Par­ents should also stress to their chil­dren that it is polite to take what is offered even if they do not want it.  Remind them that they can always throw it away later.

Eti­quette should also be con­sid­ered when select­ing a cos­tume.  Every­one wants to have a fun cos­tume but con­sid­er­a­tion should be given to the loca­tion where the cos­tume will be shown off.  If you are attend­ing a Hal­loween party, your cos­tume may be more appro­pri­ate than if you are wear­ing it to school.  Peo­ple may be offended by your cos­tume, and this could lead to a visit to the principal’s office.  Of course, get­ting sent home early from school does allow more time for trick-or-treating!

Wearing White After Labor Day.… Fashion Faux Pas?

The first Mon­day in Sep­tem­ber is a hol­i­day that hon­ors all work­ers in Amer­ica also known as Labor Day.  It is the unof­fi­cial end of sum­mer and come Tues­day it is back to work, back to school, and time to put your white suites, dress, etc. away.… or is it?

The tra­di­tion  of wear­ing white between Memo­r­ial Day and Labor Day started in the early 20th cen­tury and it is spec­u­lated that white was the color of choice for the well-to-do as it was cooler to escape the sum­mer heat.  Once they returned from their vaca­tions after Labor Day they would put their white away and bring out their fall wardrobe.

In the 1920’s Coco Chanel made white a year-round sta­ple and a per­ma­nent part of her wardrobe.  In the 2004 man­ners bible “Emily Post Eti­quette” says it’s ok to wear post-summer white.

Although wear­ing white after Labor Day is no longer a “fash­ion faux pas”, I’m amazed at how many peo­ple still fol­low this tra­di­tion, myself included.

Etiquette Tip: Introductions

business introductionsWhen attend­ing an event should we always make the introduction?
Eti­quette tells us when at an event never assume two peo­ple know each other.  Always make the introduction. 
The goal when mak­ing intro­duc­tions is to pro­vide infor­ma­tion about each other in order to give you a com­mon ground to carry a conversation.

Business Etiquette: Mastering Meal Time Interviews

You applied for a job, made it through a cou­ple of inter­views and now they want to take you and may­be the final can­di­dates to lunch.  Are your table man­ners up to par?  If the posi­tion you are apply­ing for requires you to wine and dine with clients chances are they are tak­ing you to lunch to check out your table eti­quette.

Your typ­i­cal inter­view may include:

1. Lis­ten­ing to the inter­viewer
2. Answer­ing his/her ques­tions
3. Ask­ing intel­li­gent ques­tions
4. Appear­ing relaxed

Now, throw in a two or three course meal, well this can get messy.  Although meal inter­views may seem less for­mal they are just as impor­tant.  Dur­ing a meal inter­view you are being eval­u­ated on your social and table eti­quette among other things.

In order to sur­pass at a meal inter­view not only do you need to remem­ber your basic table man­ners (which fork to use, nap­kin goes on your lap, which is your bread plate, etc.) remem­ber the fol­low­ing as well;

  • Try to avoid food that is messy such as spaghetti or ribs
  • Avoid food that is heavy on gar­lic or onions…you don’t bad breath
  • Avoid alco­hol
  • Although your meal is more than likely free, you should not order the most expen­sive meal.  The gen­eral guide­line is to fol­low the inter­view­ers lead and order the same as the inter­viewer, if that is not an option then stay close to the price of the meal the inter­viewer ordered
  • Fol­low your host do not begin eat­ing or drink­ing any­thing not even water until your host does
  • The inter­viewer should never eat alone, if they order cof­fee or dessert, then so should you
  • Never offer to pay for the meal
  • Remem­ber to thank the inter­viewer for the meal and you may men­tion a pos­i­tive com­ment on the meal
  • Never ask for a doggy bag
  • Don’t for­get to express how much you enjoyed talk­ing to the inter­viewer and ask what the next step is
  • Send a thank you note within 24 hours

If you are up against oth­ers with equal qual­i­fi­ca­tions, table man­ners can be the decid­ing fac­tor if you are hired or not.

Jules Hirst is a sought after speaker and a rec­og­nized eti­quette coach.  She con­ducts lec­tures, work­shops, sem­i­nars and webi­na­rs in busi­ness and social eti­quette.  Jules co-author Power of Civil­ity where she shares strate­gies and tools for build­ing an excep­tional pro­fes­sional image.

Jules can be reached at: or 310–425‑3160

Etiquette Tip — Small Talk Faux Pas

It is hard to believe sum­mer is here.  With the sum­mer get-togethers comes meet­ing new peo­ple and  mak­ing small talk here are some top­ics to stay away from…

  • Inap­pro­pri­ate Subjects:
  • Per­sonal issues such as fam­ily & health
  • Reli­gion
  • Pol­i­tics
  • Salary
  • Inti­mate Relationships
  • Death
  • Sales (Do not try to  sell some­thing to some­one you have just met)
  • Off Color Jokes
  • Gos­sip

Would love to hear your Small Talk Faux Pas stories.

Jules Hirst is a sought after speaker and a rec­og­nized eti­quette
coach.  She con­ducts lec­tures, work­shops, sem­i­nars and webi­na­rs  in busi­ness,
social & wed­ding eti­quette she is also co-author of Power of Civil­ity where she
shares strate­gies and ­tools for build­ing an excep­tional pro­fes­sional
Jules can be reached at: or 310–425‑3160

Memorial Day ~ The History of.…

“The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thou­sand liv­ing men.” ~Minot J. Savage

Memo­r­ial Day is upon us and as you spend the long week­end enjoy­ing the warm weather and spend­ing time with fam­ily and friends, let us not for­get the true mean­ing behind the holiday.

The hol­i­day dates back to the 1860s and began as a time to dec­o­rate the graves of sol­diers who had given their lives in bat­tle.  It was offi­cially called Dec­o­ra­tion Day in 1868 by Gen­eral John Logan. Over the years, the hol­i­day has under­gone a few changes. It became known as Memo­r­ial Day in the 1880s but the name wasn’t offi­cially rec­og­nized until 1967 by fed­eral law.  It was changed again the next year when the Uni­form Hol­i­days Bill was passed by Con­gress.  This changed Memo­r­ial Day to the last Mon­day in May and made it a three day weekend.

Tra­di­tional cel­e­bra­tions include dec­o­rat­ing the graves at our national ceme­ter­ies with Amer­i­can flags.  Most peo­ple are unaware that there is a moment of remem­brance at 3pm local time.  Another Memo­r­ial Day tra­di­tion is to fly the Amer­i­can flag at half-staff until noon and then at full-staff until sunset.

While enjoy­ing your time away from work, let’s take a moment to remem­ber that this hol­i­day is a remem­brance of those who have given their life in bat­tle to pro­tect our free­doms that we enjoy this very day.

On behalf of Eti­quette Con­sult­ing Inc, we would like to thank those who have faught and died for our freedom.

Business Introductions: Who You Know

Business IntroductionsSuc­cess often boils down to who you know instead of what you know. In busi­ness, who you know are the con­tacts you make dur­ing your career and these con­tacts can be made in var­i­ous ways. Whether it is at an inter­view, a busi­ness meet­ing, a net­work­ing func­tion or even the super­mar­ket check­out lane, the intro­duc­tion cre­ates a last­ing impres­sion with the con­tact that can help open doors for you.

Proper busi­ness eti­quette for an intro­duc­tion is made up of four fun­da­men­tal skills.

  • Stand­ing Up
  • Smil­ing
  • Eye con­tact
  • Firm Hand­shake

When meet­ing some­one it is impor­tant to stand up. Ris­ing from the con­fer­ence table, your desk or the table at the restau­rant shows that you respect the other per­son and puts you on equal foot­ing for the begin­ning of your relationship.

Remem­ber that the intro­duc­tion is the first impres­sion the other per­son has of you, so you should always be smil­ing. Smil­ing presents a pos­i­tive image and atti­tude and fail­ing to smile can lead the other per­son to think you are unin­ter­ested in them.

Eye con­tact is another key com­po­nent of the intro­duc­tion. By mak­ing eye con­tact, you are focused on the other per­son and show them that you are interested.

A firm hand­shake is essen­tial to a pos­i­tive intro­duc­tion. It shows you are pro­fes­sional and con­fi­dent. To per­form a proper hand­shake, you should fit your hand into theirs to where the web­bing between your thumb and fore­fin­ger meet. Squeeze firmly and shake once or twice. If you have clammy hands, it is ok to sneak in a quick wipe to dry your hand before the hand­shake no one likes shak­ing a moist hand. You do not want your hand­shake to be too firm, demon­strates over­con­fi­dence, or too weak, demon­strates nervousness.

It is proper busi­ness eti­quette to make your own intro­duc­tions if no one is intro­duc­ing you.  Do not be overly aggres­sive or too shy.  A good rule of thumb is to approach the per­son or group, hold out your hand, say hello and give your name, com­pany and title. This addi­tional infor­ma­tion will help break the ice and help jump­ start the conversation.

After being intro­duced, con­tinue to use the person’s title (Mr., Dr., Pro­fes­sor, etc.) until that per­son says oth­er­wise. Most peo­ple strug­gle with remem­ber­ing names, so by remem­ber­ing it, you are show­ing that per­son how impor­tant they are. Use what­ever mem­ory trick works for you to remem­ber the person’s name and then, if nec­es­sary, write it down after­wards. If you do for­get a name, it is ok to ask them to repeat it, but be apolo­getic and make a bet­ter attempt to remem­ber it the next time.

When you are mak­ing the intro­duc­tions, busi­ness eti­quette says

  • The most pow­er­ful per­son should be introduced first
  • Fol­low that with your clients, high level exec­u­tives, or spe­cial guests
  • Always use the person’s title when introducing them

Fol­low­ing these steps will help all of your intro­duc­tions turn out pos­i­tively and as your busi­ness rolodex grows with con­tacts so will the oppor­tu­ni­ties for you to move up the cor­po­rate lad­der or land your dream job. Remem­ber “ it’s all about who you know.

Jules Hirst is a sought after speaker and a rec­og­nized eti­quette coach.  She con­ducts lec­tures, work­shops, sem­i­nars and webi­na­rs in busi­ness, social & wed­ding eti­quette.  Jules co-author Power of Civil­ity where she shares strate­gies and tools for build­ing an excep­tional pro­fes­sional image.

International Protocol ~ Conducting Business In Japan

Gift giv­ing is com­mon in Japan and are often given at the first busi­ness meet­ing. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Imported Scotch or cognac
  2. Elec­tronic gifts and toys for the kids
  3. Lux­ury for­eign name brands are preferred

It is also a good idea to have your gifts wrapped in Japan to avoid using paper that would be con­sid­ered unat­trac­tive to the Japanese.

Help­ing You Avoid Busi­ness & Social Faux Pas

Politics and Etiquette: Incivility in the Workplace and Congress

Here is a great arti­cle form the Boston Globe which dis­cusses inci­vil­ity in the work­place and Con­gress.  What do you think?  Is there a problem?

Olympia SnoweMaine Sen­a­tor Olympia Snowe  is just the lat­est exam­ple in pol­i­tics and busi­ness to demon­strate the ugly effects of inci­vil­ity. She said last week that she is not going to seek another term in the US Congress.

The three-term Repub­li­can sen­a­tor did not make her deci­sion because she was fac­ing a dif­fi­cult reelec­tion bid. Instead, she blamed the intense and some­times destruc­tive par­ti­san­ship in Wash­ing­ton. That, in a nut­shell, is the prob­lem with inci­vil­ity. At a cer­tain point, peo­ple say, “No more. I don’t have to put up with caus­tic, vit­ri­olic, neg­a­tive behav­ior.’’ And they dis­en­gage, refuse to serve, quit their jobs.

It’s not just in pol­i­tics that inci­vil­ity causes a prob­lem. In busi­ness, it is costly to replace a worker. There’s down­time between when a per­son leaves and a qual­i­fied replace­ment is hired. There’s a learn­ing curve for the replacement.

While busi­nesses don’t expect to keep a worker from leav­ing for a good rea­son — a bet­ter posi­tion, a relo­ca­tion — good busi­nesses ensure that employ­ees don’t leave for pre­ventable rea­sons. When a per­son leaves because of inci­vil­ity, that’s preventable.

And it should be unac­cept­able to the Amer­i­can pub­lic. I can accept any elected official’s deci­sion to return to pri­vate life; what is unac­cept­able to me is a res­ig­na­tion caused by the atmos­phere in Con­gress. The atmos­phere of the past few years is reflected in Con­gress’ steadily declin­ing approval rat­ing, which hit a record low of 11 per­cent in Decem­ber 2011. It is time to demand civil behav­ior from Congress.

Rude­ness and inci­vil­ity in the work­place — and Con­gress — are pre­ventable. Pre­ven­tion begins by chang­ing the work­place cul­ture and that means change must be embraced from the top down. That change is grounded in three pow­er­ful prin­ci­ples that should gov­ern inter­ac­tions in the work­place: be con­sid­er­ate, be respect­ful, and be honest.

It’s time for con­gres­sional lead­ers to rec­og­nize that the cur­rent cul­ture is toxic and to take respon­si­bil­ity for restor­ing civil­ity in the House and Senate.

Source:Boston Globe

Writ­ten By: Peter Post

10 Tips on How to “Talk Politics” When There is No Escaping it!

We should all know we never speak about “Pol­i­tics”  at the din­ner table, at a gath­er­ing with fam­ily or Politics in the Workplacefriends, the office, but what are you to do when there is no escap­ing it.  Here are 10 tips writ­ten by Diane Gotts­man of The Pro­to­col School of Texas.

1.  Allow the other per­son to state his or her opin­ion - Don’t inter­rupt – allow oth­ers to make their feelings heard.

2.  Ask ques­tions – Even if you dis­agree with the com­ments of oth­ers, show respect by ask­ing per­ti­nent ques­tions. You may be sur­prised to learn something new!

3.  Keep your voice down to a low roar- Don’t allow your­self to get worked up and start a shout­ing match with your cowork­ers or din­ner guests.

4. Edu­cate your­self on impor­tant issues – It’s impor­tant to at least be famil­iar with the beliefs and plat­form of each can­di­date to allow for knowl­edge­able dis­cus­sion. Remem­ber, being well-informed is always best!

5.  Don’t take it per­son­ally – Keep the dis­cus­sion in per­spec­tive and ask your­self how much anx­i­ety and con­flict you are

will­ing to undergo at the office or with friends by argu­ing over who the bet­ter can­di­date may be. Never resort to name call­ing or shame tac­tics, “I can’t believe you are that ignorant!”

6.  Vote – it’s a cop-out to say, “I don’t like any of the can­di­dates so I’m not going to vote” – if you don’t vote for some­one, any­one, you have no room to complain.

7. Pol­i­tics is not off lim­its at a din­ner party or social event – be pre­pared! You can answer with “I’m off polit­i­cal debate duty tonight – argue amongst your­selves” and opt out or jump in and make your point.  Do what feels right but always keep in mind you are a guest and don’t want to offend your host.

8. Keep it clean – Use your best judg­ment and keep your inter­ac­tions civil – you host will thank you for not incit­ing fur­ther furor among his or her guests.

9.  Don’t assume that every­one wants to talk pol­i­tics – Ask­ing some­one how he or she intends to vote in the elec­tion is inva­sive unless the infor­ma­tion is offered first.

10.  Use your sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing – Be mind­ful of how you are mak­ing oth­ers feel by voic­ing your strong opin­ions and avoid monop­o­liz­ing the entire con­ver­sa­tion with pol­i­tics. Have other con­ver­sa­tion top­ics handy in your con­ver­sa­tional arse­nal to pull from when the con­ver­sa­tion is too heated.