First Lady’s Action Is Speaking Louder Than Words

In my eti­quette work­shops, I stress the impor­tance of being aware of body lan­guage. These days every phone is equipped with both a video and still cam­era, so you never know who might be look­ing, record­ing or snap­ping pic­tures of you and your actions.

Case in point, at Monday’s post-inaugural lun­cheon, First Lady Michelle Obama was caught rolling her eyes at Speaker John Boehner.  Although there is no audio of what was said, it has been spec­u­lated that it was a joke about The Pres­i­dent not being able to smoke.  Nev­er­the­less, rolling your eyes is not a becom­ing ges­ture for any­one, espe­cially for a First Lady.

Here are three things to keep in mind while din­ning with others:

1.  When eat­ing, keep pace with oth­ers at the table.

2.  Use good pos­ture.  Do not slouch.

3.  Be aware of your body lan­guage — rolling your eyes,  elbows on the table, etc.

Mr. Romney visits the White House for lunch with the President

Mr. Romeny visits the White House for a Private lunch with the President

Photo prop­erty of Getty Images

On Novem­ber 29, 2012, Mr. Rom­ney will join the Pres­i­dent for a pri­vate lunch at the White House.  Yes­ter­day, I had the honor of speak­ing to KNX 1070 radio regard­ing eti­quette tips for how both men should con­duct them­selves. Here is what we dis­cussed, as well as other things to keep in mind.

Host­ess Gift

When­ever you are a guest, you should always show up with a gift for your host.  In this case, Mr. Rom­ney could bring a book, or a framed pic­ture of him­self like the Queen of Eng­land did in 2009.  What­ever he decides, he should keep in mind that this may be dis­played in Pres­i­dent Obama’s pres­i­den­tial library one day.

Small Talk

I’m sure they both have plenty to talk about, but they should each have a few top­ics pre­pared so when the con­ver­sa­tion comes to a silent patch then they will have some­thing to bring up.  The Pres­i­dent should refrain from remind­ing Mr. Rom­ney that he won re-election and Mr. Rom­ney may not want to men­tion any plans on a new ele­va­tor for his cars, and, as funny as this may sound, should avoid polit­i­cal top­ics, espe­cially since this lunch takes place at the White House with the Pres­i­dent of the United States.


It is cus­tom­ary to make toasts at meals, but here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1.  A guest does not make the first toast, the host does.
  2.  When the host makes a toast, he should refrain from mak­ing fun or embar­ris­ing his guest.
  3. A per­son who is on the receiv­ing end of the toast never drinks to him­self, but instead may respond back with a toast to his guest.

Thank You Note

A guest, in this case, Mr. Rom­ney should fol­low up with a thank you note to the Pres­i­dent thank­ing him for a won­der­ful time even though it may not have been.

Man­ners is about mak­ing the other per­son feel com­fort­able.  If Mr. Rom­ney and Pres­i­dent Obama keep this in mind, I have no doubt their first encounter after a heated elec­tion will go off with­out a hitch.

Hey Ms. Longoria, I am a Minoity Woman voting for Romney and I am NOT Stupid!

The beau­ti­ful Eva Lon­go­ria is tak­ing some heat for an offen­sive retweet  @eva­l­on­go­ria  “I have no idea why any woman/minority can vote for Rom­ney. You have to be stu­pid to vote for such a racist/misogynistic twat.”

As one of Pres­i­dent Obama’s cam­paign co-chairs and a role model, we would expect a lit­tle more pro­fes­sion­al­ism and sen­si­tiv­ity from her when decid­ing what she is going to retweet.

Maybe Ms. Lon­go­ria can use a refresher course on how to talk politics.


To be fair, she did later delete the tweet and apol­o­gized. *UPDATE: Thurs­day, Oct. 18, 12:10 p.m. ESTLon­go­ria apol­o­gized for offend­ing peo­ple with the retweet, via Twit­ter, writ­ing: “I use Twit­ter as a plat­form for all Amer­i­cans and their opin­ions. Sorry if peo­ple were offended by retweet. Obvi­ously not my words or my per­sonal view. I respect all Amer­i­cans #FreedomOfSpeech.”

For me this is per­sonal since I am a minor­ity, a woman and I sup­port Romney.

In my sem­i­nars when I talk about eti­quette and the Internet, I always stress how impor­tant it is to be care­ful about what you put on the Inter­net because it will fol­low you forever.

There is no doubt that this elec­tion is bring­ing out strong emo­tions on BOTH sides.  How­ever, we need to remem­ber that every­one is enti­tled to their opin­ion, so let’s all show some civil­ity and remem­ber that noth­ing pos­i­tive can be accom­plished from name calling.

*Huff­in­g­ton Post

Manners Monday: Politics and Etiquette 7 Tips on how to talk Politics when the conversation get’s political

Pol­i­tics is one of those top­ics that is off lim­its along with reli­gion, money and sex.  But, with the elec­tion just a few weeks away, emo­tions are run­ning high and there is no escap­ing the topic. In this week’s Man­ners Mon­day video we dis­cuss “7 thing ways to mind your man­ners when there is no escap­ing the polit­i­cal con­ver­sa­tion.“

*Wed­dings and hol­i­days are risky set­tings for such poten­tially divi­sive con­ver­sa­tions, espe­cially among fam­ily mem­bers who might not be so shy about tem­per­ing their opinions.

These are mem­o­rable events, and the mem­o­ries should be good ones. Charged polit­i­cal con­ver­sa­tions or com­ments should also be avoided when meet­ing new peo­ple or speak­ing briefly.

The results. Elec­tion day will inevitably arrive, bring­ing deci­sive out­comes (hope­fully). Ela­tion in vic­tory and dis­may in defeat are nor­mal; how we choose to dis­play those emo­tions is important.

Cel­e­brate or com­mis­er­ate when with like-minded friends and col­leagues, but in less cer­tain com­pany — this goes dou­ble at work — be sen­si­tive of oth­ers’ emo­tions and be dis­creet with your own.

*taken from Reuters

National Etiquette Week — 2012

May 7  – May 12 is nation­ally known as National Eti­quette Week, a week of bring­ing aware­ness in all areas of eti­quette from the board­room to the classroom.
In honor of National Eti­quette Week, we are doing our part in pro­mot­ing gra­cious­ness & civil­ity.   Pur­chase a copy of the Power of Civil­ity this week for only $17.99 reg­u­larly $24.00

The Power of CivilityThe Power of Civil­ity is packed with thought-provoking per­spec­tives on what civil­ity really means, as well as prac­ti­cal solu­tions for incor­po­rat­ing civil­ity best prac­tices into your work and life. In this com­pre­hen­sive book, eigh­teen top civil­ity and eti­quette pro­fes­sion­als go beyond the typ­i­cal “please and thank you” con­ver­sa­tions about civil­ity and chal­lenge you to think about your per­sonal stan­dards, account­abil­ity, val­ues, and what it means to be com­mit­ted to choos­ing civil­ity, whether at home, at work, in your com­mu­nity, or in pub­lic — at home and abroad.

This book pro­vides the tools you need to boost your social intel­li­gence and build your cul­tural com­pe­tence, giv­ing you the con­fi­dence and poise to go any­where and be wel­comed as a car­ing and con­sid­er­ate cit­i­zen of the world. Dis­cover the power of civility!

The Power of Civil­ity Table of Con­tents
The Power of One
Choos­ing Civil­ity
By Lew Bayer

Civil­ity Begins at Home
By Deb­o­rah King, AICI CIP

Pub­lic Civil­ity
The Case for Face-to-Face Com­mu­ni­ca­tion
By Deb­o­rah McGrath

Stand Out—Don’t Stick Out

Per­sonal Account­abil­ity and Civil Busi­ness Essen­tials
By Tiffany Nielsen

The Power of Lead­er­ship Civil­ity
Lead­ing by Exam­ple
By Laura Barclay

Build­ing an Excep­tional Pro­fes­sional Image

Six Keys to Suc­cess
By Jules Hirst

Lunch Box Civil­ity
A Tool for Lead­ers
By Pene­lope Paik

Develop Your Per­sonal Brand and Power it with Civil­ity
By Yas­min Anderson-Smith, MCRP, AICI CIPCPBS

Net­work­ing with Civil­ity
The Ulti­mate Busi­ness Tool
By Cheryl Walker-Robertson

Nav­i­gat­ing the Social and Psy­cho­log­i­cal Com­plex­i­ties of Inci­vil­ity
By Suzanne Zazu­lak Pedro

Civility—Making it a Lifestyle
By Cindy Ann Peter­son, AICI FLC

To Say or Not to Say, That is the Ques­tion
Polit­i­cal Civility–The Real­ity Show
By Shelby Scarborough

Civil­ity Com­mu­ni­cates Con­fi­dence
Five Traits that Pave the Way to Suc­cess
By Tara Crawford

Civil­ity on Cam­pus
How to Get an “A” in Con­duct
By Denise F. Pietzsch

Uncov­er­ing Dia­monds
The Chal­lenge of Inter­gen­er­a­tional Civil­ity
By Pat Walker Locke, AICI FLCCPC

Din­ing with Civil­ity
Man­ners Mat­ter at the Table
By Non­nie Cameron Owens

for Mutual Respect
A Booster Shot for Civil­ity in Health­care
By Suzanne Nourse, CEPC

Cul­tural Con­sid­er­a­tions and Civil­ity
How to Get Along as You Get Around
By Anita Shower

Pur­chase you copy today for only $17.99 and free shipping.

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

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.

Rep. Weiner’s Sexting Scandal: Crash Course on Netiquette

Anthony  <a href=Manutdpeople Weiner" width="258" height="196" /> In light of Rep. Anthony Weiner”s sex­ting scan­dal, it is a good time for a neti­quette refresher course. Proper neti­quette can be bro­ken down to two simple rules.

The first being that what­ever you send will never go away. Whether it is a Face­book post, a tweet, a text, an email, or some other form of elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tion, there will always be a record of it some­where. As such, it can always come back to bite you.

The sec­ond reminder being that before you hit send think about what your mother would say about what you have writ­ten. If the woman who brought you into the world would be embar­rassed or upset by your mes­sage, you prob­a­bly should not send it.

Rep. Weiner’s error in judg­ment vio­lated these two sim­ple rules. On top of this, he exac­er­bated the prob­lem by lying about it. What started out as an error in judg­ment exploded into a full scale national scan­dal that raised even more ques­tions. By sex­ting, did Rep. Weiner cheat on his wife? That is a ques­tion to be answered between Rep. Weiner and his wife. Does sex­ting neg­a­tively impact Rep. Weiner’s job per­for­mance? That is a ques­tion to be answered by his con­stituents. What can be answered is that hav­ing taken this neti­quette refresher course you should real­ize that there is an elec­tronic record of your com­mu­ni­ca­tions and you are bet­ter off admit­ting guilt and suf­fer­ing the con­se­quences than try­ing to cover it up and fac­ing a harsher penalty down the road.


Etiquette for The American Flag

In Cel­e­bra­tion of Memo­r­ial Day just a few days away, it is a good time to remind our­selves about flag eti­quette.  Did you know that the dis­play and han­dling of the Amer­i­can flag is cov­ered under fed­eral law?  In fact, it is Chap­ter 1 of Title 4 of the United Sates Code.  This means you could be cited for improper use of the flag, but it is highly unlikely as the Supreme Court has ruled that the dis­play­ing of the flag is pro­tected by the 1st Amendment.

Since Memo­r­ial Day is a day to give thanks to ser­vice peo­ple who have lost their lives for our free­dom, the flag should be at half-staff until noon and then raised to full-staff until sunset.

Other rules include:

  • The Amer­i­can flag should be taken down before sun­set, unless there is proper light­ing to keep the flag lit.
  • The Amer­i­can flag should not be flown dur­ing bad weather unless you have a spe­cial flag designed to with­stand the weather.
  • The Amer­i­can flag should always be higher than those of the states.
  • If there is more than one flag on the flag­post, the Amer­i­can flag should always be on top.
  • If flags of other nations are fly­ing, they should all be on sep­a­rate poles and be at equal height.
  • The Amer­i­can flag should never touch the ground.
  • The Amer­i­can flag should also never be writ­ten on or be worn as cloth­ing.  It should not be used in advertising.
  • Amer­i­can flags dis­played on vehi­cles or floats should be on a staff and not draped.
  • When dis­card­ing a worn Amer­i­can flag, it needs to be destroyed in a dig­ni­fied man­ner.  The best way to accom­plish this is by burn­ing it.  The Boy Scouts con­duct flag burn­ing ceremonies.
  • The Amer­i­can flag should never be flown upside down unless sig­nal­ing an emergency.

Fol­low­ing these guide­lines will keep your flag dis­played prop­erly and will show respect to the mem­ory of those who gave their life for our freedom.

President Obama’s Royal Mishap When Toasting The Queen

Yes­ter­day Pres­i­dent Obama began a toast to the Queen at the wrong time as a result “God Save The Queen” was play­ing dur­ing his toast. Pro­to­col states that the toast is to be given after “God Save the Queen” is played.

And now I pro­pose a toast to the Queen, Pres­i­dent Obama began, but only got as far as To the vital­ity of the spe­cial rela­tion­ship before God Save the Queen cut him off.

He con­tin­ued to give his toast and raised his glass say­ing “To the Queen” she smiled, but beca­use the song was play­ing no one drank from his or her glass includ­ing the pres­i­dent he put his glass down on the table.

Once the song was over every­one raised their glass.