Personal Touch for Holiday Cards in Business

When it comes to hol­i­day cards, a per­sonal touch is always appre­ci­ated.  You want to thank your col­leagues and clients for their patron­age dur­ing the year.  The best way to do this is to put forth the per­sonal effort to show them that you do appre­ci­ate them.

As such, take the time to hand write every­thing.  Hand write a per­sonal note on the card.  Hand write the enve­lope.  Even if you hire some­one to do this for you, hand­writ­ing shows an effort that far sur­passes stick­ing a label on an enve­lope or hav­ing a card pre-printed to save you time.  These lit­tle things mat­ter and peo­ple notice them and will appre­ci­ate your extra effort.

You also should try to avoid email hol­i­day greet­ings.  Tech­nol­ogy has come a long way and some of these hol­i­day emails are quite enter­tain­ing, how­ever, after they are watched, they are deleted.  A hol­i­day card has more stay­ing power and can be a con­stant reminder of the work you do.

Finally, you want to send out your cards as early as pos­si­ble.  The end of the year is usu­ally most people’s busiest time and peo­ple leave for vaca­tion towards the end of the year.  The sooner you can get your card out the bet­ter chance you can have a last­ing impres­sion on your audience.

Etiquette for Dinner Parties

Here is a great video by Australia’s top enter­tain­ing experts reveal­ing their din­ner party suc­cess secrets.Dinner party etiquette

*Fifty years ago there were clear eti­quette rules. For exam­ple, don’t remove your sports coat or smoke your pipe around women, and never dis­cuss per­sonal affairs in pub­lic. But things have changed.

Today, peo­ple air their dirty laun­dry on Twit­ter and the sexes are rel­a­tively equal in rela­tion­ships and business.

You can no longer be sure whether you’ll be scoffed at or thanked for open­ing a door for a woman.

But that doesn’t mean man­ners have no place in the mod­ern world – in fact, if you want to make a good impres­sion, eti­quette is still the best way.


* Writ­ten by: Fiona MacDonald

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

Manners Monday: Family Meals are More than Teachable Moments

Family Day_Family Meals... Making the most of dinnerDur­ing my Bring­ing Man­ners Home work­shop, I uti­lize teach­able moments for par­ents to teach their chil­dren man­ners at home.  Dur­ing the mod­ule “Fam­ily Meals: Table Man­ners for Kids, Teens and Adults,” we cover proper uten­sil place­ment, table con­ver­sa­tion, how to prop­erly hold your uten­sils (after all, if  you, the par­ent, hold them like gar­den tools what do you think your chil­dren are going to do? ) and the dif­fer­ence between din­ing out and din­ing at home.  We also cover spend­ing time dis­cussing the events of the day.

Did you know that teens who have fre­quent fam­ily din­ners (five to seven per week) are more likely to report hav­ing excel­lent rela­tion­ships with their par­ents.  Also, teens who have excel­lent rela­tion­ships with their par­ents are less likely to use mar­i­juana, alco­hol or tobacco.

This comes from CASACo­lum­bia and The National Cen­ter on Addic­tion and Sub­stance Abuse at Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity, who in 2001 launched Fam­ily DayA Day to Eat Din­ner with Your Chil­dren.TM  It is cel­e­brated on the 4th Mon­day in Sep­tem­ber — which is today, Sep­tem­ber 24th!  This is a day to remind par­ents that fre­quent fam­ily din­ners make a difference!

Now I under­stand for most fam­i­lies it takes two incomes to sur­vive, or, if you are a sin­gle par­ent, you may not be home in time for din­ner.   That was my strug­gle.  I was a sin­gle mom for 13 years and the hard­est thing after dri­ving home in traf­fic for two hours was leav­ing my road rage and office pol­i­tics at the door and giv­ing my girls 100% of my atten­tion, but I knew what­ever time I had with them had to be qual­ity time.

Make time each week to have din­ner with your fam­ily.  Not only will your kids learn good man­ners and develop social skills that will enhance their self– con­fi­dence, but they will also be less likely to smoke, drink or use drugs.

Go to CASACo­lum­bia and take the pledge to become a STAR fam­ily. S-Spend time with my kids by hav­ing din­ner together. T –Talk to them about their friends, inter­ests and the dan­gers of drugs and alco­hol.  A — Answer their ques­tions and lis­ten to what they say.  R — Rec­og­nize that I have the power to help keep my kids sub­stance free!

Happy Fam­ily Day!!

Manners Monday: Cell Phone Etiquette — Who knew there were manners on the subject

Love them or hate them, cell phones are every­where.  They allow us to watch videos on the go, nav­i­gate us when we are lost, keep our sched­ules and allow us to com­mu­ni­cate with some­one with­out even speak­ing a word.

Along with this great tech­nol­ogy comes a whole new set of social faux pas.  They hap­pen in restau­rants, super­mar­kets and even at work.  And it can hap­pen to any­one.  A cou­ple of weeks ago, Diane Sawyer was wind­ing down her seg­ment with George Stephanopou­los when his cell phone rang.  Here I am speak­ing on this topic:

Here are a few things to keep in mind while using your cell phone:

  1. The per­son you are with should have your FULL attention.
  2. If you need to answer your phone step away from your group, remem­ber the con­ver­sa­tion should be between you and the per­son on the phone.
  3. Keep your con­ver­sa­tions “Kid Friendly.”  You never know who is listening.
  4. When at the mar­ket, if you need to call home and

    con­firm items on the list, keep the con­ver­sa­tion short and sweet.  No one cares how much fun you had, like some­one, don’t like some­one, your day at work, etc.

  5. While wait­ing in line at the bank, mar­ket or depart­ment store, hang up when it is your turn.
  6. No tex­ting at the din­ner table.
  7. Remem­ber par­ents you set the exam­ple.  If you do not respect your fam­i­lies time don’t be upset when your kids are tex­ting at the table or while you are try­ing talk to them.  After all, they only know what they see.

Not every­body feels they have to go with the flow.  Eva Restau­rant in LosAn­ge­les offers a 5% dis­count if you leave your cell phone at the recep­tion desk.  And Alamo Draft­house Cin­ema in Texas has this to say on the subject.

“We have zero tol­er­ance for talk­ing or cell phone use of any kind dur­ing movies, and we aren’t afraid to kick any­one rude enough to start tex­ting their friends dur­ing a show right out of the the­ater.”

Manners Monday; What would you do: A potential employer asks for your Facebook password?

Shoulder Surfing during an interview_social etiquette

Today’s Mon­day Man­ners Sce­nario has to do with Face­book and a poten­tial new job.

As of May, the unem­ploy­ment rate is 8.2% with Nevada, Rhode Island and Cal­i­for­nia the only three

states whose unem­ploy­ment rates are in the dou­ble dig­its.  After months of send­ing out resumes and inter­view­ing, you finally have a job offer.  When you meet with the hir­ing man­ager to final­ize the details of your deal, the hir­ing man­ager asks you to go to the com­puter and log in to your Face­book account.   This act is com­monly known as “shoul­der surfing.”

Facebook’s offi­cial state­ment is that shoul­der surf­ing “under­mines the pri­vacy expec­ta­tions and the secu­rity of both the user and the user’s friends” and “poten­tially exposes the employer who seeks this access to unan­tic­i­pated legal liability.”

What would you do?