Etiquette Consulting Inc

Tools to help you avoid Social Faux Pas

In a world where image is everything, you must make your brand stand out in order to attain your goals.

Jules Hirst, Etiquette Expert

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

Politics in the Workplace

We should all know we never speak about “Pol­i­tics” at the din­ner table, at a gath­er­ing with fam­ily or friends, 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.

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

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 good a 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.

Jules can be reached at: or 310−425−3160

German Manners Watchdog Says Kissing at Work Is Form of ‘Terrorism’

Workplace RomanceA Ger­man man­ners watch­dog was call­ing Thurs­day for a total ban on work col­leagues kiss­ing one another in the office, say­ing that the peck on the cheek is a form of “terrorism.”

The Knigge Soci­ety — Knigge trans­lates as eti­quette or cor­rect behav­iour — says the prac­tice has flour­ished in offices around Ger­many in recent years, with women kiss­ing women and men kiss­ing women, some­times even twice in the way of the French.

It says it has received wor­ried calls from Berlin, Munich and Dus­sel­dorf over recent months about what to do if some­one should attempt to kiss them in greeting.

Hans-Michael Klein, the chair­man of the group, said, “This is valid imme­di­ately. There should be no kiss­ing, at least not in the office.”

Klein explained, “The sus­pi­cion for many remains that there is, or may be, an erotic com­po­nent to the kiss­ing. Kiss­ing sim­ply gets on the nerves of many at work. It is a form of ter­ror. In busi­ness the hand­shake is con­sid­ered the cor­rect greet­ing rit­ual. Stand apart from one another approx­i­mately 60cm [24in] and shake.”

Any closer, he said, would be cross­ing over a “socially defined dis­tance zone.”

Klein added that, while he had respect for the French habit, and the Russ­ian one of men kiss­ing men, this was not the Ger­man way. He added that it was an affec­ta­tion of the so-called Schickim­icki set — the in-crowd.

Pub­lished August 10, 2011| NewsCore


When giv­ing a work­shop on work­place pol­i­tics I am always asked to speak on Cubi­cle Eti­quette  So here is a list of things to keep in mind:

 Keep your pri­vate life private

  • If you are hav­ing a pri­vate con­ver­sa­tion either on the phone or with a co-worker step into a con­fer­ence room or go out­side. your cubi­cle neigh­bors don’t want or need to hear about your sen­si­tive matters

Don’t soil the air

  • what smells good to you may not smell good to your cubi­cle neighbors.
  • avoid using too much cologne or perfume
  • cer­tain foods give off unplea­sur­able aro­mas….  fish, hard broiled egg, cer­tain eth­nic foods use your break room

Dec­o­rate with taste

  • use good judg­ment and avoid things that are con­tro­ver­sial…. this includes things that are polit­i­cal, spir­i­tual, sen­sual or cultural

Respect thy co worker

  • try not lis­ten in on other peo­ples conversations
  • when walk­ing by another person’s cubi­cle try not to look in
  • avoid car­ry­ing on con­ver­sa­tions out­side of a co-workers cubicle
  • don’t chime in on other peo­ples conversations
  • give them the same respect as you would want

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

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