Etiquette Consulting Inc

Tools to help you avoid Social Faux Pas

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Jules Hirst, Etiquette Expert

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

A TITLE IS EARNED.… How to Address a Retired Lt Col

Fox News Channel’s The Five, co-host Bob Beckel expressed his dis­plea­sure with Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Allen West’s com­ments about the Democ­rats at the Lin­coln Day Din­ner. Mr. Beckel con­tin­u­ously referred to Rep­re­sen­ta­tive West as Mr. West while crit­i­ciz­ing his views. Co-host Eric Bowl­ing cor­rectly pointed out to Beckel that he should be refer­ring to Allen West as Rep­re­sen­ta­tive or Lt Col Allen West because he had earned both titles.

Here is what eti­quette states:

Although Rep­re­sen­ta­tive or Congressman/Congresswoman are not tra­di­tional hon­orific titles, they do express the person’s cur­rent posi­tion and can be used to refer to the person.

The for­mal form of Mr. (name) or Ms. (name) should be used when address­ing an enve­lope as shown below.

Enve­lope, offi­cial:
The Hon­or­able
(Full name)
United States House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives

The proper form for Lieu­tenant Colonel would be Lt Col with­out peri­ods. You do not need to use Retired unless you were address­ing an offi­cial enve­lope. In which case you should use “…

Clark­son, USAF Retired” or “…Clark­son, USAF Ret.”

See exam­ples below for the dif­fer­ences between an offi­cial enve­lope and a social envelope.

For­mal forms for an “offi­cial” enve­lope would be:
    Lieu­tenant Colonel Joe M. Clark­son, USAF, Retired
    and Mrs. Clark­son
For­mal forms for a “social” enve­lope would be:
    Lieu­tenant Colonel Joe M. Clark­son
     and Mrs. Clark­son

    Lt Col Joe M. Clark­son
     and Mrs. Clark­son

Whether you agree or dis­agree with some­one, you should show them the proper respect by refer­ring to them using the title(s) they have earned.

Valentine’s Day Etiquette: Plan Ahead and Have Fun

Valentines Day Etiquette - Jules HirstAs we get older, Valentine’s Day looms larger and larger. Either we are with some­one spe­cial and feel the angst of mak­ing the day extra spe­cial or we are alone and feel worse because we have nobody to cel­e­brate with. It doesn’t have to feel this way. With a lit­tle fore­thought and plan­ning, Valentine’s Day can be fun for every­one. Review our tips below to help add a lit­tle fun to your Valentine’s Day.

  • If you have a spe­cial some­one, talk about Valentine’s Day with them. This is not a time to make assump­tions. Maybe your part­ner is really into Valentine’s Day or maybe not. Maybe you are. By talk­ing it over, both sides will have an under­stand­ing of the other’s expec­ta­tions and then can plan accordingly.
  • If you don’t have a spe­cial some­one at the moment but are think­ing about ask­ing some­one, don’t wait until the last minute. There is noth­ing worse than being turned down and then not hav­ing a backup plan. By ask­ing the per­son ahead of time, you now have time to make plans to cel­e­brate or cre­ate a backup plan to spend time with friends.
  • Valentine’s Day this year is on a Mon­day, which isn’t always the best day to cel­e­brate. By plan­ning ahead you can turn it into a week­end event or just cel­e­brate a day or two early. This will help beat the crowds and can lead to bet­ter service.
  • Gift giv­ing doesn’t have to be extrav­a­gant. Every woman would love a lit­tle blue box from Tiffany’s, but if that’s not in the bud­get this year then find some­thing per­sonal and spe­cial. Remem­ber, it’s the thought that counts.
  • Flow­ers and choco­lates are Valentine’s Day sta­ples but don’t break the bank try­ing to impress. A sin­gle rose can declare love just as well as a dozen roses but doesn’t cost nearly as much.
  • You don’t have to be alone on Valentine’s Day. Some of your friends may not have sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers, so plan an out­ing for that evening so that you are not alone. Have a bowl­ing night or a movie night. Spend­ing time with friends can be just as reward­ing and can help fill any void you may be feeling.

Plan­ning ahead can remove the anx­i­ety from Valentine’s Day. Talk­ing with your part­ner about Valentine’s Day plans will help ease the stress from both of you and will lead to an improved cel­e­bra­tion. Also, if you are sin­gle plan an event with friends because they may be sin­gle as well and the com­pan­ion­ship will ben­e­fit you both.

International Protocol: Avoiding a “Sticky Wicket”

Before con­duct­ing busi­ness in for­eign coun­tries, it is impor­tant to famil­iar­ize your­self with the cus­toms and cul­tures of that coun­try. What is accept­able here in the United States may be taboo in that coun­try. By prepar­ing ahead of time, you will lessen the risk of embar­rass­ing your­self and stick­ing your foot in your mouth and poten­tially dam­ag­ing your busi­ness rela­tion­ship. Pres­i­dent Obama is cur­rently mak­ing his first offi­cial visit to Aus­tralia and kudos to him for tak­ing the time to famil­iar­ize him­self with some com­mon jar­gon. Dur­ing a speech at the Par­lia­ment House in Can­berra, Aus­tralia, Pres­i­dent Obama worked in Aus­tralian jar­gon terms like ear­bash­ing and sticky wick­ets while talk­ing about the rela­tion­ship between the United States and Aus­tralia. Hav­ing used these jar­gon terms cor­rectly, Pres­i­dent Obama has shown that he prides him­self in prepar­ing him­self for busi­ness in other coun­tries and hope­fully this will improve our for­eign pol­icy and help get us out of our sticky eco­nomic situation

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