Etiquette

 

Which fork do I use? How do I butter my bread? Who introduces whom? Are you or your team confused about how to translate etiquette and protocol into your everyday or corporate life? We are here to help. Through our two courses, Outclass the Competition and Dine Like a Diplomat, we will answer these questions and assist in building confidence in any situation. 

 
 
Castello del Nero, Tuscany, Italy - Sara Donaldson Photography

Castello del Nero, Tuscany, Italy - Sara Donaldson Photography

 
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Dining

Napkins

When you leave the table, don't forget to place your napkin in your seat. Placing it on the table indicates the meal is complete! 

Seating

Did you know the proper way to enter your chair is from the right side? Make sure to exit it the same way and you will be in top form at your next dinner party. 

P's & Q's

Once you pick an eating style—American or Continental—at a dinner, the proper etiquette is to remain in that style for the duration of the meal. No one likes a flip flopper.

Seating

Don't forget to seat your guest of honor to your right. Everyone likes to be special once in a while. 

RSVP

Do it often and do it early. Your host or hostess will truly appreciate it and your actions here will determine if you are placed close to the bar or the bathroom. You decide!

P's & Q's

Done with your meal? Make sure to place your fork and knife together in the 10:20 position. A well trained server will know you are finished and remove your plate promptly.

Accouterments

To season or not, that is the question! Make sure you try your food first before shaking on some salt and pepper, your host will appreciate your desire to enjoy the food they have prepared just as it is first!

Napkins

What's the first thing you should do when you sit down? Place the napkin gently in your lap and make sure you keep those elbows off the table. 

P's & Q's

My biggest pet peeve. How do you eat your bread? The only secret you need to know is to break off small pieces and butter them each individually.

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Dating

Valentine's Day

How soon is too soon. If you've been on one or two dates it's ok to skip this holiday right away. A card may be the best place to start with your new crush. 

Weddings

Did you get a plus one but aren't dating anyone currently? Make sure you ask a person who is going to make the best impression on your host or hostess. Proper table manners, greetings, and dancing etiquette all go a long way in the dating game. 

Holidays

Have a new crush to bring home to the family? Make sure you ask everyone if its ok to bring that new date home. Clearing it with all the family members will make them each feel special and go a long way in helping your date feel welcomed.

Everyday

First date? Who pays? Generally the rule is whomever asked is the one to pay. If it's up to you, try to do it discreetly. 

Expert Tip: When making the reservation you can give your card over the phone and then a bill never has to be brought to the table. 

Wedding

Does your date know no one? It's your job to introduce him/her to your friends at the wedding. A proper introduction goes a long way to making the evening a smooth success. 

Valentine's Day

At Valentine's Day, communication is key. Planing on exchanging gifts? Make sure you both know; there is nothing more embarrassing than being caught unprepared.

 

Everyday

Plan ahead. No one likes to be caught off guard, so when asking for that date make sure you give your crush plenty of time to check their calendar. 

Holidays

Every family gifts in a different manner. Make sure you inform your crush how your family exchanges gifts. Showing up with something expensive and being met with something quirky don't always make for the best first impression. 

 

Business

Dinner

A host should always consider his/her guests' likes and dislikes when it comes to restaurant selection and environment. No one wants to be negotiating a multi-million dollar deal over breakfast at a fast food restaurant.

Introductions

Are you the junior person on the totem pole? Make sure you introduce your boss first. Acknowledging his/her status will go a long way in making a good impression. 

Mingling

Find yourself struggling for a topic? Be well informed. Reading at least five to ten news articles a day should keep you up to date and ready with a topic. 

Dining

It is important to choose the restaurant in advance. As the host, it’s your responsibility to make sure you pick the perfect location with the correct atmosphere to accomplish your task at hand.

Mingling

Find yourself antsy to ask the next question? Make sure you stop and listen to your conversation partner. Listening intently helps him/her feel important. 

Dining

Are we doing business? Are we just catching up? Can I pick your brain about a certain topic? Let your guest know the purpose of the meeting!

Introductions

Hello is never enough. Always practice remembering a person's name by repeating it back to them. Repetition is key in learning names and also makes your new acquaintance feel special. 

Dining

Make sure you reach out to the restaurant to discuss your reservation. They can be your best asset in closing a deal by getting you a quiet table away from the hustle and bustle of your favorite place.

Mingling

Don't interrupt. Interrupting is rude and finishing a person's sentence is even more out of line. Letting your acquaintance complete their thought is a true sign of respect. 

Electronic

Phone

Do you ever look up at dinner and notice that all of your friends are on their phones? Dining together is one of the most intimate social activities. Have your friends do a phone check and the first one who looks at their phone pays for dinner. 

Email

How long is too long for a response? If you think your response is going to take longer than 24 hours then shoot the sender a quick email right away to say that it's going to be a bit before you can get back to them. Communication is key in keeping the peace. 

Social Media

Delete buttons don't actually delete. Remember that anything you post can always be screenshot or stored by your provider somewhere in the "cloud" (also known as a data storage facility in Omaha.)

Email

Don't reply all. Take the time and read an email to see if you need to cc all 100 people in your company on that email thread. It will save you some embarrassment and your colleagues will have one less thing to delete.

Phone

In the movies? Now is not the time to take a call or respond to a text. This seems like basic etiquette 101, but we feel the need to remind everyone as a public service. 

Social Media

What you post can be seen by more than you know. The steadfast rule: Would my grandma be ok seeing what I am writing? If not, maybe you should refrain. 

Phone

Respond to your text messages. The same rule applies to your response time for emails above. Everyone will be much happier if you just say hi back!

Email

Are you an incessant cc'r? Just stop. We don't all need to know your position in the office political hierarchy. Keep your emails short, sweet, and to the point.