Manner Monday ®: Mindfulness and Work

Recently I had the privilege of participating in a presentation and discussion hosted by Sherry Dale on Mindfulness and Work.  I found the topic to be extremely interesting and relevant to the recent blog post I wrote about The Expectations of Electronic Etiquette so I asked Sherry if she would mind sharing her information with you.  Sherry Dale, CPA is a serial entrepreneur, mindfulness coach and partner in the management consulting firm, The Mettise Group.  She can be contacted at sherry@mettise.com

Mindfulness and Work – What is it?

Many times the words mindfulness and meditation are used interchangeably so for the purposes of this article, the distinctions are as follows:

Meditation is when you intentionally set aside time to do something that is good for you – writing in a journal, spending time in nature, prayer, exercise, music or art.

Mindfulness (a deceptively simple practice) is a way of being – of having a general awareness of the world. It requires purposeful and nonjudgmental attention to the present moment. Practicing mindfulness is the antithesis to being on autopilot.

We live in an always on 24/7 world – full of distractions. We seem to have the collective attention span of a gnat. However with a mindfulness practice, we can resist endlessly reacting to our inbox and take ownership of a meaningful agenda.

So what does science say?

The scientific community has caught on to the mindfulness revolution. An emerging field of contemplative neuroscientists are becoming a part of everyday academia at the best research universities around the globe. Whole centers have sprung up at universities like Stanford, UCLA, Harvard, Yale and others where scientists and psychologists are studying longtime meditators.

Technology has made a significant impact on helping the scientific community make a big leap forward in studying the impact mindfulness has on the brain. The advent of the functional MRI has aided in the research. The fMRI technology shows in real time what areas of the brain are active. After examining the brains of the same individuals, scientists quickly began to see that the neural pathways of the brain seemed to change over time.

We now understand that our neural pathways continue to develop throughout our lifetime. This is a key finding of modern neuroscience – the architecture of our brains is not static; it can change. The notion of neuroplasticity has upended the study of the brain at academic institutions around the world and now it is changing the way researchers assess mindfulness.

Mindfulness increases activity in parts of the prefrontal cortex which is the seat of much of our higher-order thinking – our judgment, decision making, planning and discernment. In addition, research has demonstrated measurable changes in the brain regions linked to memory, self-awareness, stress and empathy for those subjects who practice mindfulness.

What we think can change the brain.

How does this relate to our work?

A huge problem in the workplace today is lack of attention. People are distracted.

mindfulness We are in a state of continuous partial attention. At meetings – your body is there but your mind is somewhere else. We have countless gadgets constantly sending information – texts, calls, emails, reminders, news flashes – no wonder we are exhausted.

Lack of attention impacts your performance. Your ability to do your job is directly related to how well you concentrate and focus. If you’re continually distracted, you just can’t get it done, or get it done well.

Focused, less stressed, more effective and happier – all sound like things we want for ourselves and our employees. Mindfulness is becoming an integral part of leadership strategy. The ability to be calm and concentrated in the midst of chaos is a transformative skill set for CEOs, executives and leaders.

Mindfulness is about being fully present. Imagine the power of everyone being fully present at meetings or during conversations.

Many companies are beginning to realize that it’s bad for their employees to be so stressed out that their health falters or so distractible that they can’t concentrate.

Organizations such as General Mills, Aetna, Apple, Google, SalesForce, Etsy, the Pentagon and many others are offering mindfulness training to employees. Employees who have attended the training sessions report reduction in overall stress, improved time management and improved ability to handle workloads. Employees also report reduction in perceived strenuousness of the job as well as reduction in the perceived mental and interpersonal demands of their jobs.

Leadership:

Some of the main qualities of effective leadership – clarity, focus and compassion can be cultivated through mindfulness. Mindful leaders are less stressed and more accepting of what is happening. They are more focused and not easily distracted: while staying on task and paying attention to those around them. They are compassionate – working to improve working conditions for themselves and others.

 5 simple ways to get started:

  1. Tune into your breathing 4 times during the day – be mindful of 2 or 3 full cycles of breath.
  2. Eat one meal mindfully this week.
  3. Choose a routine activity usually done on autopilot (brushing teeth, showering, taking out the trash, driving to work) – and do it intentionally this week.
  4. Choose either first thing in morning or right before bed – take 5 to 10 minutes to bring your mind to the present moment – still the mind; be quiet & peaceful.
  5. Meetings and conversations– commit to being fully present; mobile devices are silenced; focus your complete attention to the human interaction; be aware of what is merely noise; start the meeting with a moment of silence for everyone to arrive both physically and mentally.

And, a bonus suggestion – start keeping a gratitude journal – it will help you gain clarity on what really matters and what just causes you stress and anxiety.

Closing:

Mindfulness can change us from the inside out. It can make us compassionately accepting of imperfection. It can shift us from reaction to response and from greed to gratitude. With improved concentration and more effective leadership, we can transform the exhausted, stressed and uninspired to the present, resilient, focused and productive.

Click to Tweet:  As a leader, are you practicing Mindfulness? Today’s #MannerMonday tackles the topic. http://bit.ly/mndfulnss

Do you know someone who would enjoy this post?  If so, please share it and encourage them to sign up to receive Manner Monday?  I would appreciate it!  And if you’re new to Manner Monday, I’d love for you to take a minute to learn more about why I started it. You can click here to read my very first post that tells all about it.

Do you have a ‘manner’ or question you would like to see covered in a post?  Feel free to send me your thoughts, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue


In other news….

Do you know of a 5th-12th grader who would benefit from improved social skills, confidence (the right kind of confidence) and better manners?  We have a few options for them…

Registration for the 2016-2017 Season 5-8th grade programs is open, Click here to register.

  • Save $70 by registering by June 15 for a single season.
  • Or save $364 by taking advantage of the Multi-Season Discount.

Passport (9-12th Grade) Program

Click Here to access more information and to access the Passport (9-12th Grade) Program.

Email Newsletter
Have you signed up to receive Manner Monday directly to your inbox every week?  Click on the button below that says ‘Keep me on the list!’ and choose your settings:

  • Manner Monday will go out every Monday morning with a tip of the week, a helpful hint, or a fun ‘mannerly’ story.
  • Weekly Updates go out every week (or as I have information to share… so I really should call it something else because you won’t see it ‘weekly’).

Click the button below to subscribe and access Email Newsletter settings:

Keep me on the list


Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops

Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, Click Here to access the Business Section of the website.  Or please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or CareySue@CareySueVega.com

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • Dude your Rude! Interoffice civility awareness and team building
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress
  • Trade Show Booth Training

Word of Mouth is the best compliment you can give.  Do you know of some who may be interested in our programs, please share our information with them.  Here is the best link to share with them, it covers everything in a nutshell:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/

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Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: Body Language and Nervous Gestures

Nervous gestures such as pen popping, hair twirling and nail biting are ‘little things’ that can help you lose credibility faster than anything.  Unfortunately, when someone has a nervous gesture, the person with whom they are communicating often loses focus on the conversation at hand.  The nervous gesture becomes the main attraction and the actual topic gets lost in the inadvertent ‘shuffle’.

Be aware of your gestures throughout the day, you want to appear confident and competent.  Don’t let these subtle little ‘habits’ undermine your authority.  Below are a few of the ‘little things’ that can be misinterpreted as lack of confidence:

  • Biting or chewing fingernails
  • Playing with hair
  • Wringing hands
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Nervous laughter
  • Drumming fingers
  • Playing with objects
  • Continuously clicking your ink pen
  • Wiggling or fidgeting in your seat
  • Bouncing knees up and down
  • Bouncing foot up and down when legs are crossed
  • Tapping feet  – unless of course you’re in tap class and supposed to be tapping your feet!

You want to be remembered for your self-confidence, poise and polish!

Click to Tweet: You want to be remembered for self-confidence, poise and polish. Not pen-clicking and nervous gestures! #MannerMonday http://bit.ly/nervges

tappingfeet

Do you know someone who would enjoy this post?  If so, please share it and encourage them to sign up to receive Manner Monday?  I would appreciate it!  And if you’re new to Manner Monday, I’d love for you to take a minute to learn more about why I started it. You can click here to read my very first post that tells all about it.

Do you have a ‘manner’ or question you would like to see covered in a post?  Feel free to send me your thoughts, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue


In other news….

Do you know of a 5th-12th grader who would benefit from improved social skills, confidence (the right kind of confidence) and better manners?  We have a few options for them…

Registration for the 2016-2017 Season 5-8th grade programs is open, Click here to register.

  • Save $70 by registering by June 15 for a single season.
  • Or save $364 by taking advantage of the Multi-Season Discount.

Passport (9-12th Grade) Program

Click Here to access more information and to access the Passport (9-12th Grade) Program.

Email Newsletter
Have you signed up to receive Manner Monday directly to your inbox every week?  Click on the button below that says ‘Keep me on the list!’ and choose your settings:

  • Manner Monday will go out every Monday morning with a tip of the week, a helpful hint, or a fun ‘mannerly’ story.
  • Weekly Updates go out every week (or as I have information to share… so I really should call it something else because you won’t see it ‘weekly’).

Click the button below to subscribe and access Email Newsletter settings:

Keep me on the list


Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops

Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, Click Here to access the Business Section of the website.  Or please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or CareySue@CareySueVega.com

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • Dude your Rude! Interoffice civility awareness and team building
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress
  • Trade Show Booth Training

Word of Mouth is the best compliment you can give.  Do you know of some who may be interested in our programs, please share our information with them.  Here is the best link to share with them, it covers everything in a nutshell:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/

 

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Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners, Uncategorized

Manner Monday®: The Expectations of Electronic Etiquette

Just as Business, Social and Dining Etiquette all have many layers, so does Electronic Etiquette: Email Etiquette, typing in ALL CAPS, voicemail messages, voicemail greetings, inappropriate social media sharing, you get the picture. And more than likely you’ve heard many spiels on the basic premise of Electronic Etiquette – giving the person in front of you 100% of your attention. We get it. I believe the difficulty in navigating Electronic Etiquette lies mostly in the expectations of those participating in the exchange.

man-person-smartphone-technology There is a lot of criticism afoot about Millenials and how they hide behind their electronics and there is some truth to that, however, we have to own the fact that some of their behavior stems from the expectations that we (parents, bosses, colleagues) place upon them to immediately respond to a request. Email and text messaging is designed to be asynchronistic but our expectations have grown into the anticipation of a real time exchange.

I was recently talking with a high-powered law firm partner in Chicago who summed up the quandary very aptly. When he’s in a meeting with one of his associates, he expects their full attention. However, when that same associate is in another meeting with another partner, who also expects their full attention, he gets frustrated when he doesn’t get an immediate response. He also acknowledged that if ‘back-in-the-day’, he were to walk by the conference room and see them in a meeting, he of course would not expect an immediate response. But in the virtual world that we now live and do business, it’s very easy to forget that no matter how plugged in we are, we can only be in one place at one time. No matter how well we think we can multitask.

We’re putting Millennials in an impossible position of giving their full attention and respect to the person in front of them, but yet getting frustrated with their inattention to our electronic request. We think they’re being disrespectful when they sneak a peak at their device in front of us – yet we’ve been grooming them to respond to our requests immediately.

We’ve become a society of individuals where, ‘we want what we want, when we want it, and we want it now’ has become the status quo. Basic email etiquette allows for a 24-48 hour window of response. How have we come to expect an immediate response from interoffice associates? We have high expectations – and we’re asking a lot from our colleagues. Is there a happy medium? Do we need to adjust our expectations – are they realistic?

Click to Tweet: ‘We want what we want, when we want it – now’, #MannerMonday addresses Expectations of Electronic Etiquette http://bit.ly/ExpectElectEtq

Do you know someone who would enjoy this post?  If so, please share it and encourage them to sign up to receive Manner Monday?  I would appreciate it!  And if you’re new to Manner Monday, I’d love for you to take a minute to learn more about why I started it. You can click here to read my very first post that tells all about it.

Do you have a ‘manner’ or question you would like to see covered in a post?  Feel free to send me your thoughts, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue


In other news….

Do you know of a 5th-12th grader who would benefit from improved social skills, confidence (the right kind of confidence) and better manners?  We have a few options for them…

Registration for the 2016-2017 Season 5-8th grade programs is open, Click here to register.

  • Save $70 by registering by June 15 for a single season.
  • Or save $364 by taking advantage of the Multi-Season Discount.

Passport (9-12th Grade) Program

Click Here to access more information and to access the Passport (9-12th Grade) Program.

Email Newsletter
Have you signed up to receive Manner Monday directly to your inbox every week?  Click on the button below that says ‘Keep me on the list!’ and choose your settings:

  • Manner Monday will go out every Monday morning with a tip of the week, a helpful hint, or a fun ‘mannerly’ story.
  • Weekly Updates go out every week (or as I have information to share… so I really should call it something else because you won’t see it ‘weekly’).

Click the button below to subscribe and access Email Newsletter settings:

Keep me on the list


Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops

Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, Click Here to access the Business Section of the website.  Or please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or CareySue@CareySueVega.com

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • Dude your Rude! Interoffice civility awareness and team building
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress
  • Trade Show Booth Training

Word of Mouth is the best compliment you can give.  Do you know of some who may be interested in our programs, please share our information with them.  Here is the best link to share with them, it covers everything in a nutshell:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/

No comments | leave a comment
Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: How do you address a Cell Phone cold call?

Today’s Manner Monday tackles the awkward cold call when you’re calling someone’s cell phone for the first time.

Q: “My mom always taught me to say this when I call people, “Hello, may I please speak with Jane?”  Given that cell phones belong to one person, rather than a household, what it the best way to address someone you are calling?  I’m not referring to a friend or acquaintance, but rather a situation when you “cold call” someone.  This has actually come up several times in the context of the community volunteer group I lead.  When I ask, ‘Hello, may I please speak with Jane?’, I always detect some trepidation, as if the person is thinking, ‘Well, who do you think this is? You called my cell phone after all!’ I would love your advice!” – Thank you, Sara

DonAdamsGetSmartShoePhone A: You’re right, often the ‘old-school’ rule seems a bit awkward with technology advancements. I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I’m navigating the rules of new technology – I feel like ‘Maxwell Smart’ from the old TV Show, ‘Get Smart’ who was known for talking on his ‘shoe phone’. But there are a few ‘old-school’ rules though that still apply such as the 9-9 rule; don’t make calls (or send texts) before 9am or after 9pm.

Click to Tweet:  Do you feel like Maxwell Smart when making a cold call to someone’s cell phone? #MannerMonday http://bit.ly/CellColdCall

When I find myself making that awkward call to someone’s cell phone, I usually say, “Sara? (allowing them to confirm), Hi this is Carey Sue Vega; I’m calling in reference to…. Is this a good time?”

When someone calls my cell, and I’m not sure who it is, I answer with a perky ‘Carey Sue speaking’, which let’s the other person know they’ve correctly reached me and can then introduce herself and get the dialogue started.

Here are some tips to make phone calls in general a bit more smoothly:

Tone of voice: Without people being able to see your face and facial expressions, they will draw conclusions about your trustworthiness, reliability and confidence solely from how you sound. Your tone of voice is the only thing they have to draw on for your first impression.

  • Don’t talk too fast, or too slow
  • Don’t talk too loud, or to quiet
  • Smile while you’re talking (I know it sounds cheesy, but it makes a difference)

Background noise: Make sure you’re out of the wind, turn down the radio or TV, and keep distractions to a minimum. Focus on the phone call as if you were talking to that person face-to-face. And definitely don’t eat or drink while you’re on the phone – those noises are amplified and you’ll sound like the cookie monster to the person on the other end of the line.

And here’s a recent article for more tips on cell phone etiquette.

Do you know someone who would enjoy this post?  If so, please share it and encourage them to sign up to receive Manner Monday?  I would appreciate it!  And if you’re new to Manner Monday, I’d love for you to take a minute to learn more about why I started it. You can click here to read my very first post that tells all about it.

Do you have a ‘manner’ or question you would like to see covered in a post?  Feel free to send me your thoughts, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue


In other news….

Do you know of a 5th-12th grader who would benefit from improved social skills, confidence (the right kind of confidence) and better manners?  We have a few options for them…

Registration for the 2016-2017 Season 5-8th grade programs is open, Click here to register.

  • Save $70 by registering by June 15 for a single season.
  • Or save $364 by taking advantage of the Multi-Season Discount.

Passport (9-12th Grade) Program

Click Here to access more information and to access the Passport (9-12th Grade) Program.

Email Newsletter
Have you signed up to receive Manner Monday directly to your inbox every week?  Click on the button below that says ‘Keep me on the list!’ and choose your settings:

  • Manner Monday will go out every Monday morning with a tip of the week, a helpful hint, or a fun ‘mannerly’ story.
  • Weekly Updates go out every week (or as I have information to share… so I really should call it something else because you won’t see it ‘weekly’).

Click the button below to subscribe and access Email Newsletter settings:

Keep me on the list


Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops

Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, Click Here to access the Business Section of the website.  Or please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or CareySue@CareySueVega.com

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • Dude your Rude! Interoffice civility awareness and team building
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress
  • Trade Show Booth Training

Word of Mouth is the best compliment you can give.  Do you know of some who may be interested in our programs, please share our information with them.  Here is the best link to share with them, it covers everything in a nutshell:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/

 

 

No comments | leave a comment
Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: Should I send Graduation Invitations or Announcements?

May is knocking on our door which means our mailboxes will soon be filled with exciting news from the high school and college graduates in our lives.  I often get asked the question about the difference between graduation ‘invitations’ and ‘announcements’ so I thought I would break it down for you:

Q – “Graduation announcements –  Who should you send them to?  Only family; family and very close friends; people who have touched the student; everyone on your Christmas list; the dentist, doctor, orthodontist, teachers?  We definitely don’t want it to look like we’re fishing for gifts...”

A – In many cases, during a student’s road to graduation the “it takes a village” quote is all too familiar.  Many parents want to stand on the rooftop and shout it out…
– Wahoo!!!
– He’s graduating!!!
– Thank you for helping!!!

So let’s cover the options for sharing the good news:

Graduation Invitation:  This is an invitation to the actual graduation festivities.  Many schools have a strict limit on how many people may attend in support of each student.  This may determine your list for the “invitation” group.  If you want to have a party so more people can share in the celebration, you could host a graduation party and extend invitations to the other close friends and family who may have been left out of the ceremony itself.  As the recipient of an “invitation; if you are able to attend, a gift should be given to the graduate.  If you are not able to attend, you may still send a gift, but it is not required.

Graduation Announcements:  An announcement does not extend an invitation to an event; its sole purpose is to “announce” the news to whomever you think might be excited to know of the accomplishment.  Many people may have lost track of time and did not realize that Johnny is “already” a senior.  They would be excited to hear about this great stage in his life (and yours).  Those who receive announcements are not obligated to send a gift.  A hand-written note would be a great way to respond to the announcement, sharing your excitement for the achievement.  Of course, if the recipient of an announcement would like to send a small gift, they are welcome to do so.

With all of that being said.  Some parents will want to send announcements to everyone they know, others will choose to send them only to close friends.  I think the extent of the list will fluctuate for different families and situations.

And unfortunately, some people do send invitations and announcements as a ploy to receive gifts.  We can only hope that the invitation or announcement we receive was sent in the spirit of the occasion and respond accordingly.

Envelopes and Postage:  Thanks to all of the creative entrepreneurs out there who are keeping the stationery business alive, we’re seeing some pretty original and artistic announcements.  Which also means some atypical envelope sizes.  If you have an announcement that requires a unique envelope – make sure you check the postage requirements, more than likely you will need additional postage.  Click here for the link to the USPS postage calculator page.

Click to Tweet: Graduation Announcements or Invitations? And who gets what? #MannerMonday tackles the topic! http://bit.ly/GradInOrAnn

FullSizeRender

Do you know someone who would enjoy this post?  If so, please share it and encourage them to sign up to receive Manner Monday?  I would appreciate it!  And if you’re new to Manner Monday, I’d love for you to take a minute to learn more about why I started it. You can click here to read my very first post that tells all about it.

Do you have a ‘manner’ or question you would like to see covered in a post?  Feel free to send me your thoughts, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue


In other news….

Do you know of a 5th-12th grader who would benefit from improved social skills, confidence (the right kind of confidence) and better manners?  We have a few options for them…

Registration for the 2016-2017 Season 5-8th grade programs is open, Click here to register.

  • Save $70 by registering by June 15 for a single season.
  • Or save $364 by taking advantage of the Multi-Season Discount.

Passport (9-12th Grade) Program

Click Here to access more information and to access the Passport (9-12th Grade) Program.

Email Newsletter
Have you signed up to receive Manner Monday directly to your inbox every week?  Click on the button below that says ‘Keep me on the list!’ and choose your settings:

  • Manner Monday will go out every Monday morning with a tip of the week, a helpful hint, or a fun ‘mannerly’ story.
  • Weekly Updates go out every week (or as I have information to share… so I really should call it something else because you won’t see it ‘weekly’).

Click the button below to subscribe and access Email Newsletter settings:

Keep me on the list


Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops

Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, Click Here to access the Business Section of the website.  Or please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or CareySue@CareySueVega.com

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • Dude your Rude! Interoffice civility awareness and team building
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress
  • Trade Show Booth Training

Word of Mouth is the best compliment you can give.  Do you know of some who may be interested in our programs, please share our information with them.  Here is the best link to share with them, it covers everything in a nutshell:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/

 

 

No comments | leave a comment
Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: Social Kiss Etiquette

Today’s Manner Monday answers a reader’s question about the Social Kiss…

Q: Can you share some rules & etiquette on greeting others with a kiss on the cheek?  At community social events I often bump into acquaintances that give a kiss; I’ve learned to not be surprised, but am not sure how to reciprocate. Do I give an actual kiss on the cheek or just touch cheek to cheek & making a kissing sound?  Also, how do I know if the person is just going to kiss one cheek or both? Thanks for your help! – Marni

A: When I was a Cruise Director working on cruise ships in Europe, the Social Kiss was a common occurrence when greeting friends and colleagues at each port. We created some pretty amazing friendships with port agents and tour operators we would see on a regular basis. Each greeting was always a warm and friendly kiss on the cheek accompanied by a brief hug. Sometimes it would be one kiss; sometimes two, three or four. I quickly learned that region dictated the number of kisses. The social kiss never felt invasive or flirtatious, it was always a sincere and genuine greeting that made me feel like a life-long friend.

Fresh off a contract in Europe, I was back on American soil (in Oklahoma), and I’ll never forget the awkward situation I created. After being accustomed to the social kiss, I ran into a male (married) friend whom I promptly greeted with a kiss on the cheek. I’ll never forget his body language – I could tell he had no idea how to process or react to the greeting. So I quickly did some back peddling, apologized and said I need to get back to the customary American greeting of a handshake.

The Social Kiss has been gaining momentum in the States. I believe this has much to do with to the advancements of technology and social media and the fact that we’re more and more becoming a multi-cultural society. And not to mention – we see it frequently on reality TV shows.

So how do you handle the social kiss?

Be a detective: you have a bit of investigative work to do with reading the other persons body language and social cues. In a professional situation – I would still opt for the handshake, which is always going to be your safest bet.

puckerup No need to pucker up: a social kiss consists of gentle cheek-to-cheek contact. You do not make contact with your lips to their cheek; no saliva or lipstick should make a landing. The majority of cultures who participate in this greeting start with right cheeks, just like a handshake – you shake with the right; you kiss the right cheek first. And no need for the ‘muwah-muwah’ sound (unless you’re with REALLY close friends, then it’s sometimes just fun to do).

No thanks: And if you’re uncomfortable with the social kiss, you can usually be successful in warding one off by offering a handshake before the other person has the opportunity to come in for the kiss.

If you are traveling outside of the States or doing business with someone from another culture, one of my favorite resources is “Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands”. They have a series of books that dig into international business etiquette, practices, and cultural cues. And cover everything from body language and hand signals, to who makes decisions and how to make a proper greeting for each culture.

Click to Tweet:  How do you handle the Social Kiss? #MannerMonday http://bit.ly/SocKiss

Do you know someone who would enjoy this post?  If so, please share it and encourage them to sign up to receive Manner Monday?  I would appreciate it!  And if you’re new to Manner Monday, I’d love for you to take a minute to learn more about why I started it. You can click here to read my very first post that tells all about it.

Do you have a ‘manner’ or question you would like to see covered in a post?  Feel free to send me your thoughts, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading… Kiss, Kiss!
– Carey Sue


In other news….

Do you know of a 5th-12th grader who would benefit from improved social skills, confidence (the right kind of confidence) and better manners?  We have a few options for them…

Registration for the 2016-2017 Season 5-8th grade programs is open, Click here to register.

  • Save $70 by registering by June 15 for a single season.
  • Or save $364 by taking advantage of the Multi-Season Discount.

Passport (9-12th Grade) Program

Click Here to access more information and to access the Passport (9-12th Grade) Program.

Email Newsletter
Have you signed up to receive Manner Monday directly to your inbox every week?  Click on the button below that says ‘Keep me on the list!’ and choose your settings:

  • Manner Monday will go out every Monday morning with a tip of the week, a helpful hint, or a fun ‘mannerly’ story.
  • Weekly Updates go out every week (or as I have information to share… so I really should call it something else because you won’t see it ‘weekly’).

Click the button below to subscribe and access Email Newsletter settings:

Keep me on the list


Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops

Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, Click Here to access the Business Section of the website.  Or please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or CareySue@CareySueVega.com

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • Dude your Rude! Interoffice civility awareness and team building
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress
  • Trade Show Booth Training

Word of Mouth is the best compliment you can give.  Do you know of some who may be interested in our programs, please share our information with them.  Here is the best link to share with them, it covers everything in a nutshell:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/

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Business Etiquette, Cruise Ships, Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: Prom Etiquette

Ahhhhh, the fun and excitement of prom season …and the nervousness about “what to do.”  With Prom season upon us, I thought I’d share a few tips and reminders for teens headed out for this special occasion.

Gentlemen:

  • Tuxedo – if you’re renting a tuxedo, make sure to go early for your fitting. When the tuxedo is available for pick up, make sure to go as soon as possible in case alterations need to be made. If you wait until the last minute, you’ll be hit with a rush fee, and more than likely tux that doesn’t fit too well.
  • Open doors for your date.
  • Offer your arm, like the gentleman you are, to escort your date to and from the car to the restaurant and the prom location.
  • Stand and assist her with her chair…no matter how many times she ‘excuses’ herself from the table.
  • When entering a limousine, gentlemen enter first.  It is much easier for the guys to manage the awkwardness of crawling into the large area with their tuxedo or suit versus the ladies in their formal gowns and high heels.  The driver is there to open and close the door.

Ladies:

  • Dresses – Strapless dresses continue to be a dress-of-choice for many young ladies.  Unfortunately, once they’ve had the dress on for any length of time, they don’t realize they’re continually tugging on, and rearranging it.  Try implementing this rule:  if you choose to wear a strapless dress, once you put it on… don’t touch it again. And if you do need to adjust, discreetly excuse yourself to the ladies room. Keep in mind; your goal is to not only look great, but to feel confident and comfortable.
  • Do not go to the bathroom in ‘groups’, it leaves the gentlemen left alone at the table wondering what you are saying about them.
  • Do not put on make-up or fix your hair at the table, save this for your solo trip to the restroom.

Tips for Everyone:

  • For the most part, leave your cell phones alone for the evening.  It’s ok to snap pictures, but save the posting for later. DO NOT ignore your date while you continuously text your best friend or update your social media.  Treat your date with the same respect you would like, and that means giving your date your undivided attention, not your phone. Focus on good old-fashioned ‘face time’!
  • Please” and “Thank you” go along way in making your date feel appreciated.
  • Gum – get rid of it in favor of a mint.  You are dressed up, looking like a million bucks and ready for the red carpet …don’t ruin it by chomping on your gum.
  • Yes, the ladies are perfectly capable of opening their own doors and getting seated by themselves – but letting a gentleman be a gentleman and allowing him to show a bit of chivalry always makes for a nice evening.

Who pays for what?:

  • Traditional rules were that the gentleman pays for everything.
  • Modern rules say that whoever invites pays. Modern rules also say that it’s all right to go ‘dutch’ (which means you share expenses).
  • Either is rule is okay and perfectly acceptable. The best approach is to have a conversation early on to make decisions together so it doesn’t become a stressful event.

Reminding teens that manners aren’t just ‘old school’ rules that are arbitrary or outdated – they’re rules and guidelines to help make you feel comfortable, enabling you to make others around you feel comfortable, too.  Keeping that in mind while treating your date with the respect you wish to receive will ensure that everyone has a great time!

And the best part is you’ll have great memories to look back on 30 years later… like this great pic of me and some of my high school friends! (Yes, that’s me on the right in the black dress with a HUGE hot pink bow!)

Click to Tweet:  Prom Etiquette – Tips and Tools to help make your Prom memorable in a good way! #MannerMonday http://bit.ly/PromEtq

Prom1985

Do you know someone who would enjoy this post?  If so, please share it and encourage them to sign up to receive Manner Monday?  I would appreciate it!  And if you’re new to Manner Monday, I’d love for you to take a minute to learn more about why I started it. You can click here to read my very first post that tells all about it.

Do you have a ‘manner’ or question you would like to see covered in a post?  Feel free to send me your thoughts, I would love to hear from you.

As always;  Thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue


In other news….

Do you know of a 5th-12th grader who would benefit from improved social skills, confidence (the right kind of confidence) and better manners?  We have a few options for them…

Registration for the 2016-2017 Season 5-8th grade programs is open, Click here to register.

  • Save $70 by registering by June 15 for a single season.
  • Or save $364 by taking advantage of the Multi-Season Discount.

Passport (9-12th Grade) Program

Click Here to access more information and to access the Passport (9-12th Grade) Program.

Email Newsletter
Have you signed up to receive Manner Monday directly to your inbox every week?  Click on the button below that says ‘Keep me on the list!’ and choose your settings:

  • Manner Monday will go out every Monday morning with a tip of the week, a helpful hint, or a fun ‘mannerly’ story.
  • Weekly Updates go out every week (or as I have information to share… so I really should call it something else because you won’t see it ‘weekly’).

Click the button below to subscribe and access Email Newsletter settings:

Keep me on the list


Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops

Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, Click Here to access the Business Section of the website.  Or please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or CareySue@CareySueVega.com

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • Dude your Rude! Interoffice civility awareness and team building
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress
  • Trade Show Booth Training

Word of Mouth is the best compliment you can give.  Do you know of some who may be interested in our programs, please share our information with them.  Here is the best link to share with them, it covers everything in a nutshell:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/

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Etiquette, Fashion, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: Politics in the Office

Have you heard? We have a Presidential election coming up in November.  Yes, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or living on a deserted island, you’re probably already sick of hearing about the November Election… annnndddd it’s only April.

Paula Burkes with the Oklahoman recently asked my two cents for her article ‘Mind Your Own Business: Is it smart to talk politics at work?

Hop on over to their website to catch the full story … it might just keep you out of hot water with your colleagues!

Click to Tweet: ‘Liking’ a political candidate’s Facebook page is the new-tech version of the political yard sign. #MannerMonday http://bit.ly/OffPol

politics

Do you know someone who would enjoy this post?  If so, please share it and encourage them to sign up to receive Manner Monday?  I would appreciate it!  And if you’re new to Manner Monday, I’d love for you to take a minute to learn more about why I started it. You can click here to read my very first post that tells all about it.

Do you have a ‘manner’ or question you would like to see covered in a post?  Feel free to send me your thoughts, I would love to hear from you.

As always;  Thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue


In other news….

Do you know of a 5th-12th grader who would benefit from improved social skills, confidence (the right kind of confidence) and better manners?  We have a few options for them…

Registration for the 2016-2017 Season 5-8th grade programs is open, Click here to register.

  • Save $70 by registering by June 15 for a single season.
  • Or save $364 by taking advantage of the Multi-Season Discount.

Passport (9-12th Grade) Program

Click Here to access more information and to access the Passport (9-12th Grade) Program.

Email Newsletter
Have you signed up to receive Manner Monday directly to your inbox every week?  Click on the button below that says ‘Keep me on the list!’ and choose your settings:

  • Manner Monday will go out every Monday morning with a tip of the week, a helpful hint, or a fun ‘mannerly’ story.
  • Weekly Updates go out every week (or as I have information to share… so I really should call it something else because you won’t see it ‘weekly’).

Click the button below to subscribe and access Email Newsletter settings:

Keep me on the list


Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops

Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, Click Here to access the Business Section of the website.  Or please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or CareySue@CareySueVega.com

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • Dude your Rude! Interoffice civility awareness and team building
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress
  • Trade Show Booth Training

Word of Mouth is the best compliment you can give.  Do you know of some who may be interested in our programs, please share our information with them.  Here is the best link to share with them, it covers everything in a nutshell:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/

No comments | leave a comment
Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners, Media

Manner Monday®: April Fools’ Day Jokes and Pranks

Last year I did a segment with Channel 4 on April Fools’ Day Etiquette for the Family and the Office.
I don’t have the video available, but here is the transcript:

AprilFoolEtq

Q – When do kids think a prank is good fun, and why do parents need to tread carefully from the start?

A – Parents REALLY need to tread lightly, we need to set good examples of what’s acceptable and what isn’t.

This is a great time and opportunity to have a conversation with your kiddos about pranks and practical jokes.

Ask them what they think is appropriate, then you can guide the conversation and point out that what they think may be funny, may actually be mean or offensive to others.

Q – It seems a lot of families have a ‘prankster’ who goes a bit too far? What’s going on with this person?

A – Do you see a pattern occurring?
Are they pulling the pranks as a way to get attention?
What is the motive behind the prank?
Is the prankster well-meaning, but ends up getting excited and over-zealous?
Or is their intent to see how far they can push the limit or boundaries?
Determine the motive before taking action.

Q – So how do you talk to a serial prankster – and still feel like you can sit down together next Thanksgiving?

A – If you do see a pattern occurring, it’s important to point it out and make sure the person realizes what they’re doing.

Explain the unintended potential consequences of their behavior: How is it affecting his reputation?

He may think it’s funny, but others think of him as annoying, ignorant, prejudiced or narrow-minded. Make sure to point out the impact of the pranks on others; people may be avoiding him and not want to be around him.

Q – Now lets talk about Office Pranks. What are the three elements to avoid at all cost?

A – Humor that falls into the category of sex, race, or religion does not belong in any office, period.

As an adult, playing a few pranks in the office can lighten the mood and bring some fun and excitement into the workplace.  On the other hand, it can cause stress, create unnecessary problems, breed animosity and cut into productivity.

If you like to get into the spirit of the day and you’re busy scheming and planning the perfect prank, ask yourself  “how would I feel if this joke were played on me?”

Many pranks may seem funny to you, but fall into the gray area and need to be administered with extreme caution. Everyone needs to be aware that what is funny to one person, can be offensive to another.

Q – Lets continue on the theory that a good laugh is a good moral booster in the workplace. What else should you keep in mind?

A – Make sure to be a good role model and keep your pranks good-natured and squeaky-clean. And if a coworker does take something personal or the wrong way, simply stop, apologize and don’t argue that it was funny or that they lack a sense of humor. Apologize, clear the air, and move forward.

Also, keep in mind the timing of your prank.  It may be April Fools’ Day on the calendar, but if your timing is wrong and if your prank is unprofessional – you may end up being the Fool.

Click to Tweet: It may be 4-1 on the calendar, but if timing is off or you’re unprofessional – you may end up the Fool. #MannerMonday http://bit.ly/4-1Fool

Do you know someone who would enjoy this post?  If so, please share it and encourage them to sign up to receive Manner Monday?  I would appreciate it!  And if you’re new to Manner Monday, I’d love for you to take a minute to learn more about why I started it. You can click here to read my very first post that tells all about it.

Do you have a ‘manner’ or question you would like to see covered in a post?  Feel free to send me your thoughts, I would love to hear from you.

As always;  Thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue


In other news….

Do you know of a 5th-12th grader who would benefit from improved social skills, confidence (the right kind of confidence) and better manners?  We have a few options for them…

Registration for the 2016-2017 Season 5-8th grade programs is open, Click here to register.

  • Save $70 by registering by June 15 for a single season.
  • Or save $364 by taking advantage of the Multi-Season Discount.

Passport (9-12th Grade) Program

Click Here to access more information and to access the Passport (9-12th Grade) Program.

Email Newsletter
Have you signed up to receive Manner Monday directly to your inbox every week?  Click on the button below that says ‘Keep me on the list!’ and choose your settings:

  • Manner Monday will go out every Monday morning with a tip of the week, a helpful hint, or a fun ‘mannerly’ story.
  • Weekly Updates go out every week (or as I have information to share… so I really should call it something else because you won’t see it ‘weekly’).

Click the button below to subscribe and access Email Newsletter settings:

Keep me on the list


Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops

Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, Click Here to access the Business Section of the website.  Or please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or CareySue@CareySueVega.com

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • Dude your Rude! Interoffice civility awareness and team building
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress
  • Trade Show Booth Training

Word of Mouth is the best compliment you can give.  Do you know of some who may be interested in our programs, please share our information with them.  Here is the best link to share with them, it covers everything in a nutshell:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/

No comments | leave a comment
Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Family, Manner Monday, Manners, Media

Manner Monday®: Work and Cell Phone Etiquette

Channel 4 (KFOR) in Oklahoma City asked me to weigh in on work and cell phone etiquette.  Here is the transcript from the segment:

Q: It’s been creeping up on us for years… phones are never out of sight in the workplace. Is it practical or expected to ‘put them away?’

A: When we’re working, we really need uninterrupted time for creativity to flow and to get into the zone for the project. Setting aside our smart-phone for periods of uninterrupted time is extremely beneficial. I am seeing more and more stories pop up about how much happier and productive people are who set healthy boundaries and put their devices away for periods of uninterrupted time.

Q: So let’s talk about some ground-rules for smart-phones…

A: Basic smart-phone etiquette dictates that we should give the person in front of us 100% of our attention, not the device in our hands. I call it ‘old-fashioned Face-Time’

  • During meetings or when meeting with clients, put phones away. Most all smart-phones now have automatic responses you can send to notify others ‘you’re in a meeting’ or that you will ‘call them later’.
  • Turn off the volume. Cute ring tones or songs really aren’t ‘cute’ to anyone else.
  • Old-school telephone rules still apply to our new smart-phones; no calls (texts, etc.) before 9:00am or after 9:00pm.

Q: Is it ever ok to bring your smart-phone into the office bathroom?

A: Yikes. Privacy please. It’s more than awkward when you hear a toilet flushing in the background of phone call. Consider that part of your healthy ‘uninterrupted’ time of separation from your phone. Plus, do you really want to take the chance of dropping your phone?

Q: How about the business lunch? When is it ok to answer texts while dining with someone… and should you excuse yourself from the table when taking a call?

A: During a Client lunch – your focus should be on the client. When you have your device out, your sending the signal that the other person is not as important as what might come through via your technology. If you need your device to take notes – that’s perfectly fine, just let the other person know that’s what you’re doing.

And we all know emergencies arise such as sick kids, babysitters, or even a work deadline – people understand, tell them upfront you may need to take the call, they get it. Then excuse yourself from the table and return as quickly as possible.

If you’re having lunch with your peers – a quick peek to make sure the boss isn’t texting is one thing, carrying on a separate side conversation is another.

You might try the fun game of phone stacking: everyone places his or her phone in a stack in the middle of the table, whoever touches theirs first, picks up the tab for the group.

Q: Because phones are now extensions of ourselves… how do we send a message that we’re ‘not in the office’ when we leave work? Is it ok to ignore work emails and office texts when you’ve left for the day?

A: Have conversations with coworkers and clients, set boundaries, and manage expectations. I think we’ve reached a saturation point and people are trying to do a better job of balancing family and work. It’s ok to say I’m not answering my cell phone or responding to messages after a certain time, that’s my family time. I think people respect and admire that!

Click to Tweet: Work and Cell Phone Etiquette Q&A #TechEtiquette #MannerMonday http://bit.ly/wkcelletq

IMG_9400

Do you know someone who would enjoy this post?  If so, please share it and encourage them to sign up to receive Manner Monday?  I would appreciate it!  And if you’re new to Manner Monday, I’d love for you to take a minute to learn more about why I started it. You can click here to read my very first post that tells all about it.

Do you have a ‘manner’ or question you would like to see covered in a post?  Feel free to send me your thoughts, I would love to hear from you.

As always;  Thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue


In other news….

Do you know of a 5th-12th grader who would benefit from improved social skills, confidence (the right kind of confidence) and better manners?  We have a few options for them…

Registration for the 2016-2017 Season 5-8th grade programs is open, Click here to register.

  • Save $70 by registering by June 15 for a single season.
  • Or save $364 by taking advantage of the Multi-Season Discount.

Passport (9-12th Grade) Program

Click Here to access more information and to access the Passport (9-12th Grade) Program.

Email Newsletter
Have you signed up to receive Manner Monday directly to your inbox every week?  Click on the button below that says ‘Keep me on the list!’ and choose your settings:

  • Manner Monday will go out every Monday morning with a tip of the week, a helpful hint, or a fun ‘mannerly’ story.
  • Weekly Updates go out every week (or as I have information to share… so I really should call it something else because you won’t see it ‘weekly’).

Click the button below to subscribe and access Email Newsletter settings:

Keep me on the list


Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops

Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, Click Here to access the Business Section of the website.  Or please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or CareySue@CareySueVega.com

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • Dude your Rude! Interoffice civility awareness and team building
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress
  • Trade Show Booth Training

Word of Mouth is the best compliment you can give.  Do you know of some who may be interested in our programs, please share our information with them.  Here is the best link to share with them, it covers everything in a nutshell:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/youth/programs/

No comments | leave a comment
Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners