Do you know when to tip and when to pass?
The clerk at your favorite bakery or local clothing boutique swipes your credit card and spins an electronic screen around that asks whether you want to tip. Do you select 15%, 20%, or 25% for being handed a croissant or for being shown to the dressing room? Or do you select “no tip” under the awkward gaze of the clerk?
Electronic tipping is here to stay. Most of us are now being asked to tip in non-traditional venues before we can complete our electronic payment. Etiquette has long dictated that waiters, valets, hairstylists, movers, and baristas (among others) all deserve to be tipped for their services. However, what about limited service settings that traditionally did not request tips or did so by way of an unobtrusive tip jar? If any level of “service” deserves a tip, then do we tip our dry cleaners and those who work behind the meat counter?
How should you handle awkward electronic tipping scenarios? It depends. Tipping is optional in situations where “service” is limited. If you choose to tip outside traditional service settings, tipping less than 20% is appropriate. Consider the context. Are you a regular at that bakery or do you plan on staying a while? Did you place a large, complex order? Do you know if the clerks are paid at least minimum wage, which is not the case in some restaurant settings?
Electronic tip requests should never “guilt” you into leaving a tip. Your purchase, a smile, and saying “thank you” is often enough. However, remember that tipping is an easy—and for many service workers, a meaningful—way to express gratitude for exceptional service.
Do you know how to set the table?
Setting the table for dinner seems to have become a lost art. When we ask course participants to set the table for a 4-course meal, it is rare that anyone can do it! Could you?
Setting a proper table shows respect to your guests and elevates a simple meal into a treasured experience. Knowing which glass and fork to use will not only save you from embarrassing moments, but it will help you confidently navigate important opportunities to connect with people around the table.
Learn how to set the table for a 4-course meal in this month’s “Do You Know?”
Do you know the 10 skills every kid should master before turning 10?
Do you know that kids must be taught social skills to succeed? A 20-year study shows a shocking link between a child’s social skills in kindergarten and their well-being as adults. Kids with good social skills were more likely to obtain higher education and hold full time jobs nearly two decades later, while kids who didn’t develop good social skills were more likely to have trouble finding employment, face substance abuse problems, and have run-ins with the law.
Being great with people is a skill that will pay major dividends in your child’s life. Like every skill, social skills must be taught, and you are the front-line teacher. Learn the 10 skills that every kid should master before turning 10 in this month’s “Do You Know?”
Do you know how to eat a dinner roll?
Do you grab a dinner roll as soon as you are seated at the table, cut it in half, slather it with butter, and eat it like a sandwich? STOP! Knowing when and how to consume bread during a meal is unlikely to bring about world peace, but it will mark you as having excellent table manners.
Learn how to eat a dinner roll in this month’s “Do You Know?”
Do you know what to do when you forget someone’s name?
Have you ever enjoyed a great conversation with someone you just met, but you forget their name the moment you walk away? Ugh, this feels so embarrassing and is so common. What do you do? Do you pretend like you know it and just skip using their name? Do you tell them that you forgot? Do you run the other way to avoid speaking to them altogether?
Learn how to gracefully handle forgetting someone’s name in this month’s “Do You Know?”
Do you know how to introduce yourself?
Every relationship begins with an introduction. Amazing friendships and life-changing business opportunities lie on the other side of a simple “hello.” But meeting new people can be a challenge, and many of us freeze or flee (let’s hope we don’t fight!) instead of introducing ourselves.
Learn how to confidently introduce yourself AND what to say next in this month’s “Do You Know?”
Do you know what NOT to place on the dinner table?
Dining table décor comes in all shapes and sizes. Some tables are adorned with fancy dishes and beautiful flowers while others hold paper plates and toddler cups. While their appearances may vary, all dining tables share the same sacred purpose: they bring people together.
When we have the privilege of gathering around the table our focus should be on cultivating connection, and dining etiquette helps us do just that! Knowing how to navigate a meal helps us focus on the people present, which begins with knowing what to set on the table.
Learn five things that should not be part of your table décor in this month’s “Do You Know?”
Do you know when to talk instead of text?
When was the last time you used your phone to call someone? For many, the answer is probably, “I don’t remember!” Why don’t we use our phones as phones anymore? Why do we text instead of talk?
If you choose to text because you think a phone call will be too awkward or time consuming, you aren’t alone. In a recent experiment, researchers randomly assigned strangers to connect either by texting or talking by phone. Participants expected to feel more comfortable connecting with the stranger by text. Were they right? Did they feel less awkward, save time, and connect just as well by texting instead of talking by phone?
Learn what the researchers discovered about talking v. texting in this month’s “Do You Know?”
Do you know how to graciously give gift cards?
Selecting the perfect gift can be tricky. What do you get for the person who has everything, likes nothing, or lives far away? We give to honor people. Gift cards are a great gift option when they genuinely honor the recipient.
Learn how to graciously give gift cards in this month’s “Do You Know?”
Do you know how to hold a wine glass?
Knowing how to hold a wine glass doesn’t just make you look good. It makes your wine taste better! When your host goes to the trouble of serving you a glass of wine at the perfect temperature, don’t ruin the experience by holding the wine glass by its bowl. Wrapping your hand around the bowl of the glass heats the wine and leaves your grubby fingermarks on the beautiful glass. What do you do instead?
Learn how to hold a wine glass in this month’s “Do You Know?”
Do you know what most people screw-up when texting?
Remember when texting took forever because you had to painstakingly enter the message on a numerical keypad? Nearly 30 years later (wowza!), texting is fast, convenient, and the norm. It has dramatically changed the way we communicate. Just because we text all the time, doesn’t mean we do it correctly. Do you know what most people screw-up when texting?
Learn how to avoid a common texting mistake in this month’s “Do You Know?”
Do you know how to boost your credibility with a third piece?
Clothing communicates! People assume over a dozen things about you when they first see you, including how competent you are. It is not fair, but it is real. Clothing is an instant messaging system that immediately sets people’s expectations for your performance. It is simple: what people see is what they expect.
Learn how to instantly boost your credibility by adding a third piece to your outfit in this month’s “Do You Know?”
Do you know what NOT to say when complimented?
Think about the last time you received a compliment. “You look great!” “Awesome job on that project.” How did you respond? Did you handle the compliment well? Here is a hint: there is only one correct response to a sincere compliment.
Learn what NOT to say when complimented (and the only correct response to praise) in this month’s “Do You Know?”
Do you know that your clothes have superpowers?
How did Clark Kent transform from a mild-mannered reporter into a world-saving superhero? He changed his clothes! Clark Kent became Superman by putting on his cape, which changed how he interacted with the world. Like Superman, your clothes have superpowers too!
We know that our clothes influence how others see us, but did you know that clothing also influences how you see yourself and how you think? Learn about how your clothes impact your performance in this month’s “Do You Know?”
Do you know how to respond to a graduation announcement?
Graduation is an exciting right-of-passage. Graduates and their families gather to honor years of study and hard work. These important celebrations mark the closing of one chapter and the beginning of a new season. It is an honor to be included! Do you know what to do when you receive a graduation announcement? Do you attend the graduation? Do you send a gift? Learn how to respond to a graduation announcement in this month’s “Do You Know?”
Do you know the Art of Acknowledgment?
Have you ever walked into a room and felt invisible because no one looked your way? We are all guilty of ignoring the people around us because we are absorbed in our technology or mental to-do lists. Acknowledging others is one of the easiest and most powerful ways we can connect and build relationships. Learn the three steps to the Art of Acknowledgment in this month’s “Do You Know?”
Do you know how NOT to apply fragrance?
Have you ever smelled someone before you saw them? Whether the smell is pleasurable or not, we never want people to smell us before we have the chance to say hello. We want to captivate people with our ideas, not our fragrance! Scent is extremely powerful! To help you successfully manage this influential tool we are sharing our Top Two Tips on Fragrance.
Do you know how to respond to “Thank You”?
Saying “please” and “thank you” is drilled into us as kids. How many times have you heard someone ask a child, “what are the magic words?” Likely thousands! But do you know what to say after someone tells you “thank you”?
Do you know how to address emails to unknown recipients?
Names matter, including in email salutations. How you address someone in an email is your electronic first impression, which sets the tone for your interaction. Learn how to address an email when you don’t know the recipient’s name in this month’s tip!
Do you know where to put your mask while dining?
Etiquette changes as society changes, and mask etiquette is something that should now be in your social skills toolbox (who would have ever guessed!). Let’s talk about dining. If you are able to grab a meal at your favorite restaurant, don’t forget your mask! Once you are seated and the food is served, where should you place your mask while eating?
Do you know how much to tip for curbside service?
Tipping is a part of American culture. It is one of the ways that we show gratitude to those who serve us and is a critical part of restaurant employees’ incomes. A standard tip when dining in a full-service restaurant is 20%, which is often split between your server, bartender, and other restaurant employees. What about curbside service? Learn how much to tip for curbside service in this month’s “Do You Know?”
Do you know how much to spend on gifts?
Gift giving can be tricky. Figuring out how much to spend on gifts is a major stressor that can suck the joy right out of giving. While some experts post detailed guides showing exactly how much to spend on certain people, we think that guidance really misses the mark. Instead, we suggest that you ask these two questions to make gift buying easy!
Do you know these 4 image hacks to keep you looking sharp?
We have all been living in our “comfy clothes” while we spend more time at home. When it is time to go back to work or attend an event, will you remember where your real pants are and how to get sharply dressed again? Here are 4 hacks to keep you looking your best when you need to wear real pants!
Do you know where to stand on an elevator?
Elevators are awkward places. These small, enclosed spaces where strangers often stand only inches apart can make the most confident person feel a bit uncomfortable. Elevator etiquette is especially important now. Most buildings have posted new elevator guidelines including a limit on the number of passengers and mask requirements. You should follow posted guidelines and these 5 elevator etiquette tips to make your next elevator ride less awkward for everyone!
Do you know how to handle a stressful COVID-19 encounter?
Public encounters can be especially challenging right now. A routine trip to the grocery store can go sideways in a matter of moments, which is exactly what happened to me on my last trip to Costco. I share my experience along with a few ideas on how to make your next outing go more smoothly in this tip! How we treat people matters, especially now. This, too, shall pass. When it does, what relationships will be waiting for you on the other side of this pandemic?
Do you know how to smile with your eyes?
How do you create connection from behind a mask? Social distancing and masked faces can make us feel isolated and awkward. These feelings can prompt us to avoid eye contact, making us feel even more isolated and more awkward. This vicious cycle can be easily broken with a powerful tool: a genuine smile from our eyes. Learn how to smile with your eyes in this tip!
Do you know how to NOT shake hands?
COVID-19 radically changed how we interact with one another, and people will likely be opting out of personal touch for a while. While handshakes are on hold, how will you create connection when greeting people? How do you communicate a genuine happiness to see someone without touch? How do you graciously turn down a handshake or kindly respond when someone pulls back from your extended hand? Learn how to NOT shake hands—and what to do instead—in this tip!
Do you remember basic phone etiquette?
Making a phone call sounds simple, doesn’t it? But for those of us who haven’t used the call feature recently, it is easy to forget how to make a proper call. A phone call is not just about conveying information; it is a valuable opportunity to connect with another person. Make the most of these moments by brushing up on your basic phone etiquette. Sharpen your phone skills with these 5 etiquette tips!
Do you know how to stay connected in a time of social distancing?
After weeks of social distancing, even the most introverted among us misses engaging with other people. Everything—or so it seems—is cancelled. But do you know what isn’t cancelled? Our biologically hardwired need to connect with other people. Staying connected is essential business. Learn 5 practical ways to keep being social in this tip!
Do you know how to present a business card?
Knowing how to smoothly exchange business cards is an easy way to boost your professional image and increase your confidence at networking events. Do you know how do you flawlessly handle the exchange? Learn how to present a business card in this tip!
Do you know how to eat soup? (hint: it’s eaten differently than cereal!)
Have you ever chosen not to order a delicious bowl of soup because you weren’t quite sure how to eat it or were worried that you would wear more than you ate? You aren’t alone! Soup can challenge even the most skilled diner. Thankfully, there is a handy rhyme that makes eating soup simple and keeps you drip-free! Learn how to eat soup (and how the process is different than cereal) in this tip!
Do you know who should return a dropped call?
The dreaded dropped call. You are in the middle of a story or are sharing important information and eventually realize that no one is listening. “Hello? Are you there?” Silence. You wonder how long you have been talking to yourself while you quickly call the other person back and are directed to voicemail. You hang up and receive a missed call notification. Ugh! Welcome to the most annoying game of phone tag. Save time and frustration by following the simple rule in this tip!
Do you know which water glass is yours?
Have you ever sat down to a beautiful table and not known which water glass was yours? No one wants to experience that awkward moment when they accidentally drink their table mate’s water! Learn our foolproof trick to identify your drink in this tip!
Do you send a thank you note for a host gift? (and what is a host gift?)
We often take our invitations to social events for granted but being included on someone’s guest list is an honor. Hosting events is a lot of work (especially when no one RSVPs!). A host gift is a gracious way to thank your host for including you in their celebration. Do you know when to give a host gift? What to bring? And whether to send a thank you note when you receive a host gift? Learn how to handle host gifts in this tip!
Do you know who should initiate a handshake?
We have all encountered that awkward moment when we meet someone and wonder if we should shake hands and—if so—who should extend their hand first? A handshake is the only appropriate form of touch in business and is an influential way to convey feelings of competence, warmth, strength, and connection. In the West, initiating a handshake signals confidence and leadership. It conveys that you are direct and in control. But who should shake hands first? Learn who shakes first in this tip!
Do you know where to place your name tag?
According to Dale Carnegie, “A person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Our names matter. Do you make people feel valued by using their name? Remembering a person’s name is a simple way to create connection, but it can be tricky. Thankfully, name tags help us learn and recall the powerful sound of people’s names.
Don’t want to be forgotten? Start by wearing your name tag in the right place. Learn where to place your name tag (and why!) in this tip!
Do you know who should NOT drink during a toast?
A well-delivered toast can transform a simple meal into a memorable celebration and be the highlight of a wedding or special event. The modern toaster stands, delivers a brief, positive, heartfelt, and perhaps witty collection of words intended to honor the person being toasted. Everyone is asked to raise a glass in the recipient’s honor…and then what happens? Learn who should NOT drink during a toast—and what they should do instead— in this tip!
Did you know that it pays to be kind?
We have all heard the saying, “you’ll never regret being kind,” but do you believe it? Just one look at our social media feeds often begs the question, does being civil really pay off? We have the answer and it may surprise you. Learn the power of civility and take our Civility Awareness Quiz in this tip!
Do you know how to choose clothing that flatters your body?
Have you ever found yourself not being able to pinpoint why a certain top or pair of pants doesn’t look quite right? You love the color and style, but every time you put it on you don’t feel great. The right outfit has the power to fuel your confidence. Some people embrace all their curves and feel fabulous in everything, which is wonderful! Others feel more confident when their less loved features are not highlighted. If the latter is you, here is one tip to help you choose an outfit that flatters your body in a way you love!
Did you know that “Miss” and “Mrs.” should not be used in business?
Addressing men in business is clear: John Smith is formally addressed as Mr. Smith. But how should you address women in business? Women were traditionally addressed based on marital status. However, as society changed, so did etiquette! Learn how to address women in business today in this tip!
Do you know the Rule of Ten for getting dressed?
Have you ever gotten dressed, looked in the mirror, and wondered if your outfit is a bit uninspired? Do you ever feel overlooked because of what you wear? Or perhaps your outfits are very busy, and your clothes are the focus of people’s attention.
To create a polished and strategic look, our goal is to choose items that captivate people’s attention without overwhelming them. Do you know when to amp up your outfit to avoid looking boring and when to scale a busy look back to keep the focus on you—not your clothes? Learn a powerful trick called The Rule of 10 for getting dressed in this month’s “Do You Know?”