Can Manners Be Recycled?

Give a hoot and don’t pollute.350px-People_Start_Pollution_-_1971_Ad

With that said, littering or doing anything improperly or inappropriately is not mannerly. Throughout, human history, people have disposed of unwanted materials onto streets, waterways, in small local dumps or often in remote locations. (Wikipedia). It’s no surprise that littering has an effect on your quality of life.

Did you know, that having the right manners can also affect your life. So, since we have all been doing our best to not litter, why is there a shortage on manners?

Our manners being disposed of today is obvious. Nearly, 70% questioned in an Associated Press-Ipsos poll (nbcnews.com) said people are ruder today than they were 20 or 30 years ago. Do you think that the person who intentionally litters also has bad manners? Interestingly, research by Keep America Beautiful, found that 75% of Americans admitted to littering in the last five years. Well, I guess we can respect the fact that those who are littering are being accountable. However, it’s becoming easier not to litter. There are all kinds of recycling and repurposing containers and laws to help us give a hoot to not pollute.

So why can’t Americans be more intentional on behaving properly and acting appropriately?  Do you think that as we take the time to not litter, we decided to put our manners to the curb?

Our society has managed to make a difference in their environment by recognizing the importance of recycling. Why have we not managed to behave better as well towards each other. From road rage in the morning commute to the high-decibel cell-phone conversations that ruin our dining, men and women behaving badly has become the hallmark of a hurry-up world. How can we convince each other that manners matter more today than before? Using your manners everyday make as much a difference in your life as much as recycling your water bottle.

Let’s try to put the same effort into recycling into making manners matter. Be a good scout and  help us work our recycling efforts into our daily manners- here are 7 tips to accomplish each day of the week. 

  • Sunday-While addressing the needs of your property such as leaf blowing, trash collecting, ask your neighbor if they need any help around their home.
  • Monday-Getting the trash ready for the week pick-up, be sure to ask your housemates if they need any debris collected as well.
  • Tuesday-Take some time to learn the new recycling labels. And share your knowledge with others.
  • Wednesday-If you see something, say something. Alerting others to their publicly displayed bad behavior may be a challenge, yet if you can offer some polite interference-you might have made a difference in the outcome of their day.
  • Thursday-Drink your daily allowance of water out of a recycled container, and offer a stranger a kind gesture.
  • Friday-Reuse those leftovers in your fridge by creating a different dinner. Invite a few friends over for a “Pop-Up” Leftover Picnic.
  • Saturday-Send out a note to someone, on recycled paper.

What matters most when it comes to littering is the same when it comes to manners. Respecting each other and respecting our environment go hand in hand. It takes one good deed a day to impact someone’s life. It takes one recycling can to carry reusable containers to the right place. So, as long as we agree to be kind and mindful to each other-our efforts will be recycled into a kinder society for years to come.

So, lets’ think twice, and just be nice…

Demetria and Lisa

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts

 

 

Pardon the Interruptions-The Pope is Talking

PopeWell, these past few days had many interruptions due to the Papal Visit. And, those interruptions might have been worthwhile-such as, a break from your regular traffic route because you decided to watch the Pope a little longer. That type of interruption was welcoming-We have had our  days  and routines interrupted time to time. But, is it just me, or do I feel like conversations are being interrupted more often these days?

Did you know?

  • We can comprehend and listen at the rate of 600 words per minute?
  • On the average, we speak at the rate of 125-150 words per minute. (No wonder, at an auction all we have to do to respond is raise our hand-did I just interrupt my blog?)

The fact that our society has encouraged a lifestyle that not only makes our minds work at a faster rate, but makes other things happening around us work as fast. This means that our minds are working faster when listening to others. (www.lauraleerose.com) No wonder it’s a struggle to keep on topic.

Have interruptions become such a trend that they are now a natural part of conversation? There are times  we don’t realize we are interrupting.  Let’s take a step back and name the reasons why we interrupt:

  1. We need help.
  2. We need attention.
  3. We are bored with the current conversation.
  4. We are wasting our time.
  5. We want to change the topic, for some other reason.
  6. We are arrogant.( Trump – are you reading this?)
    Trump

Mother, May I wants to help you improve yourself professionally and personally, we believe that interruptions  whether intentional or not can be controlled.

If you don’t want someone to interrupt you, then practice the following in conversation:

  1. Spell out your intentions up front – For example, “Thanks for meeting with me this morning. I’m not sure how to handle this sticky situation at work. Here is what happened-and I value your opinion/advice.”
  2. Your time is valuable – Find what works for you in regards to answering the phone and replying to emails. Interruptions happen while other interruptions are ongoing. Communicating with others about your available time will help others respect your time, and not interrupt you.
  3. Give advice when asked – Unsolicited advice is rarely appreciated. If there is something you want to discuss and it is off-topic, do not interrupt, wait and find a better time to offer advice.

Watching and listening to pieces of  the Popes recent visit was enticing. It was refreshing to stop, pause, listen and reflect on the media coverage, and mainly, listen to the Pope. Did you notice his deliberate moments of silence?  Thousands upon thousands experienced the bliss of silence and reflection during the Pope’s visit. Regular conversation with a person like the Pope will likely never happen. And, if you or I ever had the chance to talk with him, the idea of interrupting him is unfathomable.

So, chances are we won’t have the pleasure of talking with the Pope, yet we can all improve our communication.

Next time you have a conversation with anyone, your parent, a friend, a colleague, try to slow it down a bit. Pay attention to what they say, and don’t be afraid to ponder your answer and pause, before developing a response. You may be able to improve your response and answer the question better. Also, listening  more closely will  make the conversation more enjoyable and enriching for both parties involved.

If you would like to learn more about communication, and take a look at how it reflects on yourself  in the your profession, listen to our latest podcast. We will be sharing it on our social media platforms on Monday, next week on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Listen to Mother, May I with Emery Mulling of Mulling At Work, a segment on Talk of the Town 1160 Radio, and listen to us chat about How to Improve Professionalism in the Modern (often interrupted) Workplace.

Demetria and Lisa

Co-Founders Mother, May I

 

Mindful Manners for the Workplace

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So….now that Labor Day has come and gone, the festiveness of summer seems like a distant memory. Most folks are back from vacation and the fall intensity is revving up. Not to say we totally slack in the summer, but in many industries, summertime is a bit more of a relaxed workplace. Many companies in Manhattan actually offer ½ day Fridays so that employees can get out of town for the weekend early. Hewitt Associates research over the years has found that compressing workweeks is a way to keep employees happy without spending a lot of money.

workplace reallyI’m not sure why workplace etiquette seems to still be on vacation too. Is office etiquette sadly fading away? Well Mother, May I is here to help correct that trend. To some people, manners seem to be an old-fashioned concept — some stuffy idea from when people were not allowed to wear flip flops to work. If you spend most of your week in an office environment, you probably know that working closely with colleagues can be a productive, rewarding experience. You also know that their quirks, bad habits, and thoughtlessness can slowly drive you insane.

So with that in mind, here is a short list of office pet peeves and reminders of the civil and professional behavior that you can practice in the workplace…

Cubicle clausterphobia

  • Cubicle claustrophobia: Too many people feel like their space is not their space. But even though a person works in an open area, it does not follow that they don’t deserve some privacy and respect.
    • Leave other’s belongings alone
    • Knock before entering another’s cubicle and don’t peer over cubicle walls
    • Use your indoor voice and don’t use your speaker phone unless you are alone or in a closed office space
  • Kitchen confidential: It is funny, as we canvas different employees, shared space maintenance is a common issue. If you put something in the refrigerator, you need to eat it or remove it before it goes bad. Leaving it there afterwards (and sometime long afterwards) is not only wrong, but frankly, gross.

Workplace refrig

    • Respect other people’s food
    • Clean up after yourself
    • Be responsibility for what you use in common spaces
  • Communication: Getting 10 emails when a brief face –to –face or phone call would suffice and solve any confusion
    • Not responding to emails in a timely manner is unprofessional
  •  “People not taking ownership for their actions” continues to be one of the most common pet peeve globally, chosen by 78 percent of total respondents.
    • No one is perfect so being authentic and transparent about an issue at work will save everyone’s time and improve productivity in the end.
  •  Showing up late for meetings: This is the office pet peeve that bothered hiring managers (65 percent) in the U.S. the most according to a LinkedIn survey.
    • Showing up late or ill-prepared gives the impression that your time is more important than others, even your bosses.   
  • Passive-aggressive feuding. This happens when a coworker has a problem, but instead of solving it through open communication, punishes you with a range of undermining tactics. This can include eye rolling, the silent treatment, or excluding you from lunch or happy hour.
    • It’s best to get the issue on the table and discuss it calmly, working together to find an agreeable solution. 

Henry Ford was quoted as saying that “Being likable was more important than the knowledge of the job.” He said, “You can teach someone the job, but teaching them how to work with others is much more difficult.”

Being civil and mindful of others in the workplace is a best practice.

Let us know how turning on the right manners benefited you at work!

 

Lisa and Demetria

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts

Diner En Blanc…En Pittsburgh

Diner en Blanc Pgh

DEB Sparklers

A crowd of happy people, all dressed in white, converged on Gateway Center for a chic, pop-up BYO-picnic Friday night. The sole purpose of which was to create a unique evening in the city. There was a heady spirit of community at the fancy picnic, as well as a sense of elegance.

Diner en Blanc began in Paris in 1988 by François Pasquier, who invited a few of his friends one day in June. To find one another in the park, they all wore white. The dinner was such a success that they decided to repeat it the following year and the year after that. Over the years, the number of guests grew to 1,000-plus, and the trend spread to other cities.

Demetria and I jumped at the chance to be a part of this inaugural event, as it is after all, all about etiquette and protocol. Demetria was even asked to be one of the judges and selected the table setting that depicted Pittsburgh the best !

DEB D and me

Ashley and Steven Toth of Level Green PA took home high honors for their re-purposed centerpiece & elegant table setting.

I guess our enthusiasm for this event is layered…

  1. We love the longstanding history of Diner En Blanc, originating in Paris and popping up in major cities all around the globe.
  2. We love the formalness too. In our society where everything is so casual these days, it was fun to do something a bit more elegant.
  3. We love the fact that Pittsburgh was finally selected as a city to host the event !

Plus…

A long-standing Diner en Blanc tradition is the waving of the napkins to show occupation of space and kick off dinner… well Pittsburgh has been practicing that with our Terrible Towels over the years, so the towel waving was purposeful and executed with perfection !

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We had 1000 people this year…I say we try to double that for next year! (You can read more about the event on the Post Gazette.)

If you need any dining tips before then please feel free to contact Mother, May I today.

Thank you Jenny Altman, Crystal Vangura and Trisha Daniel for hosting the event and Bon apetit Pittsburgh!

DEB Pgh

Lisa and Demetria

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts

 

3 Manners to Leave a Great Impression

What makes a great impression? Today, making a good impression is easy. Saying hello and making eye contact and extending your hand are all simple ways that create a good impression. However, in today’s competitive world, Making and leaving a great impression is a challenge.

Believe Mother, May I when we tell you that people do want to hear about you. When you meet someone, they want to hear about what you do and who you are. Be prepared to have that short “elevator” speech that engages the people you are with. Make yourself present by lighting up your social crowd.

Being an engaging and fun person to be around goes hand-in-hand with having good manners and leaving a good impression. Speaking of which, Pittsburgh will be making an impression this Friday by hosting an amazing event.

I have to share that this weekend Pittsburgh will be on stage for hosting our first Diner En Blanc. Visit the White en Blanc – Pittsburgh website to learn about this amazing social movement that encourages dining with strangers. We will all be dressed in white, and conducting ourselves with the best decorum, elegance , and etiquette, all meeting for a massive “Chic Picnic” in a public space.

DinerEnBlanc

So, for those of you attending the White en Blanc event, and also those of you that are constantly meeting new people, professionally and socially…Here are 3 Steps to Help you Succeed in Leaving a good Great Impression:

  1. Looking good and well groomed wherever you may be…I know that in some places, yoga pants have crossed into the workplace for appropriate attire-However, your everyday appearance should always send a strong message about you. You don’t get a second chance…We make a judgement in the first 2 seconds we lay our eyes on you. At the White En Blanc event, dress in all white -for ladies, I would include the shoes as well, while for men, white shoes may be harder to come by and therefore less of a no-no.
  1. Be prepared to talk about yourself in a positive manner. Nobody wants to hear the doom and gloom of your day. Give off a positive energy and find a positive talking piece about yourself that you know makes you smile when you talk about it. Lean forward into the conversation. Know that your body language sends out 65% of what you are really saying. Keep your comments short and clear in communication.
  1. Walk away from that social group with a thank you, and it was nice meeting you. Be sincere. Make people feel good by giving them approval. Make them feel good about themselves. Also, if you can, try to use their names if you remember them, as people like to hear their own name.

Leaving a Great Impression is a wonderful way to kick-start your Fall season. Challenge yourself with some new social setting goals.

For example, you could….

  • Go for a walk just to smile at a stranger.
  • Make a point to help someone at the grocery store.
  • Do something nice for someone at work.

– You will feel good about this small changes that you are making to your daily routine-and will be leaving behind a great impression on someone.

Let us know how someone left you with a great impression. And think about why that person was able to leave that impression on you…

Take Me Out to the Ball Game, I Promise to Play Nice…

I remember going to baseball games with my dad. I remember the pleasure in tasting a hotdog (before I became a pescatarian). I remember wishing to catch a foul ball. I remember people walking out to the bleachers in sleeveless shirts on a sunny afternoon. And I remember passionate fans following their favorite player. I remember people watching the game. Think about that!…Watching the game with no interference except for the promise of catching a foul ball. No one standing up in front of you to capture a selfie with the jumbotron in the background. Or endless photographers by the front row seats.

Today, going to a ballgame is a different experience. Today, you have to be more mindful of your surroundings. Today you must make an effort to be courteous of others attending from parking to tailgating. Here are some things Mother, May I suggests we should all practice when it comes to attending any sporting event:

  • Be mindful of where you park your car. Be sure you are not parking in an illegal spot for any reason.
  • Tailgating is a great opportunity to gear up for the game, but taunting the opposing fans or leaving trash behind shouldn’t be a part of the experience.
  • Helping those in need should always be a priority before getting to your seat. Assist others if they seem dazed and confused. Or if they need serious help, like the fans that helped save a mans life during a recent Pirates game.
  • Attending a stadium is a first time experience for many. Don’t push and shove others just to be the first to see the field.
  • Sit in your ticketed seat.
  • Be courteous to those sitting around you. Offensive language is never in style so refrain form using it, and don’t cross words with a foe.
  • Wait for the play to be over before excusing yourself to grab a hotdog.
  • Exit the stadium with manners, and your left over cups and wrappers.

Manners…just like baseball, are an important part of our heritage. People will follow good behavior, so be a champion of proper behavior!  Children will follow good sportsmanship. So no arguing, no pushing, or yelling…Just a good shout out from the umpire “your safe”!!!

Lets practice our best behavior this summer at all sporting events. Share with us your favorite sports memory on our Facebook page!

Manners…Pools, Parks and Parties…Oh My!

cartoon-swimming-pool-1

 

So… summer is official apon us, hooray! What to do now? Getting out for a little summer fun perhaps? Well there are manners involved with sharing public spaces like a pool, park or even at a neighborhood party. Knowing how to act and react this summer while out and about will make for a more pleasant time! You remember the “Lions and Tigers and Bears…oh my” in the movie Wizard of Oz? Well they can all co-exist, and so can we if we are mindful of our manners…check out these unlikely friends at the zoo.

Can't we just all get along

I guess you are asking is how?   Well Mother, May I can toss you a lifepreserver of mannerly tips that will keep your summer cool and enjoyable!

 life-preserver

 

So for the pool…

  1. Mind your manners! Unless you are at an all inclusive in the islands, leave food and drink poolside. The last thing anyone wants is a taco floating in the public pool.
  2. Don’t stare! It is impolite to stare anywhere, but a pool where people are in bathing suits, the temptation to look longer at a swimsuit faux pax is greater. Use your indoor/ outdoor voice…though it is understandable have excitement levels high about being outdoors, there is no need to rachet the decible levels up on your voice or your music.
  3. Be mindful of your space and others: This goes for laying out your towel or when you are leaving and shaking off your towel. Take a look at those around you to make certain you are not going to disturb. Splashing in the pool is fun, but when it continuous and reckless that is rude…so no cannonballs when lots of people are in your splash zone.
  4. Don’t bring things to the pool that you may not be willing to share. This is for you parents, if your child has a favorite toy that you decide to take to the pool, understand that other kids may like it too. To avoid any hardfeelings or a meltdown, I would leave those important toys at home.

So for the park… the suggestions for the pool apply to heading out to the parks this summer, but there are a few others that are park specific.

  1. Leave No Trace Ethic. It is very simple: leave the place you visit the same or better than you found it; leave no trace of your having been there, so that others – both human and animal – can enjoy the place the rest of the year. With 75% of Americans admitting to littering, well cutting that in half would make a huge impact on the ecology and the economy!
  2. Respect Mother, Nature and the rules of the park! If there is a sidewalk or trail that will get you to your destination, use it vs. trampling through the grass or forest. Practice this with your kids by suggesting they use the sidewalk vs bolting across the grass at your next neighborhood party.

So speaking of parties… again the suggestions for the pool and the parks apply to heading out to parties this summer, but there are a few extras to be mindful of.

  1. RSVP! Just take the extra 5 minutes to check your calendar and respond. There have been huge gaffs when people don’t…take the client party for the Blue Ribbon Bag Company for instance. Why put your gracious host under pressure by having to handle your showing or no-showing.
  2. Kids will be kids… but at someone else’s home it is your responsibility as parents or guardians to keep your children under control. The best way to do this is decide with your children the ground rules and the penalties before you step out of the car.

 

Mindful manners is what can make a good time great! So get out there and share some sunshine!

 posh picnic

As the Beetles sang so sweetly “Here comes the sun…and I say, it’s all right.”

 

Thank you for reading and enjoy your summer!

Lisa and Demetria…

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts

Are you Proud of You?

Pride logo So…with all the news swirling around about inequality and inequities shown to our fellow man (or woman), I want you to ask yourself…Are you proud of you? Think about that question before you jump in, because being proud of yourself is an important thing today, but many think it has to deal with some major accomplishment. It doesn’t. It can be something as simple as being proud of yourself for treating all people with kindness, understanding and respect. The lesson in that idea, is life changing, and a life skill that can be handed down to your next generation. Some times it’s hard to change your views, especially if those views have been very important to you or you’ve had them for a very long time. But you have made the decision to open your heart and understand people that are different than you, and that is commendable. Good job!

Well…Gay Pride month has kicked off in cities around the country. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally. This wonderful celebration is chock full of parades, costumes, great food and great fun! It celebrates the liberation of people, some who have lived in the shadows for decades, whose major goal has been the right to love.

 all-you-need-is-love

Now what in the world is wrong with that?

 In the United States, same-sex marriage is recognized by the federal government and has been legalized in 36 U.S. states. More than 70% of the population live in states that recognize same sex unions. Well we’ve come a long way from Brokeback Mountain, and it is heartwarming to see older, loving couples, who have had to hide their relationships for decades in fear of public retribution. Times are a changing!

While many of us are embracing the evolution, there are still folks that don’t mind their manners on the matter…Iggy Azalea cancelled her Pittsburgh Pride concert, just last night, based on the uproar against her recent percieved homophobic and racists tweets.

But with major sports figures like Michael Sam and Bruce Jenner or power people like Ellen DeGeneres or Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO revealing their true selves, it helps to offer strength to the rest of LBGT community.

So we wanted to offer some ways to show your manners in the midst of diversity.

  1. Don’t make assumptions… Forget about stereotypes; they almost always do not apply. Not all gay men know how to cook, wear tight clothes, and love to shop or sing along with old show tunes. Not every lesbian has short hair and drive a Subaru. People present in all kinds of way so asking open ended questions can help ease awkward moments.
  2. People are forgetful by nature, so once again, don’t assume malice or disinterest if something is forgotten. Help out by reminding people who you are.
  3. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all… my mother brought me up with this mantra. So many people in the 4G world have forgotten this simple kindness.
  4. Learn that gay men and lesbians are no different from any other group of people. They have dreams and goals, and want to be happy and lead productive lives. The more time you spend around gay and lesbian people, the more you realize that they’re just people, the same as you.
  5. Do not out your gay friends to others, respecting their privacy at all times. Outing them may put them in harms way, or make them vulnerable to discrimination from others whether it be in the workplace or for housing or other basic services
  6. Maintain and open mind and open heart! Attend a Pride parade. My dear friend and I happened on the Pride parade in New York City a few years ago…it was festive, irreverent, educational, loving, peaceful and really fun!

 Miami_PrideTake pride in doing the mannerly things that will make this week a memorable one!

Come together for the better!

Lisa and Demetria

Co-Founders Mother, May I… Etiquette Experts

 

Biking…A Rite of Passage in Many Mannerly Ways!

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My children will remember their “first” real bike ride. You see, right before they graduated from high school, each one had to ride the 50 mile leg of Pedal Pittsburgh with me. This ride was and still is an amazing way to see the city of Pittsburgh.http://www.pedalpittsburgh.com.

What I found was that it was an amazing way to teach my kids how to get from point A to point B with the drive to never give up. Riding through the hills of Pittsburgh is not a small accomplishment…it is not for the faint of heart or spirit. I’m happy to report that they got through those 50 miles, though it wasn’t without a few mishaps like my son Alex taking a shortcut to the finish line (without telling anyone). This miscue caused me to get the police involved and possibly report him missing. Where was Alex?—Oh he got thirsty and hungry when we didn’t show up, so he helped himself to some food from Hooters-yes, apparently, the staff at Hooters felt sorry for this 16 year old who lost his biking group. And then there was, my son Nico, who got lost at a turn—fortunately after spending two hours trying to locate him, he came pedaling up to all of us at the Washington’s Landing rest-stop. My daughter Tory did get lost-and we had to request a rescue van to go find her. Needless, to say she was very embarrassed. And finally my youngest Effie…well she breezed through it without incident, since she had plenty of her sibling’s experiences to draw from.

Biking is more than just a way to exercise. It creates memories and makes you get to places you might not ever visit by car.http://www.thenation.com/ it’s important to note that biking etiquette is in the news. There are more bikers on the road than ever before. Mayor Peduto even put a bike lane on Penn Avenue!

By the way…It is National Bike to Work Week this week!

So, please keep in mind these manners when biking.

  1. Face it-If you like your Face…Wear a helmet, and wear it the right way. Be sure to clip on the chin strap. Why wear a helmet if you can’t keep it on your head.
  2. Never ride more than two abreast.
  3. Pass to the left.
  4. Follow the traffic lights and rules of the road.
  5. Maintain a distance, no more than 12 inches from your shoulder to the shoulder of the rider next to you.
  6. It only takes one person to call things out. This should be the person in the front. Ideally a bell on your bike, or a point of the hand is all it take to indicate obstructions or turns.

eighth_avenue_packed

It is a great way to see any city if you are visiting…Pittsburgh, like many cities in the US and Europe are gearing up for a Ride Share Program. It is an inexpensive and energetic way to get around.

These Top Six Rules will actually improve your riding, and keep you safe.. There are many unwritten rules of cycling etiquette, and we just don’t have the blog space to list all of them!

New Bikers –  Do some searches before hoping onto your new wheels and learn the biking routes, as well as tips from other bikers in your area.

Experienced Bikers – Don’t get lazy about biking etiquette! Just because you have biked a bunch, doesn’t mean the biker in front of you has. Make sure you stay alert while biking.

By the way, both Lisa and I rode in PedalPittsburgh-the whole 50 miles! We love to bicycle around any town that we are in…and we hope that our MMI fans fare well this summer by bicycling safely and sharing the road with the right social biking behavior. Let us know about the paths you have taken on your bicycle. We are always open to go for a ride.

 

 

Demetria and Lisa

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts

Resources:

 

Etiquette Week If You Please…

Etiquette Week   Many people know when Fashion Week is every year and lots of guys have the NFL Draft week meticulously etched in their brains. Well, do any of you know that this week alone, some folks are observing Dance Like a Chicken Day?

or  National Chocolate Chip Day, let alone that it is officially the kick off of Etiquette Week! Why have a week that honors and observes Etiquette? Why not…it is after all highlighting ways to be civil and engaged in this fast pace, 4G world. And who would want to celebrate that?

Happy National Etiquette Week!

May 11th through the 15th is National Etiquette Week, an event founded in 1997 by children’s etiquette consultant Sandra Morisset. What a great way to celebrate the importance of courtesy, civility, and good manners—not just once a year for a week, but in the little, ordinary moments that make up everyday life.  Constantly working good manners into ordinary moments will make a huge impact on that moment and others to come. Your moment of good manners has the capability to cause a ripple effect and spread good manners exponentially outwards, touching the lives of the people around you, and across the country. So keep that in mind next time you have an opportunity to have an exceptional mannerly moment.

So first off we want to offer some newsworthy Acts of Kindness that have shown up in the news recently…we tip our hats to these folks who could be Mother, May I’s poster children for this week of celebrating good manners!

Alexa Sexton and her 21st B’day Wish

Station 4 Baytown Texas

Chase Andrew Kraynick Pay It Forward

We wanted to put together the short list of things you could do this week to make the world a more mannerly and better place…

1. Say “Please” and “Thank You”. This seems elementary, but you will be surprised how many people don’t take the time to use these simple words. How you say them is just as important…offer eye contact when these words are spoken to someone…it exhibits sincerity.

2. SMILE! As we all know there is no language barrier in a smile…it is the easiest way to diffuse difficult situations and it is just nice to do. Takes more muscles to frown anyway…so just smile.

3. Actively listen. Paying attention and being present in a conversation or a meeting will show that you are interested and engaged. Everyone wins when you take the time to put down your electronic devices and just listen.

4. Mindful use of electronic communication. Whether texting a friend or emailing a co-worker, being respectful in word choice and tone is important. Take the time to proof all that you send…electronic communication is forever.

5. No Techno at the Table! Technology has its place, but not at the table when you are enjoying a meal with colleagues, clients, family or friends. You will be surprised the level of conversation you may get to if you check your technology at the door.

So go forth this week with the notion of making a difference, one manner at a time!

Keep Calm

Margaret Mead once said, “Never underestimate the power of a small group of people to change the world. In fact, it is the only way it ever has.” Each of those people may have had just one person who inspired them.  Will you be the inspiration for others today?

Share with us some of your mindful manners and acts of civility and kindness this week. This is the kind of news we all want to hear!

Thank you,

Lisa and Demetria

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts