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

How Manners Start From the Ground Up!



In honor of Earth Day this week, I thought I would talk about where good manners started to grow. Some might view proper manners as a scene out of Downton Abbey Manners of Downton Abbey  . Well they actually have a different origin…though etiquette has been known since ancient times, it acquired its classic form in the Middle Ages. Most researchers dealing with history of culture attribute the appearance of etiquette as a regulatory system to those times… the “law” you might say, that was put in place to keep order. Etiquette had the character of the law and had a very strong influence on the high society. Violation of the rules of etiquette was regarded as a crime.

So fast forward to today…bad manners won’t land you in the stocks, but could deter your opportunities to get into the school you want, or get the job you desire. Learn more about Interview Etiquette here: College and Beyond with MMI

Some, feel manners are a lost art, but we say go to lost and found and find those manners, because good manners and professional behavior will find you avenues you may not have thought existed.

So we will start by discussing the “Family Table”…


What’s that you might say?   Well as the name suggests, it is your family sitting around the table for a meal…consistently. From personal experience, that’s where it was sketched into my head: “Put your napkin on your lap” “Don’t talk with your mouth full!” “What do you say when you leave the table…oh yes…May I be excused?   Well that table talk has lost its priority and has been all but eliminated for lots of reasons:  multiple households, many afterschool activities, forgetting the importance, and the list goes on.

Our suggestion is to find that Family Table…even if it is only once a week! Treat that time as a technology free zone and go through the details of manners at the table with your family. Help create small talk during the meal by having everyone discuss the best part of their day. Hopefully they will say…this meal!

The New York Times just published an article about our up and coming youth Make Way for Generation Z . Preparing kids with the best possible soft skills, like manners, will improve their opportunities as young adults!     Good manners as a kid, turns into a positive impression, which turns into personal and professional SUCCESS throughout their lives!


Mother May, I has contributed to a podcast on Tuesday, April 21st at 10AM EST.

Please tune in at Mom Talk Podcast Mother, May I and listen to some helpful hints for kids and young adults or click play below!

Let us know how you have created a Family Table. We would love to share your successes with our followers.

Thank you and Happy Earth Day…Grow something good today!

Lisa and Demetria

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts

April Showers May Bring May Flowers

April Showers

As an expert in etiquette and manners, my daily conversations often involve someone telling me about something they saw and “how rude it was”. Then the conversation usually goes down the path as to why? Why do people behave the way they do? What has happened to our social skills? What is going to happen when all of this rudeness just gets to be “normal”? (Note: Learn good manners here.)

Usually, my reply is “Well, today people don’t have time to be nice. And today, people don’t know what to do in everyday social settings to try to be helpful. And, unfortunately-people are not being taught good manners.” Are any of my replies true? Of course they are. Why are random acts of kindness overruled by bad behavior?
Mother, May I wants to rain on this parade of bad behavior. Please help us promote kindness and address those around you who are displaying rudeness. The old adage that our mothers would say is true: If you sprinkle a little sugar on someone, they will respond with a sweet act. We are happy to report that schools are starting to understand the importance of rewarding good behavior, rather that publishing the bad.
To help all of you grow into a better person, here are some random acts of kindness to choose. One random act of kindness a day never hurt anyone, and while you’re at it—try for three a day!

1. Send a card and seeds to a neighbor (whose garden you admire).
2. Invite an acquaintance out for coffee. (And be prepared to pay-remember the MMI rule, whomever reaches out for the invite, will reach for that check.)
3. Send a handwritten thank-you note.
4. Pay the toll for the car behind you on the interstate
5. Hold the door open for someone.
6. Ask your mother for one of her favorite recipes.
7. Let another car take that parking spot.
8. Let the person at the supermarket checkout with only a few items go ahead of you.

9. Share an umbrella with someone who needs it. (Check out the yellow umbrella movement.)

In today’s hypercompetitive world, knowing to take some time to look around and find a “Good Deed” to do takes some good intention. Finding that intention inside yourself, to share random acts of kindness with co-workers, family, friends, and complete strangers, takes some effort. My neighbor was brought to tears by opening a door for a disabled person…that person turned to her and thanked her with a poem. Imagine the impact that poem had on her, and obviously her opening that door had a huge impact on the stranger.

open the door for others
We all have a story like that. On days when it seems like the rain just won’t stop, we come across someone who sprinkles some sunshine and helps us move forward, with a warmer heart and usually a big smile!
Please share with us your moving story…it can make a change in someone’s day.

Demetria and Lisa
Co-founders Mother, May I

Upgrading Your Manners…It Will Pay Off For You!


spring-forward (2)

So… with the start of Spring (finally!) we thought it might be a good opportunity to conduct some Spring Cleaning in manners department. A refresher on some important modern manners , well it’s perfect timing!

Spring is the time when the Mother Nature rejuvenates herself…so why shouldn’t we?! Let’s start clearing out those closets of misfit manners and Spring into acting and behaving in a more professional and mindful way. In the world of business, it’s not always what you do but how you do it. With one small gesture you can impress, insult, appear cultured and educated, or simply reduce your credibility .

Here are some mannerly actions that will increase your E.Q. (Etiquette Quotient), increasing your confidence and marketability in the world!

Be on time…

Be on time and prepared….what that means in business affairs is 10-15 minutes early and google some pertinent information about the event or speaker. What can happen if you arrive early?

  1. You may get some face time with decision makers, who are typically early.
  2. You can take the time to find the best positioning for you in the meeting space.
  3. You can offer to help – offering assistance may convey your ability to collaborate, which may differentiate you from your peers.

See what this professional hockey player’s lack of timeliness has cost him… Pro Hockey player suspended for lateness

Dining Do’s and Don’ts…

Master the art of dining. It is not about eating with your mouth open or belching at the table…though those infractions are important, there is a much deeper nuance to a business meal, particularly if you want to make the right impression  More than 65% of all business is conducted during a meal of some sort. So sorting out best practices is important. So ask yourself…

  1. When do I RSVP?
  2. Where do I put my napkin when I stand?
  3. How to order or should I order a bottle of wine?
  4. When do I start that business conversation?

Salt and pepper

Learn more about Dining Etiquette with MMI.


Mindful usage of electronic devices/electronic communication. Many an opportunity has been won or lost based on how we communicate. In this 4G world the lines have gotten more challenging to navigate. So knowing how and when to communicate is critical in maximizing success. Do you know how to communicate between the multitudes of generations in the workplace ? Here are some tips:

    1. Learning how a company or client prefers to communicate is the first thing. So ask how you should be communicating, you don’t want to be texting when picking up the phone would be more appropriate .
    2. Knowing when an email has become misinterpreted and knowing what to do about it.
    3. Respecting the people around you when using your electronic devices. It’s rare to talk to a person without your phone buzzing at least once. So who is most important? That person in front of you or your electronic device buzzing in your pocket?  Brain Interrupted   

Personal space in a public place…

Being mindful of your surroundings and personal space. I am amazed the amount of people who actually take phone calls in a public restroom or in a cubicle space amongst 20 other cubicle spaces.

  1. Remember to use your indoor voice when speaking on the phone or with other colleagues in a confined space.
  2. The office refrigerator should not be considered your personal space…it is communal so treat it that way by clearing out your contributions on a daily basis. Don’t take what is not yours or you may get this note in return.

refrig letter

Do you want more advice on how to improve your E.Q.? Contact us… we will make your Etiquette Spring Cleaning a more pleasurable and profitable task!

Lisa and Demetria

Co-Founders – Mother, May I

March for that Dream Job by Using Your Manners…

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In my wildest dreams, I never dreamt I would become an etiquette expert-however I have dreamt about being an entrepreneur and about being a mother. My dream job as a mother has not been easy… Nor has my dream job as an entrepreneur. What has helped me thrive, is believing that within my dreams are opportunities. Our dreams invite us to reach beyond our present goals. If you don’t like your present job, challenge yourself to reach for that dream job. It’s hard to change, and even though you might get the opportunity to interview for that job—something happens, and we don’t get that job.

Are you wondering why?

  1. Maybe you made the wrong impression when you walked into the room?
  2. Maybe you wore the wrong clothes?
  3. Maybe you did not answer the question the right way?
  4. Maybe you did not ask the right questions?
  5. Maybe you did not maintain good eye contact?
  6. Maybe you squirmed and fidgeted in your seat?
  7. Maybe you did not smile when you said goodbye?
  8. Maybe you did not send a written thank-you and instead sent an email.?

Well, thinking about all those may-be’s would give anyone a bad dream. Let Mother, May I wake you up and offer you the right advice to make that dream job a reality. MMI did a Business Etiquette program for the University Of AZ Eller College of Management:

A candidate was disappointed that they kept getting rejected interview after interview. Upon receiving a Certificate of Completion from MMI Business Etiquette Class, that student figured out what they needed to do to outclass others in getting that job.

Here are some etiquette words of advice to help you perform better as an interviewee:

  1. You don’t have to be a saint to make a positive difference in the world. Make time to volunteer and add volunteering to your resume.
  1. There is a reason actors have dress rehearsals. Take their cue, and be sure to practice your interview by making a video tape, in a mirror or in the presence of a friend. Dry run the clothes  you intend to wear for the interview as well.
  2. Practice your elevator speech on why you want this job. If you don’t say out loud why this has been your dream job, then you won’t sound like you really want the job.
  3. During your interview, demonstrate that you are a good listener. Follow our Facebook to read about active listening tips.
  4. Be Yourself! If you are kind, sincere, and mannerly, than you are likeable. People want to work around people that are likeable.

Do you want more advice on how to make your dream come true? Contact us! We will make your dream job become a reality !!


Demetria and Lisa

Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts


Thrive Arianna Huffington

The Promise of a New Day Karen Casey and Martha Vanceburgh

Strategy and Business Spring 2015, magazine