What Do You Wear to Work?

First things first: Transparency belongs in the workplace in your communication skills, not in your clothing choices.

Every morning you spend time (valuable time) dressing yourself.  Some mornings you might find yourself spending way too much time getting ready, which in turn may make you late and unprepared for your day. We want to inspire you to change your work performance by changing your clothes. It’s a challenge that we know you can accomplish.  Knowing how to dress yourself well will give you an advantage over your peers. How to Simplify Dressing Business Casual Daily.

bad-work-clothesYour clothing creates your individual identity. Although you should never judge a book by its cover, if you’re in a big office with a lot of employees, then it’s possible the only impression your boss really has of you is how you present yourself. Business dress has undergone such radical shifts in the past ten years that people simply no longer know what is appropriate anymore. However, some things never change-And the following tips are all you need to make a clothing change which will make a change in your professional success:So, let’s start at the top:

  • Your hair. Spend some time with a hairstylist that can help you with a style that is easy to create, and easy on the eyes. Save your updo’s for a wedding or a date-And the amount of makeup you wear should enhance your beauty, not create it. Going to work looking like an avatar will lessen your credibility.
  • Make sure you are always dressed appropriately for work with clean clothes …clean means clean. Soiled clothes speak more of slovenliness and poor personal habits than of rebellion and “cool”. Forget about finding a “hot spot” and take time to inspect your clothes for spots.
  • Smart clothes…mean that they don’t have a special pocket for your smart phone. It means to wear clothes that are practical and permit you to move comfortably in and out of your chair or cubicle.
  • Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Use your own style, as we suggest above, but match your dress style to your company’s’ level of formality.
  • Dress for the time of day…with the holidays approaching, many of us will be attending parties after work. Bring in your after-work attire and change your outfit after the official workday is done. NO Exceptions.
  • Keep it understated…allowing your clothes to speak without shouting. That is the hallmark of the well-dressed.
  • Reality is that you represent your company. Whenever you deal with people from the outside, your clothes reflect your company. Always be prepared to look your best.
  • Don’t be a fashion victim. Your work clothes are an investment into your success. Don’t let “what’s in or what’s cheap” be your guide. Keep your personal style in check with your company’s culture.
  • Finally, most of our presentations, our client wants us to address the issue on clothes that reveal too much. The smart business dresser knows that transparency belongs in their work communication and projects. Keeping your colleagues, bosses, and clients focus on your work not your body will move you up that corporate ladder without missing a step.

Following the above tips is simple – If you value your job, and yourself, taking some time to clear out your closet, and ask Mother, May I for advice is what will help you succeed in dressing well for your career. These days, it’s easy for us to get complacent about our appearance. However, some things will never change; People judge you by your clothes; dressing appropriately at your company is a vital ingredient in making a good impression and maintaining that good image every day.

We want you to put your best foot forward every day!

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

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…

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

 

Make Wedding Planning Easier with Etiquette

Wedding Etiquette

Todays’ wedding events are more than they used to be. There was a time when the proposal was popped, a date was picked, a registry was selected, the dress was bought, the invite list was put together. Once the invites were sent, the bride and groom would then wait for the hopefully, on time RSVPs to make their final plans.

Well, times have changed, and wedding planning has gone from a simple place to a grand destination, from Mom and Aunt Edna making the plans and a mountain of cookies to the launching of butterflies and swans. Wedding Etiquette topics range from fashion, money, bridal party, reception, venue, gifts, dining, invitations…the list goes on. Since we don’t have the space to hit every subject, here are some real questions that Mother, May I is asked frequently:

Do I have to wear a veil? Of course not. Traditionally, wedding veils were worn to ward off evil spirits, or to prevent any sneak peaks from the  groom. Well, veils have gone in and out of bridal fashion so its really your day…wear what you want.

We know are about 8-10% of our invitees are vegan. Do I have to provide a vegan entrée? Yes, you should prearrange with your caterer what can be served. And be sure to double check that list so your vegan guest does not feel uncomfortable waiting for their food.

Do I treat our out-of-town guests with preference? Out of courtesy, there should be something specail to indicate your happiness that they made such an effort. A small token in their room accommodations or a nice note for them at the dinner, perhaps on their place setting.

Can I hand-deliver my invites to close friends? Yes, of course…BUT you must deliver them from your hands into theirs.

What about the “Plus One”? Generally, when invited to a wedding, you are given a plus one. Usually the plus one represents a significant other, or a good friend that is appropriate for the wedding. However, budgets and other important factors do not include the plus one. This can be disturbing to you. If it is important to you to attend with a companion, then call the couple, and politely explain your situation and request their inclusion.

Do I pay for my flower girls’ dress? It would be nice to offer it as a gift, especially if the parents of the flower girl are not in a financial position to buy the dress. Be sure to think about this and inquire about their involvement at the same time you ask for their daughter to be the flower girl.

Can I safely assume that guests are not coming if I have not heard from them at the time of RSVP? No, go ahead and give them a ring. Who knows, Maybe they thought they sent the card in, but didn’t. Or maybe it got lost in the mail. Nothing is more cringe-worthy than having invited guests show up with nowhere to sit and nothing to eat.

Are E-vites tacky for a wedding invitation? In todays’s technology-based world, where your guests receive hundreds of emails every day, a physical invite has become that more special. Your invitiation is the first thing your guests see and read about your wedding. It sets the stage. If you are having a casual pre and post wedding event, then you can use email. But your wedding ceremony is a ceremony to celebrate with a physical invitation.

Getting married is more than just spending this important commitment with family and friends. It sends a message to your guests about your expectations for each other. It creates a memory that everyone should be able to sit back and smile upon. Using the right manners and etiquette will keep any mis-steps to a minimum. Be sure to ask MMI for guidance on this event. Lisa and I are the experts in creating that special day the right way. For more wedding information of all kinds, visit The Knot.

 

Demetria and Lisa

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.

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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

Making Mom Matter with Manners

 

Its May 2015, and what makes my Mother’s Day matter more this year is that I will not be listening to my Mother as she passed away peacefully on 03.29.15. As a daughter of immigrant parents from Greece, my mom personally did not really celebrate Mother’s Day…she would tell me that everyday is Mother’s Day and Christmas also fell into that category. In as much as I miss all of my mother, what I miss the most is her voice. I miss listening to her broken English and a high-pitched sound that rolled out with a really thick Greek acent. She yelled a lot…and she did not have any qualms on telling people how she felt about their behavior. With that said, she would always find it perplexing that I would be a teaching people manners. My mother would ask, “Themetria, why do you have to teach people to be nice?” My mother could not understand that. However, what she did understand is the value of knowledge. So she listened to my passion and supported my tuition to become a licensed expert in protocol at the Protocol School of Washington PSOW.

Everybody has their own way of “listening” when it comes to their mother’s advice. Listen to your mother, what she said then and what mothers’ are saying now might be delivered differently, but the same message is there..Here are some tips from mothers that made manners matter.

“My mother taught me to cross my legs at the ankles and angle a little towards one side”…Dena in Hollywood

“My mother emphasized the importance of writing thanks you notes”…Cindi from Chicago.

“Do unto others what you would have done unto you”..Sadie from Pittsburgh

“Be nice”…Jimmy from Upper Saint Clair

“Really listen when someone is talking and focus your attention on that person”…Gretchen from Pittsburgh

“My Mother, Sue would say don’t brag about your children, let other people say good things about them.” Violet from Aliquippa

“Don’t talk with food in your mouth.”…Leo from Chicago

“One of the greatest things one can have in life is…choices. Make them wisely”…Helen from Pittsburgh

“Take time to write a thank you note. It makes people feel good and you show your appreciation and gratitude”…Rachel from Pittsburgh

“Don’t mumble”…Tanya from Greensburg

Mother, May I is very supportive of all these “mommy” manners!  Manners mean so much more today than yesterday. Our mothers might have been more available to pick us up when we fell, physically and mentally, but  today’s moms are all too busy caregiving, working, and managing households. Read “10 Ways Moms Can Balance Work and Family” on Parents.com

With such a demanding day, how can todays mom keep up with modern manners and impart on children all they need to know to make a good impression? Here is a suggestion…visit and share our advice via Facebook, Twitter, or online. Use your listening skills to help others be nice as your mother taught you and remember to pass those lessons onto your children…while sharing your own words of wisdom as well.

Mother, May I is here to help.

 

Demetria and Lisa

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts

 

Don’t be Cross…Learn the art of Mannerly debate!

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So… I am sure most of you have heard the old adage, “don’t discuss religion or politics”.

Why is that,  do you think? I think it is because people get so passionate about their point of view, it seems very possible that the discussion may turn to fist a cuffs. We have seen throughout history polarizing religious thought processes resulting in heartache and war. But in polite conversation, managing anger and frustration is hard…and so we resist it.

Conflict, actually, can be positive or negative, constructive or destructive, based on how we approach, engage and navigate the conflict.  Workplace Conflict Solving occurs when people express disagreement without hostility and with a commitment to an effective resolution of the conversation. But in this digital age where people can weigh in on any topic behind the comfort and security of their computer screen or mobile device…well the conversation can get unproductive. Take the reactions to Governor  Mike Pence signing Indiana’s controversial “religious freedom” legislation.  Indiana’s religious freedom law

Well here are some tips to help you have a constructive conversation about polarizing topics.

  • Active listening – do not dismiss an opinion just because it is not in-line with your own( link back to our Did you know tab under Do You Understand me)
  • Never demean or belittle intelligence or character of the person you are speaking with
  • Have a conversation, respecting other’s opinions…agreeing to disagree if necessary
  • Speak your opinion in a non-threatening manner – remember your tone can be polarizing

Many a friendship, family connection and career have been lost by handling this topic without grace and proper manners.

And for you bloggers out there…if you wouldn’t feel comfortable making your comment face to face, I would refrain from posting it. It is a poor reflection on you, that could come back to haunt you.

Hiding behind Computer

In the end, disagreements are healthy. In public discourse, there are difficult problems that do not have simple solutions. It is ok to have a conversation and ultimately to agree to disagree with someone. The key word being…Conversation!

We would like to start a conversation…Agree or Disagree, Is that the question?

 

Lisa & Demetria

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts