How to handle compliments, simply and gracefully (in two words!)

Do compliments make you uncomfortable? Do you start to *argue* about how deserved they are? Does the whole thing descend into a conversational quagmire?

You’re not alone but there’s help!

I have a TWO WORD solution for you. Click the video to hear all about it!

I’m also delighted to showcase our NEW online Dining Etiquette course! It’s been put together with love and attention and will take you through all the steps you need to head to any event…and there are quizzes!

Go on, let your curiosity get the better of you and head to the course info page! There you will find a full outline, more about me and my background, AND a chance to peek at some of the videos: http://polishedprofessionals.teachable.com

If you’d like to join chats about ‘all things etiquette & manners’, then feel free to check out our Facebook group: The Snapdragon Society for Polished Professionals and Etiquette Enthusiasts https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheSnapdragonSociety/ We’d love to see you there!

Dining Etiquette Mini-series Part 2: Napkin Nuances

Dining Etiquette at Your Fingertips (Literally!)

This week we give you some quick tips on what to do, and NOT to do, with your napkin!

Will using your napkin change your life? I doubt it.  Will not using it make you look less polished and professional? Absolutely!

Entertaining clients?
Being interviewed over a meal?
Going out to a fancy restaurant?

Whether you’re taking clients to your favourite burger joint or the finest four-star restaurant – we have your (Dining Etiquette) back.

Our Dining Etiquette Mini-series will help you avoid (or recover from) disaster, clean up the spilled Pinot, and deal with that pesky fish bone.

Want access to answers anytime? Then we’d love you to join the conversation over at our FB Group: The Snapdragon Society for Polished Professionals and Etiquette Enthusiasts

Celebrating International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day, so we’ve done a little something different.

I am lucky enough to have had amazing women influence my life – they have inspired me, encouraged me, tolerated me, supported me and helped get me where I am today.

Three of these amazing women are featured in this video.

Curious? A quick click will reveal all. 

Who are the women who have influenced you? Let us know in the comments – we would LOVE to hear your stories.

If you’d like to join the conversation then we’d love to have you over at our FB Group: The Snapdragon Society for Polished Professionals and Etiquette Enthusiasts.

Your Dining Etiquette Mini-series Starts Here!

How confident are you when you’re dining out? How about when you have clients with you?

Do you know which bread plate is yours? 🥖     

Which fork do you use?

Whether you’re taking clients to your favourite burger joint or the finest four-star restaurant – we have your (Dining Etiquette) back.

Join us for the next few weeks as we help you avoid (or recover from) disaster, clean up the spilled Pinot, and deal with that pesky fish bone, in our Dining Etiquette Mini Series.

Let’s start with your place setting 🍽 …

Want access to answers anytime? Then join the conversation over at our FB Group: The Snapdragon Society for Polished Professionals and Etiquette Enthusiasts

Handshakes: They speak volumes, what’s yours saying?

Handshakes been in the news lately, so we though it was time to take a look at what they communicate – and how to make sure yours is the best it can be! 

Here are some quick tips and pointers to ensure that yours is always polished, professional and confident.  Remember to add a smile and eye contact to take your greeting to the next level!

I’d love to hear if you’ve hand any funny, telling, successful or disastrous handshake experiences send us a note.

We’d also love you to join the conversation over at our FB Group: The Snapdragon Society for Polished Professionals and Etiquette Enthusiasts.

Emotion Commotion: Which Emoticon to Chose?

Facebook. FB Emoticons

(for the purposes of this blog I’m going to assume you use it…otherwise you’ve probably already stopped reading)

Whether you love it, hate it, or are ambivalent towards it, it probably takes up at least a little bit of your time and  your energy.

I happen to love it. Sure it has pros and cons but over the years it has kept me in touch with friends and family from all over the world, and that is a true gift.

However, I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with the ‘like’ button – how do you ‘like’ a post that is sad or makes you angry? So, I was delighted when FB introduced a wider rage of emoticons – THESE, I figured, would solve that trickiness. But have they?

With so many choices, it should be easy to click the right one, right? But that doesn’t always seem to be the case. I’ve noticed that some posts create a bit of a conundrum, an ’emotion commotion’, if you will.  Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m overthinking (wouldn’t be the first time) but in case I’m not alone I thought I’d bring it up.

The posts I’m talking about are the ones that cause me to stop and think about which button to click. This has come up a few times in the last couple of days, most recently when a friend’s mother died.  The post was, of course, incredibly sad but the way she had written it was beautiful and loving.

So, in these circumstances which emoticon fits? The only one we can rule out for certain is the ‘laughing’ one. But let’s look at the others:

  • I might like what she wrote, even if what she wrote was sad.
  • Perhaps I want to send love to her.
  • Maybe I’m surprised at her news.
  • I’m certainly sad for her.
  • And just maybe I’m bubbling up with anger, on her behalf, that she’s lost her mum.

They all fit, one way or another, so there is a decision to be made. How do I convey the right thing, or more importantly, the thing that will bring comfort to my friend?

In the end I chose the ❤️ , partly because the sad face felt too sad, too visceral, but also because I wanted to send her warmth and love. I also followed it up with a comment that said as much.

But these decisions aren’t limited to personal posts. There have been other kinds that have caused me pause as well. The one’s where the shared content makes me feel one way, but the poster’s comment makes me feel another. In those moments, I do stop and think about what I want to communicate.

I realize that on the face of it this might seem like a silly thing to think about, let alone give time and effort to write about. But is it?

In this day in age when SO much of our communication hinges on ‘likes’, quick comments and passing clicks, these things take on far more meaning.  Therefore, perhaps we need to be putting MORE thought, not less, into what we’re ‘saying’.

Food for thought.

 

 

 

Networking: How to stop dreading it, and start enjoying it (really!) – Part Two

In my first article, Networking: How To Stop Dreading It, and Start Enjoying It (Really!) I explored the main problem most of us have with networking, and that is our attitude toward it. Most of us only do it when we have to, and even then, we do it grudgingly. In this article, I share my top 12 tips for improving your networking experience.

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Networking: How to stop dreading it, and start enjoying it (really!) – Part One

When it comes to NETWORKING there are many, many tips and tricks. However, if you don’t start with this ONE, then none of the rest will make a difference.

I know you dread networking. You only do it when you have to and even then, you do it grudgingly.

I know that, for you, networking is just a long four-letter word.

I know this for two reasons.  First, I don’t know many people who actually enjoy networking. Second, until I realized my mistake, this is exactly how I felt too. I viewed networking as a necessary evil – I would show up but not really participate.

So, what was my mistake? I had been seeing networking as a chore, rather than treating it as an opportunity.

There are endless articles and cheat sheets that cover networking, but where most of them fail is that they rarely cover the main problem most of us have with networking, and that is our attitude toward it.

Attitude is everything and the simple act of turning a negative into a positive is hugely powerful. Not only will you stop dreading networking, you might even start to enjoy it (really!). Why? Because, viewed in the right light networking is an incredibly useful tool.  Done well, it can be used for a variety of reasons: to learn about new trends in your area, to research new avenues, to test out a new idea or thought, and, yes, to expand your network.

Easy for me to say, right? ‘But’, I hear you say, ‘how exactly do I do that?’

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Remembering Names: THREE Quick Tips to Remembering (and ONE, in case you forget)

If you’re like me, then remembering names can be a struggle. These tips will help you remember, or stop you from being embarrassed if you forget (because no one is perfect but the trick to being a Polished Professional is recovering gracefully).

I made this quick video as we were heading into holiday party season but the tips are useful no matter what season it is!

If you have any tips on how you remember names then I would LOVE to hear them…pop them in the comments below.

The Spirit of the Season

Holiday Greetings from Polished Professionals

 

December is almost here and our thoughts are turning to our various holidays, and these days that gives way to the inevitable discussion about ‘holiday’ greetings.

Over the past number of years I’ve seen an increase in the number of “It’s not Happy Holidays, it’s MERRY CHRISTMAS” posts, and I find these unfortunate.  The frustration that leaps from these posts is palpable, but I’m not entirely sure where it comes from – when any greeting is given in warmth and friendship we ought to receive it the same way.

Whether your faith or belief system is based in deep religious roots, or a certainty that Santa does live at the North Pole, it should not be so easily shaken that you rail against a ‘happy’ greeting.  Instead of worrying which greeting is used, we ought to recognize that the words (no matter which ones they are) come from a place of affection and warmth.

I think that we are immensely fortunate living where we do, and when we do: our melting-pot-cities and societies are made up of many traditions and holidays, and this is what gives our lives richness and depth. Let’s embrace it, not fight it.

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