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Art of Succeeding Polish your Social Graces Program

Dining and Entertaining Etiquette

Business Etiquette for Professionals and Entrepreneurs


Polish your social skills from the privacy and comfort of your home with our online training sessions.


Preparing students for life beyond the classroom – we will share our expertise in relaxed and engaging presentations. Topics include dining etiquette, preparing for job interviews, networking and personal image.

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lunes, 26 de abril de 2021

Gracious Overnight Guest Etiquette

                                             Gracious Overnight Guests

Now that Memorial Day is so close, which announces that Summer is here, I think it is a good time to discuss some tips of guest etiquette.  When you are invited for the weekend to your friend’s or relative’s lake home or beach condo, you need to be so gracious that you will surely receive a repeat invite. Follow these tips and you will certainly be a shining star in the guests department.

Let’s start with the packing; Never over pack! Why? Simply because guest bedrooms are not usually the largest or the ones with huge closets and your arrival with four suitcases for a two night stay sends a really bad signal! Either you are planning on a longer stay that your host intends or you are not a savvy traveler.

When you arrive- Never empty handed but certainly there are some additional facets to this etiquette rule. The hostess gift guidelines indicate that you should never provide your hostess with something that will give more work, trouble or concern than your visit is worth. That being said bring for your weekend, food and drink, that knowing your host/hostess will enjoy and be appropriated to the place and time. If it is a vacation home, that will be vacant after your visit don’t take plants for instance. Some decorating touch with the theme of the lake or beach, such as kitchen towels or disposable bathroom tissues are always welcomed.

Once you are there – Never keep your own schedules, but adapt to your host’s house rules. If you are the kind that wakes up at 5 a.m. and starts fidgeting around the kitchen to make coffee, but nothing moves in that house until 8 a.m., control your impulses. Stay in your bed or sneak out of the house for a morning walk if you must, but make sure you don’t  make unnecessary noise or wake anyone up.

Another really important rule that well mannered guests always follow, is to be helpful! Offer to help with the cooking or the dish washing, or with pulling the boat out of the water. Whatever the situation calls for, but don’t simply stand by waiting to be served and entertained. That does not a polite guest make.

Finally, when it is time to leave – Never leave your room and bathroom in a mess! It is not a hotel room, where you have been staying; it is the home of someone close enough to you and kind enough to have opened their home to share with you for a fun stay.  Pick up after yourself, ask the hosts if they want you to remove the bedsheets and towels and place them in the washer (many families have this habit as it prepares the guest room for their next adventure).

If your hosts are having someone come over to clean up after you all leave, they might say not to bother, but you certainly must offer. In any case leave the area where you have been staying in as pristine a condition as you found it.

If you follow these guest etiquette rules, you are sure to be considered a courteous and polite friend or relative who the hosts will surely be very happy to invite again.

May you have many overnight invitations during the holiday weekends and all year long!

miércoles, 3 de febrero de 2021

Valentine's Etiquette during Covid Pandemic

 Etiqueta Excellence Manners


We made it to 2021! It has been almost a year since we celebrated with our love ones without worrying about masks or the size of the group or if anyone tested positive for Covid.  All that is not behind us yet, but we do have a lot to be thankful for and celebrating love is certainly good for our immune system.
During this month then, let's work on using the celebration of Friendship and Love, as a reason for sharing affection, good manners and social graces, to help us all become  the best that we can be. It is a great opportunity to talk about how having good manners influences in creating friendships and keeping good friends and fostering nurturing family ties.
It is also a great month for celebrations and parties all of them keeping the rules that are the new normal. Small groups, social distancing, open spaces, back yards, but even with those in place we can still get invited to Valentine's Day parties in schools, clubs and churches and even at work . What a great chance to learn about hosts and guests duties. How to treat your guests with love and respect.
Last but not least, let's practice some basic table manners! It is also a great opportunity to review keeping elbows off the table and chewing with your mouth closed. Table manners also covers the use of napkins and utensils and
how to handle a buffet line!

It is an excellence opportunity to celebrate by attending a private etiquette class with a few close friends or family and  improve our social skills while letting our  family members and friends how much we appreciate them.

Our society  will be much better off if we as adults show trustworthiness, citizenship, responsibility, fairness, caring and respect. All of which can be fostered by improving our good manners and practicing civility and mostly by showing our appreciation to those important people in our lives.

Have a Happy  Month of Friendship & Love!

lunes, 16 de noviembre de 2020

Accion de Gracias con Salud y Gratitud- Consejos para el 2020


El Dia de Acción de Gracias es una celebración familiar que todos esperamos con gran ilusión. Este año, sin embargo, tendremos que tomar algunas previsiones para asegurarnos que lo celebremos de manera segura y con distanciamiento social.

Lo primero que podemos considerar es hacerlo de manera virtual, especialmente para los mayores de la familia. No por ello hay que sentir que no están participando, podemos hacerlo por llamada con video o por alguna plataforma con la que ellos se sientan cómodos.  Si esa es una opción, debemos seguir algunos pasos. Lo primero es que la invitación indique claramente como se realizara la comunicación y segundo hacerla participativa/interactiva, como por ejemplo que ellos contribuyan con una receta para que cada quien desde sus casas este comiendo ese plato y sientan que están compartiendo.  Acuérdense que lo importante es que nuestros mayores se sientan acompañados y amados en un día tan especial, sin lugar a dudas que cuidarles su salud es una manera muy importante de dejarles saber cuánto los queremos y lo importante que son para nosotros.

Si decidimos que celebraremos en grupo, también tenemos unas observaciones para garantizar que no pongamos en riesgo la salud de los participantes.  Lo primero es celebrar la cena en un espacio exterior. Un patio, terraza o junto a la piscina, son lugares ideales pues hay brisa y movimiento permanente de aire, lo cual los expertos indican ayuda mucho a disipar la posibilidad de contagio.

En segundo lugar, invitar solo a personas que viven en la misma zona o ciudad pues eso también reduce la posibilidad de transmisión. Debemos evitar traer a personas que viven en lugares lejanos y sobre todo de áreas con alto número de casos.  Debemos pedirle a nuestros invitados que pasen a lavarse las manos cuando llegan de la calle para incrementar más todavía las medidas de seguridad.

La siguiente recomendación, se refiere a como sentar a nuestros invitados una vez que pasamos a la cena. Debemos sentarlos por grupos familiares y si pueden ser en mesas individuales mejor aún para evitar que estén sentados con personas que no son de su núcleo familiar. De todas maneras, no olvidar tener gel desinfectante en cada mesa.

Este año, yo también sugiero cambiar algo que para mi es tradición, que es utilizar servilletas de tela. Por ahora, lo mas seguro es utilizar servilletas de papel que cada comensal pueda dejar en la papelera más cercana al culminar la cena. Lo mismo, puede ser con los vasos y las copas. Hay diseños bellos en materiales desechables que pueden ser utilizados y brindar mas tranquilidad tanto a los anfitriones como los invitados.

Finalmente, según los expertos, la manera mas segura de servir la comida y la bebida es que cada quien se sirva de forma individual, pero que mientras están preparando sus platos en el buffet tengan la mascara puesta y se las retiren al volver a sus mesas.

¡Sabemos que el 2020 ha requerido de muchos sacrificios, pero estas medidas nos ayudaran a disfrutar con gratitud nuestra cena de Acción de Gracias mientras limitamos lo más posible el riesgo de contagio del Coronavirus!

¡Feliz Dia de Acción de Gracias!


lunes, 20 de abril de 2020

Dress for your Virtual Meeting

Dress for Success in the virtual world too
                                          Show up Professional for that Virtual Meeting!

I would like to follow up on last week’s blog about the etiquette of virtual meetings with another aspect of this type of business communication.

One of the great advantages of working from home is that you do not have to wear professional attire every day.  But if you have scheduled a virtual meeting with colleagues or clients, then you don’t want to be seen wearing your pjs with uncombed hair and not even a trace of makeup for the ladies.
Be professional and show respect for yourself and for whoever will be participating with you in that virtual meeting

The key to selecting how you should look during your meeting is very simple. You must dress to meet your audience’s expectations. If your company has a dress code, to which you comply on a daily basis, and which your employer expects you to respect, then the logical thing would be to dress as if you were attending an in person meeting in your office.

If the meeting is with your clients or potential ones, then dress as you would like them to see you if you were to have a meeting under normal circumstances, not during this stay at home period. The idea is that your client, even on a screen, perceives you to be professional and responsible, the same attributes that you like to portray in any face to face interaction that you have during your professional life.

The new normal for doing business includes a lot of screen time and interaction. In spite of that,  the general rules of business etiquette continue to have the same importance as in your personal contact with bosses, colleagues and clients.

The professional appearance rules continue to apply, that means no transparencies, no low cut blouses (the camera will catch you) and no sexy off the shoulder style either!
Business Etiquette courses and Workshops emphasize the importance of giving a great first impression in your business encounters. That is even more important when using virtual platforms to conduct business, since there are not other aspects that can help you portray the professionalism that you wish to convey.

Dressing for success is not the only aspect you have to consider when having virtual meetings, but it is certainly a very important one. You will also have to remember the importance of the background that is visible during your meeting, how noise and interruptions affect the effectiveness of your meeting and technical aspects such as lighting and how you position yourself for the camera, among others.

We will continue posting about other aspects of virtual meeting etiquette in the next few days, in order to provide you with practical tips on how to become a polished professional while using these platforms.

miércoles, 15 de abril de 2020



Now we are all exposed to classes, seminars, meetings and just an infinite amount of virtual  exchanges with Zoom platform and all the other video facing, so here go some of the tips that I find must be practiced in order to show up as a professional and a reliable source in whichever field your business is in.
1-    If you are scheduling a live webinar, then plan on solving your personal needs before the time arrives! Why do I say this? Incredibly, I have seen a webinar presenter start to eat as the webinar begins, saying that she did not have time to eat breakfast. She then proceeded to start to eat from a plastic pot with a plastic fork and speak with her mouth full of food! She needs to review her basic manners let alone her business etiquette!

2-    So let’s break apart what faux pas she committed.

Let’s begin by saying that a video chat, webinar or face time of any sort,  should be treated with the same respect as a face to face interaction, therefore, consider these questions.

Would you receive someone in your one on one coaching practice or when you are presenting a seminar to a group, with a plate of food in your hand and justify it by saying you had not had time to eat?

The answer, of course, is NO! Because as a business/professional woman you keep a schedule, you assign time slots to your business dealings and meetings and you assign time slots to your exercise routine, to your yoga class, to your meals. So why would you not give that same respect and importance to your webinar schedule.

I understand that this is all new to many professionals and business owners, but just remember the basic Golden Rule. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

There are other aspects that I will be discussing in other posts, such as How to Dress for that virtual meeting? or  What area of my house should my background show?
So be on the lookout for my future posts on these topics.

The new normal requires you to polish your virtual meeting Etiquette, hope these tips make you think about how you need to show up at your next meeting.

domingo, 27 de octubre de 2019



Yes, there is such a thing as Halloween Etiquette.

What I mean by this is that it is a great opportunity to teach good manners when we are having fun with our children.  Halloween is the perfect opportunity to show our children how to behave and show respect to the people they will interact with when they go trick or treating around the neighborhood.

Here are some tips to put into practice, both for the kids and the parents!

1- Due to both cultural and religious reasons, may people might decide to not celebrate Halloween. If so, we should teach our children to respect these differences and as a consequence, if you see houses with the lights out, then don’t ring the bell. Great way to show respect.

2- When you get to a house to ask for a treat, always say please and thank you and have eye contact with the person giving you the candy. Don’t just grab the chocolates and place them in your goody bag while looking around for your friends or the house next door.  That would show very bad manners of the children’s part and lack of consideration for the person handing you the treats.

3- Be Grateful.  Never refuse or show displeasure for what you are given. Let’s teach our kids to receive a gift with a smile and say thank you. This is especially important now days that many adults decide not to offer candy but to substitute them for stickers, pencils or small toys.  If your children are expecting chocolates, they might be tempted to roll their eyes or refuse the gift. Remind your children that what is important is to thank the gesture irrelevant of the fact that we might not like or expect that gift.  It is the kindness of the neighbors that we should be grateful for, as they as not obligated in any way to provide any treats at all!

4- If there is no one handing out the candy, but instead they have left a basket with candy at the door,  have kids show their good manners by taking one or two pieces only, so that there will be enough for the children coming after you. Remember that sharing is not only Caring, but a sign of good manners.

5- The following is an aspect of Etiquette, but certainly also of safety. Tell your children to never go inside a house to get a treat. If someone asks you to step inside a stranger’s house to get your candy, always say NO, and leave as soon as possible to be with your group or to the closest house.

6- Lastly, let the children be reminded to not start to eat anything they have been given before reaching home.  When they are back at their house with their over flowing “Treat Bags”, give the parents the opportunity to review the contents and decide what is safe enough to consume.

Have a fun and safe Halloween while practicing your Good Manners!