April 2015 CalendarSince the Month of April begins with the 1st day dedicated to the festivity of lies aka, “April Fool’s Day”, why not end the month on a higher note and celebrate April 30th as National Honesty Day?   This is exactly why M. Hirsh Goldberg, the creator of this day decided after researching and then writing The Book of Lies.

The best way to celebrate National Honesty Day is to be completely open and honest.  The only rule for this day is quite simple - be honest.

We thought we would provide you with a few tips on ways to ensure you are living an honest life every day.

Looking In the MirrorLook Inside: Starting with introspection is the best place to begin living an honest life. Do you live your life based on a façade that you want others to believe instead of who you really are? By being honest with yourself you take away pressure and a heavy weight that has been holding you down.

We all know the tale about “the boy who cried wolf.” Then when a wolf did appear, no one believed him. If we want people to believe us when it’s important, then we need to be honest all of the time – starting with ourselves.

Surround Yourself with Honest People: Time to kick those toxic friends to the curb. If your friends are stressful to be around and plague you with dishonesty, it is time to reevaluate those relationships.

Follow the Leader: Whether you are in a traffic line or at the grocery store, don’t be the person who purposely cuts in line because you didn’t want to wait. Be honest and stay in your place in line.  Patience always pays off.Waiting In  Long Line

Small Items: While it can be tempting to keep the extra change the clerk accidentally gave you, keeping that change is stealing. That is someone’s hard earned money. Do the right thing.

Finders Keepers: Sometimes we all have that “lucky day” when we find money or an item of value in the park or on the street. Please try and return a lost item to the rightful owner if possible.  Social media sites are a great way to locate someone and share that you have found an item that you know the owner will be missing.

The news today is filled with story upon story about people who didn’t do the right thing. Most of the news connects back to others being dishonest. Next time you are faced with a decision of whether to do what’s right or the latter, remember that honesty makes the person, as William Shakespeare once said, “Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.”

ASP LogoThe American School of Protocol® was founded on the basis that there needs to be a change in communities; chivalry and basic human care for one another was dwindling. Today, ASP has certified over 500 people from around the world and provided these graduates with tools to enrich and give back to their communities. This week we are featuring two of our graduates who embody everything The American School of Protocol® stands for which is making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Kathleen Cover received her triple certification in 2009, and since then has been on a fast track.  She is dedicated to teaching etiquette and improving the lives of others.  Although Kathleen is busy with her wedding planning (To Love and To Cherish) and her etiquette businesses (The Etiquette School of Beverly Hills and The Etiquette School of Newport Beach), she still makes time to work with her community.Kathleen Cover

Immediately after graduating from ASP, she became involved by volunteering with the Youthful Offender Wraparound Program. Kathleen works with offenders ages 16-25.  Her job is to provide them with the tools they need for interviews, dining and business and social skills.

Kathleen describes working with the YOWP as her most rewarding teaching experience. During a recent series, each teen was asked to give a speech on something they were passionate about, or someone who had inspired them. One of the teens spoke about a person who had influenced his life. It was Kathleen. He even gave her a handwritten thank you note that she keeps in a frame on her desk. "I get teary‐eyed every time I share that story. Being able to teach these teens is truly the most rewarding experience of my life. They want to learn, and they want to better their lives. I am joyful that I can be a part of that."

In addition to the YOWP program she is currently working with the Orangewood Belle of the Ball. This organization not only donates dresses, jewelry, shoes, and handbags but they provide 250 teens with etiquette tips and professional advice from successful women such as Kathleen.

Kathleen Cover Teaching Etiquette

Kathleen credits her success in being ASP triple‐certified (Children’s Etiquette, Corporate Etiquette, and Manners for 3, 4 & 5 Year Olds).  “I am well‐versed and capable to teach all age groups and customize programs.”

In addition to Kathleen Cover, our graduate, Ann White, President of The Cardinal School of Etiquette, has been making quite a name for herself as a volunteer. Ann is from Knoxville, Tennessee and received her Corporate Etiquette Certification in 2014 and her Children’s Etiquette Certification in 2015.

At an early age she learned quite a bit about law enforcement and giving back to the community from her grandfather who was the chief of police and from her other grandfather who was the mayor of the town.

Ann attended the Knoxville Police Department's Citizens Academy and enjoyed it so much that she wanted to contribute more to the cause.  She became the civilian volunteer coordinator, along with a Ann Whitepolice officer, and together created a volunteer program.  Today, VIPS, is still thriving across the country.

Ann has been named Volunteer of the Year by the Knoxville Police Department and is the only person to ever receive this award, among countless other awards.  In January, 2015, she took over the coordinator's position of the alumni association.  In asking Ann what drives her to give back, she stated, “I have a constant need to aid and assist our local first responders.  Some people do not appreciate these professionals until they actually need them.  It has been a wonderful experience and an honor to work and help these fine citizens of my community.”

Ann has taken the information that she received during her certification along with her passion for volunteering and found a way to give back to those who serve her community selflessly.  She currently coordinates for the Knoxville Police Department Citizens Academy Alumni Association and the Ann White Teaching Social SkillsFederal Bureau of Investigation’s Knoxville golf tournament.

In order to build up community and one another, it is important to educate and volunteer. Here at ASP, we not only prepare teachers on how to create their own business, but we provide them with the teaching tools necessary to help others.

Ann and Kathleen are among numerous ASP graduates who give back to their communities.  Our goal is to spread kindness, thoughtfulness and consideration everywhere.  We are honored to have such an amazing group of individuals who are making positive changes in so many different lives.

To learn more about our Etiquette Certification Training click here!

Cancelling by Text MessageTechnology is a wonderful thing. It has opened up many new doors. Today people can connect with others in an instant.

We are also living in a time where technology lets us off the hook. If we forget an appointment, we can blame it on "the email I never received".

Technology is meant to enhance communication, not diminish etiquette. Here are a few tips that will keep technology from damaging your relationships and credibility.

Running Late- Occasionally there will be a time we  will run late due to an unforeseen circumstance. Today people are using technology to let others know they are not on time. This can be through a text message, email or even social media. Technology has made it possible for people to get into a habit of running late simply because they know they can send a quick text. The correct thing to do is to pick up the phone and call to inform the other person that you are running behind, not to rely on any form of technology to pass along that message.

Man Making a Phone CallCancelling- With over 6.8 billion cell phone subscriptions in the world, using technology as a scapegoat is now easier than ever. Technology has made it easy to ignore others and to not feel badly about cancelling plans. If you need to cancel plans, call the person as soon as possible. Whether or not you are meeting one person or a large group, if you must cancel, do it in advance... not showing up without a reason is unacceptable.

No Response- Have you ever heard someone say "Oh I didn't receive your message?" Well then, you have just been caught in the midst of:

  1. technology allowing us to be inconsiderate         OR
  2. the downside to technology (sometimes messages just don't reach the intended person.)

Technology has enabled us to give an extremely delayed response or sometimes no response at all. If someone reaches out to you, please respond to them within a timely manner. If you are sending a message of high importance and you do not hear back from the person, a follow up message or phone call is due on your part. We should not automatically think that the person is blatantly ignoring the message.

Canceling W/ A messageLost Art of RSVP- To email or text an RSVP instead of filling out the card sent to you is so rude. If someone takes the time to send you an invitation and they request a specific RSVP, then you need to respond in kind.

Delivering Bad News- Although a text message or email may be the easiest way to deliver bad news, it is not the correct way. Instead of sending out a mass message about a grievance, pick up the phone and call the individuals. Hearing the sound of your voice can make a huge difference.

Dishonesty- While technology has made it easier to cancel plans, it has also made some of us dishonest. If you have to cancel plans be upfront about it instead of making up an excuse. It is not ok to cancel plans and then use social media to show you at another event because you found it more "fun" than your original plans. Please consider the other person's feelings.

Technology is here to stay. It is our job to figure out how to use these forms of communication without letting them damage our relationships. One of the best ways to not let technology damage your relationships is to stick to your word. If you commit to being somewhere at a certain time, then be there.

Sending A Text Message

Spring has rolled in here in Atlanta, and brought a record number of pollen with it this year.  Atlanta is known for sporting the color yellow on everything this time of year.  Unfortunately, this seasonal fashion statement is also the cause of rampant allergies. Sneezing, wheezing, and coughing are common background noise.

Springtime Allergies

The rules of etiquette dictate courtesy to others.  And the most important courtesy this time of year is not infecting anyone with your spring sickness.  Here are a few ways to show courtesy while combatting your allergies.

Stay at home if you are sick- Spreading your illness to coworkers is no help to your company’s bottom line.  Rest, get yourself better, and then you’ll be much more productive at work – and a lot less germy!

Avoid Shaking Hands- Although proper etiquette dictates you shake hands when meeting someone new, if you are sick then excuse yourself from shaking their hand by saying, “I’m so sorry, but I’m not feeling my best today and don’t want to get you sick.”

Keep clean- Washing your hands often is especially important if you are sneezing or coughing.  But we don’t give much thought to how cleanliness might help reduce the amount of pollen in our environment.  When out and about for the day, you collect a sizeable amount of pollen on your shoes, clothing, skin, and in your hair.  Washing yourself, your clothes, bed linens, and keeping your home clean are especially important this time of year. It always helps to keep a hand sanitizer on your desk or close by in case of some accidental germ encounters.

Seasonal AllergiesHave tissues on hand- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends sneezing and coughing into a tissue, then discarding the tissue immediately (and wash your hands!).  If you prefer to use a handkerchief, have more than one with you and wash them in hot water to clean. If you don’t have a tissue . . . always sneeze or cough into your upper sleeve instead of your hand.

 

Are you prepared for allergy season?