You wouldn't know it by the temperature outside, but it's already time for fall. Here at The American School of Protocol we are excited about the opportunities and new advances we have made this year.

As we get ready for crisper weather, we'd like to reflect on what we've accomplished and what the remaining part of the year will hold.

Congratulations are in order for the graduates of our February and July 2018 Children's and Corporate Etiquette Certification Training. Our worldwide graduates are transforming the lives of children and adults through The American School of Protocol's educational training and curriculum.

When looking for Etiquette Certification Training, we know that you have choices, online, one-on-one, and other companies who may or may not have multiple staff members. Graduating from The American School of Protocol means that you have received in-depth, hands-on training and will have access to resources and full-time support at no charge. 

Our training and educational curriculum, paired with our passion to provide the very best, has helped our graduates reach their goals and touch the lives of so many. We continually update our certification manuals and curriculum, and strive to provide a transformational experience. 

We look forward to meeting our new trainees and future graduates at the upcoming October Certification. Certification Cost $5,495.  Click here to learn more about our October 2018 Certification Sessions

Thanks are also in order to the ASP Team's commitment to expanding program offerings that are relevant, marketable and transformative.

This year we introduced a new training program, Cultivating Character, a 1-Day Conference that offers opportunities for educators and entrepreneurs who would like to add a Character Education component to their educational services.

Our first Cultivating Character conference was held, August 17th in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference received high praise and reviews from attendees. This recognition affirms our commitment to always provide the highest caliber of training and teaching materials. Cultivating Character Cost $1,495. Next Cultivating Character Conference will be held September 14. Click Here to Learn More

Power, Presence & Style our 1-Day Business Etiquette Seminar continues to help business professionals gain confidence and increase their competitive edge.

The hands-on training day educates participants and provides them with useful and relevant information that will impact their daily communications. Cost $995. Next Class will be held October 22. Click Here to learn more

As we continue to build momentum and reach new goals, we invite you to join us in Atlanta to discover what it means to be a part of The American School of Protocol.

Together, we can transform lives and cultivate life-changing outcomes.

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Smile. Flashing a smile can go a long way towards making someone else’s day brighter. Keep a mental reserve of your happiest, funniest moments that you can recall to put a smile on your face.

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Leave a place in better condition than you found it. Challenge yourself to improve a public space. If you spot a piece of trash on the ground, be the person who takes the time to pick it up and throw it away. It’s an admirable thing to see someone inconvenience themselves in this way for the betterment of the entire community.

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Arrive on time.If punctuality doesn’t come naturally, give yourself an additional 10-minute “emergency gap” to allow for last-minute activities. Create a playlist for your morning routine that is exactly as long as you have to get ready – it’s a fun way to keep yourself on track. But if you know you’re going to be late ahead of time, communicate this to your friends, coworkers, or host through a quick, apologetic call.

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Make your commute a pleasant time.In Atlanta, we are all too familiar with traffic. It can be uninteresting as a routine part of your day, and downright enraging when unexpected traffic makes you late. Make the time a positive one for yourself. Find a podcast to listen to during the ride about a subject that interests you. Sing along with the radio and relieve your stress. Don’t forget to make the monotonous crawl a little bit better for others – let someone into your lane during your commute, give someone a wave or a smile, and be patient with slower drivers.

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Express your compliments. If your waitress has a great hairstyle, make sure to tell her. If a man standing in line in front of you at the grocery store looks great in that shade of blue let him know. We all have these thoughts, but many of us neglect to share them. An impromptu compliment from a stranger is really memorable.

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Improve your communicative style. Listen to others, and pay attention to your communication habits. If you tend to dominate the conversation, strive to ask your partner questions about themselves. If you find making small talk difficult, challenge yourself to hold quick chats with strangers during your day-to-day life.

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Who are the enemies of etiquette today? Well, they are lurking everywhere and screaming for your attention.

We have compiled a list of our top “Enemies of Etiquette” as we like to call them so that you can be on the lookout.

The Enemy: Technology

Children and parents alike are glued to their devices. Seeing a family of four all staring at their iPhones during a dinner out is a common occurrence. With these distractions at our finger tips, communication and socialization are diminishing.

Advice: Actively be aware of how much time you spend staring at the screen.  Take back your precious time.

The Enemy: Social Media

Not only do we communicate more and with larger audiences, we do so at lightning speed, using emojis, status updates and 140 character announcements. Immediate updates, cute dog videos, personal information about friends and acquaintances along with new or fake news updates is constantly being thrown our way.

Advice: Limit time using social media, be aware of what you are reading and absorbing and always think before you post on any social site.

The Enemy: The Race

You’re in a hurry, I’m in a hurry, were all in a hurry! There is never enough time - - and especially not enough time for manners or courtesy.

Advice: Slow down, you’re not the only one whose time is important.  There is always time to show respect for others.

The Enemy: Trolls

People say things online that they would never dream of uttering out loud. The amount of hate and irresponsibility on social sites and in comment sections is unbelievable. Words have power and what we say online has just as much weight as what we say in person.

Advice: Don’t get involved with trolls – don’t read their remarks – ban and block those individuals. If you think you are being one – stop it immediately!

The Enemy: Time

Over-scheduled, rushed, too busy to sit down and eat together – this is typical. The Harris Poll states that 59% of people claim their family has fewer dinners together than they did growing up. This is cause for concern since the family dinner is the cornerstone of conversation skills and consideration for others.

Advice: Make time to have meals together.  This is an important sharing time – not only for families with children, but for everyone.  Sharing your day and listening to someone else is one of the best things we can do to eradicate the enemies of etiquette.

The “enemies of etiquette” all have one goal - To divide us. We must stay vigilant and continue fighting the battle in the hopes of preserving courtesy and respect. 

Whoever said “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” didn’t have a clue. 

Words can hurt. Words can destroy. Words can be annoying.

A lot of words that we say, text, and tweet just aren’t necessary and can get us into a lot of trouble – Just ask Roseanne Barr.

There are some sayings that have made their way into our daily habits that often spill out of our mouths without much thought. 

These annoying and often times offensive comments have become so customary, that pulling together a list wasn’t even that hard.

Here are 12 phrases that are never appreciated:

1. Just Calm Down

This phrase has never helped anyone calm down.

2. Are You Sick? You Look Tired

What you are basically saying is you look terrible.

3. Please, Don’t Take this Offensively

Something offensive is about to be said.

4. When Are You Going to Get married?

Rudest question ever.

5. When Are You Going to Have Children?

Add to the list of rude and insensitive questions.

6. Those People

Immediately stop referring to any group or person as “those people”

7. I’m Just Saying

What are you just saying?

8. I’m Fine

Its passive aggressive and typically the person asking how you are is doing so genuinely.

9. You Look Skinny

You may have meant it as a compliment, but it doesn’t come out that way.

10. Are You Going to Eat All of That?

Just stop it.

11. It Is What It Is

And what is that exactly?

12. My Bad

Did you mean to say you're sorry?

See how current your Etiquette IQ is with our True/False Questions Below

1. Elbows are sometimes permitted on the table.

[toggle title="Answer" variation=""]TRUE[/toggle]

2. Proposing a toast can be done anytime during the meal.

[toggle title="Answer" variation=""]FALSE[/toggle]

3. Political discussions should always be avoided during a meal.

[toggle title="Answer" variation=""]FALSE[/toggle]

4. At a buffet, start eating as soon as half of the people have returned to the table. 

[toggle title="Answer" variation=""]TRUE[/toggle]

5. If you are eating a messy meal (ex: spare ribs), it is perfectly all right to tuck your napkin under your chin. 

[toggle title="Answer" variation=""]FALSE[/toggle]

6. When introducing two people of the same age but different sex, it really doesn’t matter whose name is stated first. 

[toggle title="Answer" variation=""]FALSE[/toggle]

7. In business or social situations, it is always correct for a woman to shake hands.

[toggle title="Answer" variation=""]TRUE[/toggle]

8. The nature of e-mailing is informal, but business e-mails should still be communicated formally. 

[toggle title="Answer" variation=""]TRUE[/toggle]

9. Fold-over note cards are used by men and women. 

[toggle title="Answer" variation=""]FALSE[/toggle]

10. It is acceptable for a “thank-you” text message to replace a handwritten thank-you note.

[toggle title="Answer" variation=""]FALSE[/toggle]

11. There are exceptions, but one usually doesn’t give out his/her business card unless another asks for it.

[toggle title="Answer" variation=""]TRUE[/toggle]

12. One who overlooks etiquette rarely has it called to his/ her attention.

[toggle title="Answer" variation=""]TRUE[/toggle]

While some customs from long ago have remained fixtures in our modern society, there are many that have faded into obscurity and for good reason. We have uncovered the explanations behind some of today’s common and strange customs that managed to stick around.

The Handshake

Dating back to Ancient Greece – a source of many modern Western customs – this greeting was a sign of equality and mutual respect.

Shaking hands replaced bows and curtsies, while also serving as proof that both parties came unarmed.

In medieval Europe, the handshake became a powerful symbol of the bond between husband and wife. It was the final gesture of wedding ceremonies.

Today, a hand shake can symbolize multiple things but mainly it is used to say hello, goodbye, congratulations, and to seal the deal.

“Achoooo. . . . God Bless you!”

It’s almost as much of a reflex as sneezing itself.  Here in the United States, when someone sneezes, “God Bless you” will often be heard immediately after.

But why? We don’t acknowledge any other bodily functions in such a way. So how did this response originate? 

Some point to the Greeks and Romans for starting this fascination with sneezing. They viewed it as a sign of wellness – a means of expelling bad spirits from the body – and would routinely offer blessings unto the sneezer.

Centuries later, widespread fears brought on by the outbreak of the bubonic plague cast suspicion on the sneeze. Pope Gregory VII called on the people of Europe to utter a short prayer, “Bless you”, after every sneeze to protect against the sickness.

Upon reflection, it is a very strange custom - - -that doesn't appear to be fading anytime soon.

Dining Styles - Continental or American Style Dining?

As all of The American School of Protocol’s Certified Graduates know, there is a stark difference in dining styles once you cross the Atlantic.

In the United States, “Zig-Zag” is used, while our European neighbors predominantly eat “Continental.”

It is very surprising to learn that the traditional European method was in fact originally the American style. The "dining style divide" resulted when British colonists sailed across the Atlantic, bringing their multi-step cutting method to the New World.

The colonists retained this dining style, but back in Europe, the Industrial Revolution brought a faster pace of life that left little room for the niceties and courtesies of the previous era, leading to the more streamlined Continental style.

Clinking glasses

After a toast, it is tradition to clink glasses with fellow diners. This iconic act of celebration comes from a dark past.

Clinking glasses originally started with the intention of spilling a little of the other person’s drink into your own to demonstrate that neither party had poisoned the other’s glass. The clink was a sign of good will, a feeling that has endured to today.

Elbows off!

“Don’t put your elbows on the table!” The origin of this classic motherly saying dates back to medieval times.

Feasts were held in great halls and hundreds of people would eat together at long wooden tables. While the food was often plentiful, space was not.

Furthermore, when dining in the presence of the lords and ladies of the realm, it was deemed “peasant-like” to hunch over one’s plate, guarding the food from others. The act gave off an aura of distrust, and has since become a commonly repeated rule.

Today, it is acceptable to have your elbows on the dining table in between courses and when there are no dishes on the table.  Other than that it's a good idea to follow this old rule. 

It is truly interesting to trace our everyday behaviors – many of which we don’t give a second thought.

A recent article posted by The Conversation, an academic content website, listed 10 ways schools, parents, and communities can prevent school shootings now.

Number one on their list to combat this major problem is for schools and communities to teach social and emotional skills.

The article states that decrease in free play time and frequent social media use has reduced children’s opportunities to learn these basic social skills. Children should be learning these skills sets in school, but often times they are not.

As an etiquette and life skills educational company, The American School of Protocol, completely agrees that children need to learn life skills. However, we have found that during the school day is not when the majority of this learning takes place.

Many schools have completely eliminated character building classes and activities due to academic pressure and the need to meet certain benchmarks on state administered exams.

Studies have found that schools only try to implement a character building program, once it is too late or as a buffer to help solve an existing problem.  Children spend more time at school and extracurricular activities than ever before.  The lack of  instruction from parents is now becoming more apparent.

Character Education, Etiquette, and Life Skills are all necessary to help formulate a balanced and socially compassionate child who can conduct themselves with confidence and consideration for others. Eliminating home economics, life skills and character building paired with our new digital era and lifestyle, qualified etiquette teachers are more in demand than ever before, but without instruction in the class room and etiquette teachers in the communities, the outlook for the future of our youth is grim.

After every tragic event our requests, internet searches and calls soar. We also hear from individuals around the world who have the same problem. The American School of Protocol’s goal is for every state and city across the United States to have a knowledgeable etiquette teacher who is offering classes to students of all ages.

We continually find underqualified and inexperienced instructors who want to help, but just aren’t accomplishing their goals. Etiquette is an unregulated industry.  This is why it is so easy for other companies to market and sell certificates and programs that don’t teach the information correctly or address the real issues.

We have developed our 5-Day Certification Training and a complete Character Education Series for teachers who want to make sure they are teaching  high quality, accurate educational materials.

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To parents, educators, entrepreneurs, we need you to step up and bring etiquette to your community. If this has been on the back burner, we encourage you to lay out your goals and make it happen. Now is the time!

We have a huge problem on our hands.  Gun violence, mass murders, opioid crisis, and bullying.  America’s youth are in the front row of this chilling production.  

On February 14th Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida had one of the world’s deadliest school massacres. The students who survived have since decided to take their pain and transform it into something useful that may actually bring about change.

Lorenzo Prado, a Parkland High school shooting survivor said, "To let these victims' lives be taken without any change in return is an act of treason to our great country. What we must do now is enact change because that is what we do to things that fail: We change them."

Even after one and a half months since the shooting, the students continue to stay strong in their protest and demand for change.

Peggy Newfield, President of The American School of Protocol in Atlanta, Georgia believes, “We need to focus on our children and the messages we are sending them.”

Newfield applauds the student’s organization and focus. “With all the skepticism thrown towards the youth and their protesting, many adults have lost sight that youth issues are community issues and community issues are our issues” asserts Newfield.  

Newfield is a strong promoter of empowering America’s youth. She has taught etiquette to over 10,000 students in the Atlanta area.

“Our youth are crying out for answers and begging for a new message. Our children are taking a stand and we need to be supportive” said one of the parent supporters at the March of Our Lives in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 24. 

On Sunday, the Pope spoke up and gave a poignant message to those who want to bring about change. “It is up to you not to keep quiet, even if others keep quiet.”

Stronger gun laws, mental health, school laws, bullying, anger management - - - the list goes on of where changes need to be made. Our children need a new message. 

A message of kindness, compassion, safety, and hope for the future.

1 Exhibit A Warm And Friendly Demeanor- No matter how bad a day you are having it is important to always be warm and friendly to others. This makes for friendlier interactions and can brighten someone’s day.

2 Look People in the Eyes – Stop staring at your phone and look up. It seems like it should be the easiest one to accomplish, however these little things called cell phone are making eye contact almost near impossible today.

3 Use Proper Table Manners At Every Meal – Whether it be an informal dinner party or a business event, always remember your table manners.

4 Dress Appropriately – Always dress for the occasion, remember that overdressing is always better than under dressing.

5 Hold Doors Open – Before entering and exiting a building always look in front and behind you to see if there is anyone that could use a helping hand.


6 Say Please & Thank You – Remembering the basic please and thank you can make all the difference. These simple words show gratitude and appreciation and are never underrated.

7 Let Other Cars Merge In – Driving can be stressful for many people, letting a car merge in can help move along traffic and improve someone’s day. Whether it is a car from out of town or your daily rush hour, everyone appreciates being let in.

8 Keep Your Unnecessary Comments to Yourself – Being malicious and embarrassing someone is simply rude and poor etiquette. Always be mindful and think before you speak.

9 Not Talking Loudly – Talking too loudly when you are out in public is not only disruptive but an annoyance to everyone around.  Sadly, many people think because they are using a bluetooth device that they can go anywhere and continue their conversation.

10 Treat Others With Respect – The age-old saying of “treat others how you want to be treated” reigns supreme. In order to get respect, a person must first show respect.

Both near and far, in massive numbers or individually, tragedy and death often find us unprepared and unsure of how to approach the situation. 

Things You Should Never Say to Someone Who Is Grieving

I know how you feel. Even if you have suffered a similar loss or are currently grieving yourself, every experience is unique, just as every relationship is unique.

Everything happens for a reason. This could not be true according to the griever’s spiritual beliefs.

Time heals all wounds. People who have suffered the loss of a loved one often report that their life is permanently altered.

Be glad for the time you had together. Someone who is grieving will most likely cherish the memories of their loved one and be heartbroken at their loss, all at the same time.  They are not mutually exclusive.

At least he/she is no longer suffering. The fact that terrible physical suffering has ended in the death of their loved one is often not comforting to the bereaved.

Remain strong for others. This suggests that the griever should hide their feelings or try to appear as if they are not suffering.  Neither is a healthy approach to the natural process of grief.

What You Can Do

Open up. Share your thoughts and feelings with a trusted friend or family member to relieve the stress.  Tread carefully when doing so in a professional setting.

Listen to others. Try to empathize with others and allow them to express themselves as needed.  Recognize that processing tragedy is stressful and can cause people to act differently than normal.

Seek joy. Do things that you enjoy, such as cooking, gardening or exercising.  Pick up a new book, attend a sporting event, go to a concert or plan a weekend getaway.

Protect yourself. Limit your exposure to dire reports by avoiding broadcasts on TV or your smartphone. Less is more when the media is focused on gruesome details.

Serve others. Change your focus by getting involved in a community-building event, organizing a service day, or supporting a non-profit fundraiser.

Tragic situations befalling those we know or those being reported on the news can make us uncomfortable and cause stress. Awareness of certain coping techniques and specific phrases to avoid can ease anxiety and allow us to support others in their time of need. Remember to always consider your audience and setting before discussing.  

To learn more on how to explain and discuss the horrific act of gun violence to children and teens Click here . . .