Writing a thank you note shows the person who took the time to think of you and give you a gift that you value their time. When someone goes out of their way to handwrite a note in our technology driven world, it is memorable.

If you are reading this, then you are most likely writing a thank you note.  Thank you for keeping this tradition alive. 

Sending a thank you note is NOT a thing of the past! Writing thank you notes is still something that people do AND thank you notes are very much appreciated.

Below are 5 sample thank you notes to help you get started.

Dear Meg and Liam,
Thank you for the aroma diffuser. It not only makes my apartment smell great, but it’s so pretty - - a true art piece on its own. Paris is beautiful this time of year so I know you will have the best time. You both have to come over and tell me all about your trip and to see how calming and Zen like my place feels with the diffuser. Best wishes, Penny Parker

Dear Aunt Julie,
Thank you for the warm scarf you sent to me. The fact that you made it yourself makes it even more special. It’s currently 2° here in New York and will be even colder by New Year’s Eve. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness, as well as your talent for knitting!
XOXO Katie

Dear Mom and Dad,
Thank you for being so thoughtful and thinking of me as I buy my first home. Your kind gift will be used wisely during this process. I am looking forward to 2018 and I hope it is a wonderful year for us all. Owning my own home has always been a dream and I can’t wait to share it with you. Thanks again, Miles

Dear Gram and Pops,
Thank you for sending me the complete DVD collection of Game of Thrones. This is my favorite show, so it was a wonderful Christmas gift. I hope you enjoy spending the New Year in Jackson Hole. I am already on Season 4 and plan on finishing the entire series over New Years!
Love, Benjamin

Dear Sean,
Thank you for the stunning terrarium. It is such a great conversation piece for my office. Your green thumb has always inspired me to love plants. Please stop by in the New Year to see how beautiful the succulents are.
Kind regards, Amelia Williams

See how easy that is?

We follow this simple four sentence format which is just the perfect amount to fit on a correspondence card or folder over.

• First Sentence – Says thank you for the gift
• Second Sentence – Says something about the gift
• Third Sentence – Says something unrelated to the gift
• Fourth Sentence – Says something about the gift

Don't forget to . . .

⇒ Sign on and Sign Off

⇒ Write clearly

⇒ Date it (bottom left-hand corner)

⇒ Proofread

#1 Bring a gift for the host. 

#2 Offer to help to the host.

#3 Participate in the holiday traditions.

#4 Ask the host where you should sit at the dining table.

#5 Wait for the host to begin the meal. A blessing or a few words will often be shared to thank everyone for being there.

#6 Eat slowly and engage in conversation with others during the meal.

#7 Say something nice about the food and thank those who helped make all the preparations.

#8 After the meal is over, see how you can help clean up.

#9 Don't overstay your welcome.

#10 Send a thank-you note to the host expressing your gratitude and appreciation for the meal.

 

Awkward, inappropriate and ill-mannered conversations are meant to rock the boat. Encounters like these will make you ready to abandon ship and often leave you feeling drunk as a sailor.

What’s even worse is when you are held prisoner to this inappropriate dialogue which is heading for shipwreck because it is unfolding over a meal.

An interesting discussion usually makes the meal even more enjoyable, however even the best food can smell fishy when paired with unwanted dinner conversation.

Below are a few tactics that will keep you from being dead in the water when you feel like the titanic heading straight toward an iceberg of unfortunate conversation.

Know which way the wind blows

If someone asks you an inappropriate question, know the ropes and don’t take the bait.

Simply respond by saying “What an interesting question. I am going to need some time to think about that.”

Hook, line and sinker

Then, as quickly as you can, take the wind out of the sails and change the subject to something lighter- - - like how delicious the oyster appetizer looks.

Loose lips sink ships

If you can feel that the tone of the conversation will veer you off the straight and narrow guess what? You are the captain of this ship.

Quickly hold the topic at bay by linking to something said in a previous conversation.

Keep your head above water

It is always good etiquette to keep the response positive. Find something complimentary to say about the guest or topic.

Then, stay on course and begin moving full speed ahead.

Barge right in

You can also be more honest and answer with, “I really don’t want to dive right into the deep end … I just want to hear about you and what’s going on in your life.”

Rats abandon a sinking ship

Be ready to turn the tables and look for opportunities to engage in a conversation with someone else.

Sink or swim

If you sink you will end up with knots in your stomach.

If you swim, use humor as your lifeboat to steer the conversation into calmer seas.

Be ready to walk the plank

If the focus doesn’t change remember the restroom is a safe harbor. Kindly excuse yourself and take a few minutes to gather your thoughts.

Don’t let any conversation leave you high and dry. Throw caution to the winds and remember, a smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.

The American School of Protocol is proud to claim graduates from over 40 different countries. In October, our Corporate Etiquette Certification class included an attendee from South Korea and provided a unique opportunity to celebrate and appreciate diverse customs and traditions.   All of our attendees came away with improved skills in the art of cultural inclusivity and acceptance.

Being knee-deep in the holiday season increases the likelihood of exposure to new people and unfamiliar beliefs and practices.  Good etiquette demands that we are prepared and able to avoid offending others.

The phrase ‘politically correct’ has gained a lot of criticism recently. Politically correct; commonly abbreviated to PC, is used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to particular groups in society.

adobestock_75202135

‘Can you state your feelings today and still be politically correct?’ was a segment on a prominent news show this week.  The host stated that it is hard because people take offense to so many things these days.

With many people tired of hearing how to, and why to be more ‘politically correct’, we saw this as an opportunity to turn it around.  Instead of being more ‘politically correct’, we would like to encourage you to be more conscious of others feelings and try to understand different religions and cultures.

We have listed a few simple tips that can help make interactions with others easier - - especially at this time of year.

In short, we must rid ourselves of all assumptions and be more aware of our words and actions. This isn’t the end of hearing about being ‘politically correct’, but we are hopeful that it might be a shift in the right direction.

Holiday season is officially underway, which means the hunt for the perfect present has begun. Shopping for presents can be stressful because of the large effort in trying to find the right gift for someone.

Want to make your holiday shopping a breeze and be finished early with everything perfectly wrapped and ready? If this is your goal, then follow our list of things NOT to do and you will greatly improve your chances of making this gift-giving holiday season a success.

1. Not Doing Research: If you don’t do research on the person whom you are buying for then you are just making this whole process harder on yourself. Find out types of interests your friends or acquaintances enjoy. If you know something about the individual, like if they love cooking and entertaining, that is a slam dunk because of the wealth of products associated with that hobby. If, on the other hand, you know nothing about what the individual likes, scout out some connections to that person and do due diligence. For example, an assistant to the boss knows so much – what he/she likes, where he/she dines, what kind of books they read. If the gift is for a child ask a parent, relative or child close in age for ideas.

2. Thinking It’s ALL About How Much you Spend: Ever heard the saying, ‘It’s the thought that counts’? Not everyone has a large budget and the ability to buy expensive presents. Keep in mind that no gift is too small.  Providing a thoughtful gift carries the most weight. When thinking about what to gift someone, reflect on previous experiences and conversations with that person for ideas.

3. Waiting To the Last Minute: Coming up with gift ideas, buying the gift, then wrapping the gift can all be exhausting and time-consuming. Waiting to the last minute only makes the situation more stressful - - especially if your list of people to buy for is long. Do your best to alleviate the stress of this process by planning ahead.

4. Always Resorting to Gift Cards: Yes, giving a gift is a generous thing to do, but always resorting to gift cards (unless you know the person really likes them) may not be fitting. If you’re in a situation where you have absolutely no idea what to get someone, a gift card can seem to be the perfect answer. If you do decide to give a gift card, make sure that you purchase a gift card from a store the person frequents or one that you know they will use.

5. Forgetting to Remove the Price Tag: Always remember to take the price tag off. It is neither kosher nor important for a person to know how much you spent on their present. Include a gift receipt in case someone chooses to return or exchange the item.

6. Skimping On Gift Giving Because Your Budget Is Tight: If your funds are low and you’re stumped on what to get, don’t think you need to nix the gift-giving. A great gifting idea is donating your time to help someone.  Run errands, babysit for the day or take a person to their doctor's appointment. This season try making a gift for someone. If you have a hobby such as knitting or floral arrangements, utilize those skills for creating a present for a person. There is nothing more special than a handmade or thoughtful gift.

7. Assuming You Will Receive A Present In Return: Just because you give a gift to someone, does not make them obligated to do the same thing in return. Going in with the assumption that the person you are giving a gift to will also be giving you a gift, is the wrong mindset.

8. Slacking On The Wrapping: Yes, it takes more effort and time, but we all know that presentation is important. If you are not good at wrapping, then opt for a bag or assistance. There are many ways to wrap gifts that are inexpensive and unique. The goal is to make your wrapping as special as the gift.

At the American School of Protocol, we wish you much good health and happiness as we approach this holiday season and a brand new year!

Christmas Party

Wearing Inappropriate Attire Office parties are not the place to bring out your most revealing dress or blouse. Vice versa, if there is a theme to your office party then stay festive and keep to that theme - - but don’t overdo it. Follow the dress code outlined for a party. If it is cocktail attire then come dressed appropriately.

Drunk at Christmas PartyDrinking Too Much At the end of the day, you are at a party for… WORK. Even though alcohol beverages are provided at the party, be aware of how much you drink.

Thinking You Can Let Loose Your boss and other employees are still watching you. You don’t want to be the person who gets fired the day after your holiday party because you said or did something you regret.

Being Ungrateful Yes, you have worked a long day and now you are suppose to go mingle with all your colleagues. It can be exhausting, but remember, your company is not required to do anything during the holidays. Businesses give parties because they want to show their appreciation, you in return should be happy that your company is being so generous.

Voicing Your Opinion About Company Issues Keep the conversation topics about positive subjects. Don’t discuss other employees or problems you have with company policy. Avoid conversations that focus heavily on business, especially if clients are in attendance.

Unprepared to Network If you were planning to only mingle with your small office circle, think again. Holiday events are a great opportunity to network and meet new colleagues, especially if you work for a large corporation. Before you attend the event, think about your ten questions that you can use as conversation starters when meeting new people. It is always better to be prepared than to have nothing to say.

Not Saying Thank you to the Host As an employee, don’t forget to show your appreciation to the management and party planning committee. Thank people for hosting the occasion and providing food and drinks for everyone.

Not Showing Up If your company is hosting a holiday event, attend and show your appreciation. You never know what opportunities or new friends you may make at the party unless you participate. Company social events will also give you additional information about the people that you work with everyday.

While business holiday events serve the purpose of allowing employees to kick back and relax don’t forget that even though this is a party, you still need to maintain a professional image. It is much harder to build up your reputation once some inappropriate action has taken place.

Take time to reflect and enjoy this season. Use your office party to spread holiday cheer amongst fellow employees and don’t forget to be thankful for your job and all the blessings that you have.

Happy holidays!

Holiday Party

iStock_000014983738MediumHoliday season is officially underway, which means the hunt for the perfect present has begun. Shopping for presents can be stressful because of the large effort in trying to find the right gift for someone.

Here is a list of do's and don'ts for gift giving and receiving this holiday season.

Research: Do research on the person whom you are buying for. Find out their types of interests and what they enjoy. Even when buying a gift card it is important to make sure that you purchase a gift card from a store the person frequents.

Be Thoughtful: It's the thought that counts. Not everyone has a large budget and the ability to buy expensive presents. Keep in mind that no gift is too small.  Providing a thoughtful gift carries the most weight. When thinking about what to gift someone reflect on previous experiences and conversations with that person for ideas.

Don't Leave the Price Tag On: Always remember to take the price tag off. It is neither kosher nor important for a person to know how much you spent on their present. Include a gift receipt in case someone chooses to return or exchange the item.

Be Thankful: Always send a hand written thank you note for any gift you receive. Even if you have no use for a gift, it is important that you thank the person for their time and consideration. When Holiday Gift Givingsomeone takes the time to buy you a gift then you should take the time to show your appreciation.

Give Your Time:  A great gifting idea is donating your time to help someone. This is a personal gift that could mean a lot.  Run errands, babysit for the day or take a person to their doctors appointment.

Be Crafty:  This season try making a gift for someone. If you have a hobby such as knitting or floral arrangements, utilize those skills for creating a present for a person. There is nothing more special than a hand made or thoughtful gift.

Don't Gift Alcohol: Alcohol used to be one of the most common gifts given. Today, substance abuse problems are prevalent. Be careful when gifting alcohol, make sure you know the person and are not adding to a problem.

Happy Holidays!