Category Archives: Business Etiquette Newsletter

The Business Apology: How to Say You’re Sorry

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ApologyToday there was an article in my local paper, the Savannah Morning News, about a new restaurant in town. While this recently opened establishment, Cotton and The Rye, is getting rave reviews for its cuisine, this article was touting their outstanding customer service. It all had to do with the art of the business apology and how the owners handled a major snafu that enraged more than a few customers.

A business apology can be worth its weight in gold and is not something that is always done properly. There is an art to the apology. When handled correctly, an apology can build customer loyalty and enhance business growth; still it’s amazing how many people don’t know how, when, or even why to apologize.

Let me suggest nine steps to a good business apology.

  1. Say, “I’m sorry.” In spite of what your lawyer may have told you, those should be the first words out of your mouth.
  2. Be sincere. Your body language and tone of voice need to match your words.  People believe what they see more than what they hear. Look and sound as if you truly are sorry. And by the way, feel it.
  3. React quickly. An apology that is several days old loses its credibility and effectiveness.
  4. Drop the excuses. Take responsibility for whatever you said or did. You weaken your apology when you start piling on excuses such as “I was having a bad day” or “I just broke up with my girlfriend.” The last sentence actually came straight out of the mouth of a server in a restaurant.
  5. Forget the blame game. It does not matter whose fault it was. It happened.
  6. Make amends. Do whatever you can do set things right. I recently sent one of my products to a customer. The item did not arrive on the day I promised, and I had an unhappy individual on my hands. To set things right, I said  I was sorry and would send a replacement overnight. There was a significant cost to me, but I won over a customer who has since come back to me for additional products or services.
  7. Don’t get defensive. Once you get your dander up, you are headed for trouble and will only make the situation worse. One of my favorite sayings is “Never argue with an idiot. Those watching may not be able to tell the difference.”
  8. Listen without interrupting. When customers get upset, they need to vent.  Often they require something to chew on and that may be you. Let them. You may learn something important from what they say.
  9. Finally, don’t go overboard and over-apologize. Make your first apology your last. Say what you need to say and do what you need to do to make things right, then move on. You will only make things  worse by excessively apologizing. As the saying goes, “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

People can come up with any number of reasons not to apologize, but there are just as many for saying “I’m sorry.” Number one on that list is because it is the right thing to do. Not only that, it is good customer service which is good for business and business growth.

Photo from Savannah magazine

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com

Email Etiquette – The Sunday Night Warriors

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e-mail etiquetteJust when you thought that there was nothing left to say about email etiquette, one more issue pops up. As the use of email continues to increase, so do the rules for using it courteously and professionally and for practicing good email etiquette.  The first article that I ever wrote on this subject for the business world was “The Top Twelve E-mail Mistakes That Can Sabotage Your Career.” Today I could write about fifty or more email mistakes that can sabotage your career or ruin your business relationships.

According to an article by Mashable.com, 144.8 billion emails are sent every day. Mashable  reported that 28% of workers’ time is spent on email. Frighteningly only about 14% of those emails are deemed important. Now I must confess that article was written four years ago. Imagine what the numbers would be if the study were done today.

I am sure there are days when you feel that all 144.8 billion email messages have landed in your inbox. Everyone struggles with ways to control the tsunami of email. We all have our systems for managing our inbox. In the midst of this battle to survive there have emerged those people whom I call the  “Sunday night email warriors.” You know them, and may even be one yourself. The Sunday night email warriors are  those people who use the last few hours of their weekend to handle mail that they didn’t have time for Friday afternoon or mail that has come in since they left the office.

For the Sunday night email warriors, the result of their efforts is that they can go to sleep with a sense of relief, slightly confident that they won’t have to spend hours on Monday morning pouring over their inbox. But what about those who are on the receiving end of the mail that traversed cyberspace during the night? It’s another email tsunami.

If you feel the need to write replies to your messages over the weekend, that’s fine but consider scheduling them to be sent out mid-morning on Monday. Most email programs will allow you to do this. Unless the reply needs to reach the recipient first thing Monday morning, you will show courtesy and respect to your co-workers, colleagues and clients when you give them some breathing space as they start the workweek.

If you need to get an answer to someone right away, remember Alexander Graham Bell and pick up the phone. But wait until Monday!!!

This will not be the last word that I’ll write about email mistakes. Tomorrow another bad habit will emerge. If you have one that you want me to include in a future blog or in my newsletter, contact me via my website or call me at 912-604-0080.

More information on email etiquette can be found in my best-selling book Manners That Sell-Adding the Polish That Builds Profits.

Photo from Savannah magazine

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com

Communicating with Your Clients

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Imagine this: you’ve worked for hours putting together the proposal that your prospective client requested and are ready to send it. You choose what you believe to be the most efficient way to communicate—you e-mail the document. You expect that your prospect is checking e-mail regularly and will be contacting you within a few hours to seal the deal. You have a mental picture of yourself signing the contract and depositing a nice check into your account.

Cubicle series: the MultitaskerWhat you don’t know is that your prospect doesn’t check e-mail frequently. You failed to find out what form of communication he prefers and how he wanted to receive your response. Sadly for you, your competitor is on the ball and knows. By the time your e-mail proposal is opened and read, the deal is done, but not with you.

Maybe you called the prospect, who was out of the office at the time, so you left the information on voice mail and waited all day for a response. As it turns out, this person only checks voice mail at the end of the day and returns his calls in the morning. Again, your competition knew this and sent an email instead.

We are absolutely overwhelmed with ways to transmit information. Current studies indicate that e-mail is the business communication tool of choice. However, many people still prefer the telephone, the office staple since Alexander Graham Bell first spoke to Mr. Watson from the other room. Now that phones are mobile, no one is ever far from their phone.

Phones are so “smart” today that they can do everything that you used to have a landline, a computer and a fax machine for. Their latest trick is texting. Skip email. Forget calling and just send a cryptic text message. There is an entire segment of the population that does not know any other way to communicate than to text. After all, it is convenient. You can text anytime, anywhere to almost anybody. The business person who doesn’t text is considered to be something akin to the dinosaur.

We all have our preferred means of communication. When communicating with your clients, learn their preferences. It’s not just a courtesy, it’s good business. It’s not about you; it’s about your client. How can you tell what your client prefers? Ask. It’s as simple as that.

Here’s to successfully communicating with your clients!

Lydia

Lydia Ramsey

If you have any questions about the etiquette of communication in business, please contact me. I am available to you however you wish to communicate.

If you found this information helpful, please share it with a friend or forward it to your colleagues who may sign up for their own free subscription at the top of this page.

Business Etiquette: Overcoming Minglephobia or Fear of Networking

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Networking GroupWhen you think of attending a networking event, do you suffer from an attack of “minglephobia” of fear of networking? Some people thoroughly enjoy these opportunities to mix and mingle with business clients and potential customers. They welcome the chance to meet and talk with total strangers. Other people would rather schedule a root canal than face a room of people whom they barely know.

Here are a few tips to help you deal with the fear of networking and turn each one of these events into a profitable experience.

  1. Understand what networking is not. It is not about seeing how many hands you can shake or how many business cards you can collect.
  2. Understand what networking is. It is an opportunity to connect with people and build your business relationships.
  3. To be a successful networker, you need to know who will be attending the event. If you can’t get names, at least know which organizations will be represented.
  4. Plan in advance what you will talk about. Have specific topics in mind for those people whom you plan to see.
  5. Be prepared with a least three subjects you can discuss with anyone, whether they are strangers or people whom you already know. The best way to do this is to be up to date on current events. If you can’t make conversation, you can’t make connections.
  6. Listen more than you talk. People enjoy talking about themselves so give them the opportunity. You will learn more by listening, and the people you meet will think you are a great conversationalist.
  7. Arrive on time so you can become comfortable with the venue and be able to meet people as they arrive. If you join an event already underway, it will be more difficult to join conversations.
  8. Have plenty of your business cards with you and have them readily accessible. The person who has to fumble for a business card appears unprepared and unprofessional.
  9. Have a follow up plan for those people with whom you’d like to create or maintain a business relationship. As soon as you get back to your office, look at those business cards and decide whether you want to call someone, send an email or invite a person to lunch.

The successful networkers always attend events with confidence and assurance. They have a plan of action and a goal of growing their business by connecting with people face to face. Social media is no substitute for a personal encounter.

Here’s to overcoming your fear of networking!

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

 

Are You The Good House Guest Or The Nightmare In The House?

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???????House guests come in all shapes and sizes, personalities of every type and with a variety of manners from the sublime to the ridiculous. They may be friends, relatives or business associates. They could be invited for their friendship, relationship or out of obligation.

I just had the pleasure of having several guests in my home. They were new friends that I had met at a writers’ retreat in Arizona. I live in Savannah. It’s a beautiful city that 99.9% of the people I meet either want to visit for the first time or make a return trip. I would like to think that these women came to see me, but secretly, I think they wanted a taste of Savannah.

I have written on the topic of being the good house guest before. After this experience, I was compelled to return to the topic just as visitors return to Savannah.  These ladies were the epitome of the ideal house guests.

What did they do that made them stand out and cause me to write about them? Just about everything right and many things that were above and beyond the usual acts of courtesy and consideration.

I’ll list as many as there is time and space for:

  1. They honored my expectation of arrival time.  As someone who works from home and maintains a busy schedule, I appreciated their sensitivity to my time constraints. Getting ready for house guests is not always an easy task unless you have the staff of Downton Abbey.
  2. Since they were traveling by car from a good distance away, they kept me informed of their whereabouts along the way and any changes to arrival time. The Polar Vortex was once again having its way with people’s travel plans.
  3. When I asked about food issues or special needs, they were quick to say that they would bring anything they needed or wanted that was out of the ordinary. Most of our meals were planned out since Savannah has more than its share of wonderful restaurants, but it’s nice to wake up in the morning to your own quirky breakfast food or beverage. They relieved me of the burden of finding their special cereal, coffee or tea. I suppose when I mentioned that I had plenty of those little cereal boxes of Fruit Loops, Cocoa Krispies and “Yucky” Charms (my children’s name for their favorite cereal) left over from my grandchildren’s Christmas visit, they knew  they should bring their own.
  4. When they walked in the door, they were bearing gifts of food, wine and flowers. What an entrance!
  5. While they were here, they were like the Downton Abbey staff. Every time I thought I should wash or rinse a few dishes, I found that magically, it had been taken care of. My dishwasher was on vacation.
  6. When we went out for meals, I rarely had to pay for my own. They had a well-planned and well-executed scheme for grabbing the check. They were generous almost to a fault.
  7. When I stopped to buy gas during one of our outings, these two were out of the car as fast as any pit crew from the Daytona 500 to pump and pay.
  8. Once when I was discovered cleaning out the litter pan, one of them tried to wrestle me for the pooper scooper. Now there’s a thoughtful guest. Talk about above and beyond.
  9. When it came time for them to leave, beds were stripped and used sheets and towels magically appeared in the laundry room. If they had not had to make an early departure for their long haul across country, I am convinced the beds would have been remade with fresh linens.
  10. No sooner had they left when an SUV pulled into my driveway. For one brief moment I thought they had returned. Instead it was someone making a floral delivery. My thoughtful friends had sent a gorgeous arrangement of flowers to keep the memories of our time together alive a little longer.

Does this give you any ideas for what you need to do to be rated as the good house guest? There were many other displays of consideration shown by my guests. This is as much as I can list now.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what makes the good house guest vs. the nightmare in the house from your own experience.

Here’s to your being remembered as the good house guest or perhaps the perfect house guest. You will be welcome anytime!

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

Replying to Invitations is Good Business and Good Manners

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Failure to reply to invitations is a common occurrence today. Whether the occasion  is all business, purely social or a combination of business and social, event planners and hosts need and deserve to know whether  you plan to attend or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s a seated meal, a cocktail reception, a meeting or a seminar. The person or organization issuing the invitation needs an accurate count of the attendees in order to provide the right amount of food, beverages and materials.

Replying to invitations is a matter of good business and good manners. It is part of your personal packaging and a demonstration of your professional conduct.

Know the difference between “RSVP” and “Regrets Only.”  If the invitation reads “RSVP,” you are required to answer one way or the other. “Yes,” you are coming, or “no” you are not. If the invitation reads “Regrets Only,” you need only let the hosting individual or organization know that you will not be attending. If you do not reply, the expectation is that you will be present.

As soon as you receive an invitation, check your calendar, make a decision and take action. The only acceptable reason to delay is if you truly are not certain of your plans. It is inconsiderate to wait until the last minute to see if something better comes along before you reply. If you have a legitimate reason for delaying your response, let the hosting group know. Otherwise they may wonder if you received your invitation and will set about having someone call you for your answer.

When you are invited to a meal function and find that you cannot attend after you said you would, you must let someone know of your change of plans. It is unforgivable to accept an invitation to breakfast, lunch or dinner and fail to show. If you do, you probably should be calling from the hospital to explain your absence. In the event of a true emergency that prevents your phoning ahead of time, call your host first thing the next day with your explanation and apology.

When organizations go to the trouble to bring people together for food, fellowship or professional development, they should not have to guess how many will show up. It costs both time and money to operate this way. When businesses plan events for their colleagues and clients, they deserve a professional and thoughtful response.

It is simply a matter of good manners, proper etiquette and professional conduct.

Here’s to your good manners!

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

Romance in the Office: Is It A Good Idea?

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February is the month of romance signified by the celebration of Valentine’s Day—every florist’s dream day for sales. And wouldn’t you know?  Savannah, my home, has just been declared by USA today to be the second most romantic city in the USA. If your thoughts are turning to romance right about now, there’s good reason—in fact, maybe two good reasons, depending on where you live.

Is the girl or guy in the next cubicle beginning to look awfully attractive?  If so, what should you do? Before you make your first move, give it some thought. If you decide to pursue your interest, you may be jeopardizing your love life and your career.  On the other hand, if all goes well, your job performance may improve and your personal life stands to take a turn for the better.

It is not unusual for people in today’s workplace to find their spouse or partner in the office. According to the American Management Association, almost one-half—49% to be exact—of office romances result in marriage or a significant long-term relationship.  After all, most people spend more of their time in the workplace than anywhere else. If you choose to make a romantic move, be smart and know the rules.

Know the company policy.  Some companies have strict policies against dating coworkers; others just ignore it. Still others even encourage it. Although most organizations don’t want to intrude on their employees’ private lives, the shadow of sexual harassment looms large. And it is never wise to date someone who is your supervisor or who reports to you.

Set the ground rules.  Discuss early on how you plan to handle the relationship around the office, and what you will do if things don’t work out.  While that requires a level of maturity and discipline that is often hard to come by, do it if you both want to keep your job. Don’t put your career on the line for the sake of a romance that might not work out. Approach with caution.

Consider the effect on your job performance.  Being in love can be distracting.  If your focus at work is on the object of your affection and not on your job, you are putting your career at risk.  Don’t spend more time in the copy room or at the water cooler than you normally would. On the other hand, job performance could improve when you are trying to impress that other person.

Be discreet and professional.  It is never a good idea to discuss your romantic relationships with coworkers so keep the details to yourself.  People will talk. There is no subject more fascinating than the office gossip.

A few extra words of caution about romance in the office:

Observe the one year rule of dating in the workplace. Gradually become close friends with a co-worker. Start by keeping your interaction casual. This is definitely not the time to go head over heels right off the bat.

Be especially cautious if you are new on the job, whether you are pursuing or being pursued. Because you are a new hire, you will be under extra scrutiny. Your boss and co-workers will be watching your closely and observing your professional behavior.

Be wary of email. Remember that email is like the newspaper. Anyone can read it, and someone may. Before you hit “send” make sure that what you are sending is as professional as you want to appear.

Steer clear of Facebook and other social media sites to post the details of your new-found love. That’s where people go first when they want to pry and spy.

Office romances can be fun, and successful. Take the proper steps, however, to ensure that the relationship will last without interfering in the workplace. The wise couple is careful that any interaction in the office is purely professional.  It’s a matter of having your career and dating it, too.

Here’s to finding love in all the right places!

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

The Holiday Tipping Point

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The holidays mean parties, shopping, cooking, decorating, greeting cards and gift-giving. They also mean tipping. And of course, I am not just speaking of the day to day tipping that goes on. I am referring to holiday tipping—the practice of giving an extra amount of money or a special gift to those who provide various services to you throughout the year. Those people might be your newspaper carrier, hairdresser or barber, housekeeper, pet sitter and the list goes. It is challenging to figure out whom to tip and how much.

Holiday tipping is a way of showing appreciation to those people who make your life easier and more pleasant. Start with a list of people you would like to feel your gratitude. Then follow these guidelines for mastering the art of tipping during the holidays.

* Tip according to the quality and frequency of the service rendered.
* Consider your own budget in determining the amount.
* Present a monetary tip in a card or a small gift with the cash inside.
* Give it personally whenever possible.
* Do it within the week of the holiday or shortly before.
* Offer it joyously.

Now that we’ve established the process, let’s consider who and how much. The following suggestions should help eliminate some of the confusion as well as the stress of holiday tipping.

* Housekeeper – an amoount equal to the cost of a visit
* Gardner – $20-$50
* USPS mail carrier – cash gifts are not acceptable so give a small $15-20 gift
* Newspaper carrier – daily $25; weekend $10
* Teachers, tutors, coaches and trainers for your children – small gift from your child
* Baby sitter – one night’s pay plus small gift from your child
* Full-time nanny – one week’s or one month’s pay depending on length of employment
* Dog groomer – the cost of a session
* Dog walker or sitter – one day to one week’s pay
* Nail technician- $15 – $20
* Massage therapist – $15- $20
* Hairdresser – the cost of a visit

The list goes on. If you live in an apartment building, there are legions of people to reward. If you belong to a private club, unless a single amount is collected to be distributed to all, there are servers, receptionists and activities personnel to be considered. Good judgment and an attitude of gratitude should be your guide.

When we think of tipping, we usually think of cash. However, if this is a difficult time and you can’t afford to give cash to all these people, make or bake a holiday gift. In some cases a simple handwritten note of thanks is sufficient. When times are better, you can be more generous.

The most important thing is to let these people know valuable their service and their relationship are to you.

Happy holiday tipping!

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

Holiday Etiquette – So Many Questions

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iStock_000014394928XSmallThe holidays should be a joyful time, but with so much to do, both personally and professionally, ‘tis often the season to be stressed out. There are any number of  questions that might be drifting through your mind right now. Can you skip the office gala? Should you buy the boss a gift? How do you address the envelope to couples using different last names? Who pays for the business meal? Do you need to tip your pet sitter? The list goes on and on.

I can’t cover all the issues in one brief newsletter. For that you might want to check out my e-book on Business Etiquette for the Holidays. For now let me share a handful of helpful tips:

1)    The holiday office party is a mandatory event; not one that you can skip even if you don’t want to spend another minute with people from your office.

2)    Dress appropriately for the office party. This is not the time to wear your slinkiest and most revealing dress.

3)    Limit how much alcohol you drink at the party. Remember that wine, beer and other spirits tend to loosen the tongue.

4)    Decide ahead of time how you will handle gift-giving within the office. Make sure everyone is comfortable with the amount of money each is expected to spend on a gift or gifts.

5)    If you invite a client or co-worker to be your guest for a holiday meal, you pay the bill.

6)    Thank you notes for holiday gifts are as obligatory as the office party. They need to be handwritten to be effective.

7)    Sending your clients e-cards is a waste of your time and effort although they don’t require much of either. Your client may or may not open your email; and if they do, they will read and then hit “delete.” A paper greeting will live on and be remembered much longer.

8)    Make sure to personally sign your printed holiday cards. Otherwise they will come across as impersonal as an e-card.

9)    When you are invited to dinner at someone’s home, take a small gift to your host. If you choose to take wine, make sure your host drinks. Flowers are appreciated, but only if they arrive in a vase that does not have to be returned. Don’t expect your host to drop everything and hunt for the proper vessel for your flowers.

10) When it comes to toasting at a holiday event, never raise a glass or drink to yourself if you are the recipient of the toast. Return the kindness and toast the person who toasted you.

Bonus tip: Smile during the holidays. It is a happy time to be enjoyed by all.

13-0811 Lydia Ramsey eBook Cover smallFor the detailed version of holiday etiquette, remember that my e-book is available to you in The Manners Store on my website and on Amazon in the Kindle Store. It’s the least expensive gift you can give yourself or someone else whom you would like to see succeed in business. The cost is $2.99, and shipping is free.

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

Happy Thanksgiving to All

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo all my loyal readers:

I would like to send you my best wishes for a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving. We all have much to be thankful for, but sometimes we forget. The words of Maya Angelou serve as  reminder for each of us to be grateful.

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.

I’ve learned that “making a living” is not the same thing as “making a life.”

I’ve learned that sometimes life gives you a second chance.

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.

I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Think of your own personal blessings and have a Happy Thanksgiving wherever you are!

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.