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Page 2

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:

Copyright © Patricia Rossi, 2009, All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any
form or by any means, mechanical or electronic, including photo-
copying and recording, or by information storage and retrieval sys-
tem, without permission in writing from the publisher.

LEGAL NOTICES:

The publisher assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions, or
contrary interpretations of the subject matter contained herein.

The information contained in this publication represents the views of
the author as of the date of publication. This publication is for infor-
mational purposes only. The purchaser or reader of this publication
assumes responsibility for the use of this information.

The author/publisher assumes no responsibility or liability whatso-
ever on behalf of any purchaser or reader of this publication.

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T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Chapter 1: Introducing Yourself
The Approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
The Handshake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Body Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
What To Say . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Chapter 2: Communicating With Confidence
Making Conversation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
The Name Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
The “Conversational Rambler” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Responding to Gossip . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Cell Phones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
E-mail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Text Messaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Social Media in Modern Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

Chapter 3: Table Manners
General Rules for Dining . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Taboo Table Topics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Sitting Down, Using Napkins, & Leaving the Table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Bread Plate & Drinks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Toasts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Bread Course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Soup Course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Entrées . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

Chapter 4: Giving and Receiving Gifts
Selecting Gifts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
“Just In Case” Gifts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
“No Gifts” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Dinner Parties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Weddings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Children’s Birthday Parties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Regifting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
Receiving Gifts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

Chapter 5: Thank You Notes and Sympathy Cards
When to Send a Thank You Note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
How to Write a Thank You Note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
Sample Thank You Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
Sympathy Cards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
Sample Sympathy Cards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

Chapter 6: Tough Etiquette Questions Answered. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

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I N T R O D U C T I O N

F
or more than 20 years, I have helped people feel more confident and at ease in their
everyday lives by teaching them about etiquette and protocol. Whether I’m doing one-on-
one coaching, group classes, or my nationally syndicated “Manners Minute” TV seg-

ments, I always focus on the same core principles: kindness as opposed to formality, and
relationships as opposed to rules.

My goal for this e-book is to give you an overview of basic etiquette so that you feel more confi-
dent, more competent, more comfortable in everyday social situations, and less self-conscious.

As you read through the book, I hope you’ll keep the following things in mind:

� Kindness is the great equalizer. If you step out into the world every day and strive to
treat others kindly, you will find that things go more smoothly for you.

� Being considerate is somewhat of a lost art. When you choose consideration, you
truly shine.

� The rules of social engagement are mostly unspoken. Small, incremental changes
such as the ones suggested in this book can make a big difference.

� Don’t get so fixated on rules that you forget about relationships. Relationships are
what really matter. If following a particular rule feels wrong to you (because of the nature
of your relationship with the person or people around you), trust your instincts. Rules of
etiquette are guidelines, not laws.

� When teaching your kids about etiquette, don’t lecture them. Teach in tiny sound
bites, and remind your children of applicable rules just before situations arise. For exam-
ple, as you head into the grocery store you might say, “We’re going into the grocery
store now. Remember to say hello to the person behind the deli counter when we get
there.” As soon as your kids follow through with good manners, be generous with your
praise: “That was amazing. I’m so proud of you!”

� The 3 most important things you can do when it comes to your social interactions
are: (1) have a strong handshake (this includes good posture); (2) remember people’s
names; and (3) write thank you notes.

Finally, I would like to remind you that etiquette isn’t about being “fancy shmancy.” It’s about
putting other people at ease. It’s not about you – it’s about how you make other people feel.
Your actions can push people away or attract people to you.

In most cases, good etiquette is a matter of choosing to behave in a way that makes other peo-
ple feel comfortable with you. Choose wisely!

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C H A P T E R 1 : I N T R O D U C I N G Y O U R S E L F

H
ave you ever been introduced to someone who wouldn’t look you in the eye? Or some-
one who shook your hand as if you had some sort of contagious disease? When you
walked away from those encounters, how did you feel?

If you didn’t feel very good, you’re not alone.

People want to feel like they matter; they want to be known, respected and remembered. The
better you are at making people feel that way, the more likely you are to make a good first im-
pression.

The good news is that this is not an innate “gift” that you have to be born with – it’s a skill that
can be learned. You don’t have to be an extrovert, or even a “people person,” to make a great
first impression. Just review the simple techniques described in this chapter, and then practice
using them as much as possible. Eventually they will become second nature and will be easily in-
corporated into your everyday life and interactions.

You’ll be amazed to see how just a few small changes can make such a big difference.

The Approach
When you’re approaching some-
one to introduce yourself, walk
up, extend your hand, look the
person in the eye, and say,
“Hello, I’m _________.”
It’s that simple.

Extending your hand first
demonstrates self-confidence
and openness, traits that make
you seem both likeable and

competent. Technically, when it comes to workplace introductions, the “higher-up” should be the
first to extend his or her hand. As a practical matter, however, you shouldn’t wait too long. If the
other person (even the company CEO!) doesn’t take the lead, just get your hand out there to
avoid an awkward pause. It may be that the CEO needs a lesson in etiquette!

The Handshake

A handshake is the only physical
contact you’re likely to have with some-
one you’ve just met, so it’s important to
get it right. Fortunately, a good hand-
shake isn’t complicated.

The correct way to initiate a handshake
is to extend your right arm towards the
other person with your right thumb
pointing up.

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Your hands should connect “web to web” (the “web” is the portion of your hand
between your thumb and forefinger).

The connection should be snug, but not uncomfortable, and should be followed by 3 up and
down pumps. If the handshake goes beyond 3 pumps, let the other person end the shake when
he wants to. As long as the other person is still pumping, it’s important not to yank your hand
away (even if the other person’s hand is sweaty, which it will be occasionally). Pulling your hand
away before the other person is ready may come across as a rejection, and nobody likes to feel
rejected.

If you try to initiate a handshake but the other person doesn’t respond, don’t worry about it. Stay
relaxed, lower your hand, and move on.

Never shake hands while in a seated or subservient position; stand up first and then shake
hands. If there is a barrier between you and the other person (such as a desk or a table), come
around from behind the barrier for the handshake.

Although a good handshake is simple in theory, in practice it can be easy to make a small mis-
take that conveys a bad impression. Here are a few types of handshakes you should avoid at all
costs:

� The “Limp Fish” – This is when your
hand is limp and feels to the other per-
son like there are no bones in your hand
(not a good feeling). Rather than grasp-
ing the other person’s hand, you’re
making him or her do all the work. This
type of handshake says to the other
person, “I’m weak; I don’t believe in my-
self; I’m not a winner.” To avoid a “limp
fish” handshake, remember to grasp the
other person’s hand firmly and maintain
a snug connection. If someone gives
you a “limp fish,” try to push your hand
in a little closer to get a better connec-
tion.

� The “Bone Crusher” – The “bone
crusher” is the opposite of the “limp
fish” handshake; it’s when you squeeze
the other person’s hand so firmly that it
causes pain or discomfort. This type of
handshake tells people that you’re anx-
ious and need to dominate others in
order to feel powerful.

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� The “Queen’s Shake” – This is when you hold onto someone’s fingertips, instead of mak-
ing palm-to-palm contact. This type of handshake makes other people feel like you don’t
want to touch them, and conveys an “I’m better than you” attitude.

� The “Wrestler” – The “wrestler” handshake is when you turn the other person’s hand
over so that your hand is on top. It is very aggressive and a show of power. If someone
uses a “wrestler” shake with you, correct it by taking a 2 inch step to the left while grad-
ually returning your hand to a vertical position. This will help restore the balance of
power.

� The “Clasp” – This is when you use two hands. Your right hand is grasping the other per-
son’s as in a correct handshake, but your left hand is placed on top. This type of hand-
shake should really only be used in intimate situations, such as to convey condolences.
It tells the other person that you’re thinking of them, but if used in the wrong situation it
feels insincere and inappropriate.

� The “Fist Bump” – This is technically a handshake substitute rather than a type of hand-
shake, but President Barack Obama’s use of the “fist bump” has made it acceptable in
certain situations. It is most appropriate when used by close friends as a celebratory or
congratulatory gesture, so don’t try it at your next board meeting.

Some germophobes have begun using the “fist bump” to avoid handshakes; they believe it to be
more sanitary. Since you never know if this is what’s going on, if someone initiates a fist bump
with you, just go along with it. At the same time, since it is still not generally accepted as an ap-
propriate substitute for a handshake, I recommend against initiating a fist bump in most situa-
tions.

One last little tip: if you tend to have sweaty hands, spray anti-perspirant on your hands before
social events. This will help keep your hands dry so you can shake hands with confidence.

Body Language

When it comes to in-person communication, your body language is actually much more impor-
tant than your words. The way you walk, stand, and move tells people a lot about you (whether
you’re aware of it or not). In fact, every thought or feeling that you have about yourself is dis-
closed in your body language.

Think about the last party or networking event you attended. How did you decide whom to ap-
proach? What helped you figure out whether a particular person was someone you wanted to
meet?

Chances are, you observed people’s movements, their gestures, and their posture – all of those
non-verbal cues that we rely on to help us make quick decisions in social situations. At the same
time, they were making similar observations about you. What do you think your body language
was telling them?

Here are six simple things you can do (without saying a word) to convey both self-confidence
and respect for others. These two things are tied together because having respect for others is a
silent code for how we value ourselves.

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