Episode 406 - Dressing Up
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
Welcome to Awesome Etiquette, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today’s show we take your questions on politely getting out of conversations when you’re trying to work, responding to comments about being dressed up, preparing your home for younger guests, and people who bring their dogs to your house. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about dishes served with shrimp tails. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on meeting etiquette.
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. That's old fashioned
Speaker 1: watch as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person,
Speaker 2: real
Speaker 1: friendliness.
Speaker 1: Mm
Speaker 1: Hello and welcome to awesome etiquette
Speaker 2: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 1: On today's show, we take your questions on politely getting out of conversations when you're trying to work, responding to comments about being dressed up, preparing your home for younger guests
Speaker 1: and people who bring their dogs to your house
Speaker 2: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about dishes served with shrimp tails and how to navigate them.
Speaker 1: Plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a requested postscript on meeting etiquette.
Speaker 2: All that's coming
Speaker 1: up,
Speaker 2: awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of our home offices in Vermont and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute. I'm lizzie Post
Speaker 1: and I'm dan post Senning.
Speaker 2: We didn't talk about what we were going to talk about today,
Speaker 2: but I did have to use a lot of etiquette skills the other weekend because I went and crashed
Speaker 2: high school reunion, which sounds kind of geeky when I say it out loud. But my friend was going to her high school reunion and she went to like a boarding school up here in the Northeast
Speaker 2: and none of her friends from her class. We're going to go like the people she was really tight with and she really wanted to go but was feeling a little like
Speaker 2: it'd be nice to have a buddy. And since both of us are single, she was like, would you want to like be my date to this? And I was like you know, that actually does sound like fun. And so we signed up and we went and it was,
Speaker 2: it was really cool. There was a lot of small talk etiquette going on. There was a lot of the awkward group mingling introduction thing that we were talking about a couple episodes back so I was I was really impressed though these folks
Speaker 2: At the school, like the graduates who were all there and there were a number of classes, so it was like those celebrating their 10th, their 20th and their 30th reunions,
Speaker 2: They were all there and
Speaker 2: people were just, they didn't leave me hanging for very long before either my friend Marnie was able to introduce me or they would ask and what's your connection to the school or something like that and then I would say, oh I'm a guest of Marnie's like it's been a really fun weekend to come down like that sort of thing. But it was really fun and
Speaker 2: major etiquette because it was a clambake and they had, that was like the big main event for dinner. They had lobsters that have been steamed, so like a woo hoo, got to eat a whole lobster, I'm so happy whenever I get to eat lobster and it was really cool because one of the gals at our table had never taken apart deconstructed a lobster before at the table
Speaker 2: and she had like five people all walking her through it and it was so much fun watching her like
Speaker 2: be both like either frustrated or nervous about it in the beginning and then like I remember watching her pull like the whole piece of claw meat out in one fell swoop and she was like oh look I got it and it was like you know you see the big claw like that, it was so satisfying and fun and she had a really good time doing it. So it was like
Speaker 2: just etiquette all around. It was really great
Speaker 1: introductions, mix and mingle conversation skills, throw in a little probably hors d'oeuvre size and dining
Speaker 2: and dancing to. There was dancing to Oh definitely.
Speaker 2: It was really fun to kind of be out socializing where I really didn't know anybody and normally that's something that would make me nervous. But
Speaker 2: I mean, you know, 15 years at the Emily Post Institute social etiquette really does when you know it, give you some confidence and some tried and true things to fall back on when you aren't sure what to do. It was it was really fun to see the stuff we talked about in practice.
Speaker 1: It sounds like fun and I'm picturing sort of the beginning of the movie, I go to high school reunion and
Speaker 2: hijinks
Speaker 1: ensue.
Speaker 2: I was thinking of you in particular, the very end of the big night that had the clambake and the dancing. We stayed at that tent until the bitter end. There were about five or six of us left, kind of milling around, still chatting with one another,
Speaker 2: debating if we would go back to the, you know, like reunion parties at the dorms or head home to our house off campus. And as we were standing there all of a sudden
Speaker 2: all the lights went out and dan and I have laughed so hard because we have this advice that Tricia Post, my mother came up with for the last couple of editions of Emily Post etiquette where the joke is, if you really can't get your guests to leave the party,
Speaker 2: like tell them to hit the lights or hit the lights on them and just go to bed. And
Speaker 2: we've always joked that that, will people get that as a joke or will they think we really mean it.
Speaker 1: And sure enough
Speaker 2: it happened to me and it was such the signal that the party was over and we needed to leave. It worked really well. Oh,
Speaker 2: it was a blast. It was, it was a really good time though. And I loved having those social skills in my back pocket to lean on for the moments where I felt a little nervous or I felt a little out of place.
Speaker 1: Well, what a what a great way to open an etiquette show that we hadn't planned on how we were gonna open. I'll tell you lizzie post, I can't hear you talk about that and not think about a scene from my life in the last
Speaker 2: week.
Speaker 1: Well,
Speaker 1: so it's not my life, it's my daughter's life, but that's kind of what my life has turned into. I don't really have new experiences anymore. I just live vicariously through my Children,
Speaker 2: Children, they
Speaker 1: have new experiences
Speaker 1: and we went to a Vermont Classic Al's french fries
Speaker 2: after a doctor appointment. So
Speaker 1: it's just me and Anisha and I love that time. I love any solo time I get with any of my girls are now my son and
Speaker 1: we were sitting at the picnic tables in the back, They've got a new playground there and I was starting on my second pizza burger and Anisha was done her hot dog and she ran off to the playground and
Speaker 1: I was sitting with my back to the playground and it's all fenced in and contained and she, she loves that particular spot. So I knew where she was, what she was doing and by the time I had turned around, she had made a friend
Speaker 1: and she was also having interactions with friends, new friends, mother and grandmother who were on a bench in the playground watching and
Speaker 1: I watched them interact enough times that I felt comfortable when I finished my meal calling pooch, checking in, giving me 10, 15 minutes to play just to hang out before we left,
Speaker 1: when I went over to give her her five minute warning. The mother of the other little girl Brooklyn says to me, you should have seen the scene where this all started. They have made such good friends. They introduced themselves to each other, they asked each other what their ages were and what schools they went to
Speaker 1: and they've been playing ever since and I had sort of seen the playing, you know, one of them takes off shoes to go up the slide and the other, they put their own shoes all next to each other and
Speaker 1: um, they didn't want to leave. The way we finally got them to leave was we gave them synchronized
Speaker 1: time warnings to departure and then when it was time to go, it was ok, say good bye bye see you.
Speaker 1: But it was all the exact same social skills that you're talking about just on
Speaker 2: the playground
Speaker 1: place. Exactly.
Speaker 2: It
Speaker 1: was, it was just warmed all like and I'm sitting there with mom of Brooklyn and we're just sort of glowing a little bit as she's giving me the report about that social confidence and these are both recent five year olds who are headed off to school next year
Speaker 1: and both of them had, we're talking about that with each other when I mentioned to Anisha on the drive home, how proud I was of her and I just really liked the way she operated and that those were
Speaker 1: great skills that we're gonna last her whole life. She says to me, I know I'm going to school next year and I've been making friends
Speaker 2: oh my gosh, that's so fantastic, I love it, I love it, I love
Speaker 1: It. And I hope she's bringing a friend to her reunion after 20 years and they are having as much fun meeting new people and having social interactions that make them feel confident as you did this last weekend. Also
Speaker 2: it starts when we are so young because and it just never stops and that is why we get so many questions into the show, Do you think it's time to get to a few of them today?
Speaker 2: I
Speaker 1: think we probably should.
Speaker 2: Let's
Speaker 1: do
Speaker 2: it,
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions, you can email them to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. Leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind that's 8028585463.
Speaker 1: Or reach us on social media on twitter. We are at Emily Post inst on instagram, we are at Emily Post Institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette. Just remember use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: Our first question this week is titled People at the Pool,
Speaker 2: Dear lizzie and dan long time listener love the show, I have an issue that's come up several times in the past few months that I would love your help with. I am frequently at the natatorium while my Children do water sports and lessons at the pool. I typically bring things to do while I watch from the stands,
Speaker 2: this is the best time for me. I get to watch my kiddos and I get a ton done, it's air conditioned and comfortable and I love it.
Speaker 2: Lately. I've noticed that some of the mothers walk around and chat while their kids are swimming, great for them.
Speaker 2: About once a week, a mother will turn and ask me which one is my child and I will respond
Speaker 2: and they will start up a conversation.
Speaker 2: I try to present cues that I'm ready to be done with the conversation such as it was nice to meet you or I hope you enjoy the rest of practice
Speaker 2: but questions continue. I decided a few weeks back to start wearing earbuds to show that I was not up for conversations, but still I am asked
Speaker 1: questions
Speaker 2: even tapped on the shoulder. Sometimes I feel like this is a kind effort to include
Speaker 1: me,
Speaker 1: but
Speaker 2: I would rather not be included in the most polite way possible.
Speaker 2: Other things I've tried,
Speaker 1: I've
Speaker 2: moved down to the dive end of the natatorium where there are less people, same things happening.
Speaker 2: I have sat on the very last bleacher and swing my legs toward the wall to create a barrier with my computer and I still get questions
Speaker 2: yesterday, a sweet lady started asking me questions which I answered. Then I said, I'm gonna get back to this now, have a great day. And she replied, I can come sit, then sat next to me for the remainder of the hour and asked questions.
Speaker 2: I would like to be polite but I would also like to get some things done. I am currently sitting in the parking lot in my very hot car because I need to get some things done. I am frustrated because I cannot look up and see my kids. I'm sweating, I'm uncomfortable but I can't face the parents section
Speaker 2: and the social hour anymore.
Speaker 2: Am I saying things wrong. Is there a sample script that would better and more firmly and politely suggest I'm not up for lengthy conversations. I don't want to be in my car all
Speaker 1: summer.
Speaker 2: Thanks anonymous.
Speaker 1: Well anonymous. Thank you for the question and thank you for teaching me a new word natatorium
Speaker 2: No natatorium
Speaker 1: phenomenal.
Speaker 2: Great word
Speaker 1: and tough problem, tough situation. Although I don't think that this is gonna be one that's gonna hold you up for too too long. These are the best kind of problems to have. I've got this great situation. I've got a place that I love to go and I get a lot done and I watch my kids and everybody there wants to be my friend.
Speaker 2: You're right tough problems
Speaker 1: and I don't want to make light of it because it's a real thing and
Speaker 2: it is, it's
Speaker 1: not easy to draw boundaries, particularly when people are good natured and what they're trying to do is nice and kind
Speaker 2: can we also just recognize that anonymous has actually done so many of the things we would usually suggest, I feel like this is next level, like we gotta bump it up a notch, we gotta,
Speaker 2: we gotta do something because that whole like, I'm sorry, I'm going to get back to this now, have a nice day. I can, oh I can sit here, can I? It's like you're, these people are on two different like wavelengths entirely and it does feel like there's got to still be something that can be done here.
Speaker 1: There is, and I'm gonna say it's time to up the volume
Speaker 2: and that doesn't mean
Speaker 1: that the tone needs to change. You want to maintain that polite and kind tone, but you can be more firm and more direct and more clear about what your boundaries are. And
Speaker 1: as you say, lizzie, it's okay to do that because you've done all of the subtler cues, the body language cues that just positioning yourself in the building cues, even the gentle indications about your preferences
Speaker 1: and that really opens the door for you to be a little bit more explicit in terms of how you draw those boundaries and how you communicate with
Speaker 1: the people that you're sharing that time and space with.
Speaker 1: Can I try a sample script,
Speaker 2: I want to hear it, I want to hear it,
Speaker 1: thanks so much for coming to say hi, I really appreciate it. It makes me feel welcome and I love the community supporting my kids and even me,
Speaker 1: I should tell you that I use this time to get work done and keep an eye on little so and so please don't be offended, but I'm gonna stick my nose back in this computer for the rest of practice. There's something that I would really like to get finished today or while I've got this time or something like that, but I'm thinking about being more explicit about
Speaker 1: your appreciation for their effort, your understanding of the good place it's coming from, but also how you like to use that time specifically to get work done and that you really count on it. And I think those things are gonna help someone understand that you appreciate where they're coming from, you,
Speaker 1: you're not upset about that effort,
Speaker 1: but that you have a set of goals that are, that are specific to you and that really satisfy you at this time and I think that's gonna be enough information for most people to give you the space that you need.
Speaker 2: I think so too. I think so too. I probably would have shortened it myself. I
Speaker 1: know it sounds a little earnest,
Speaker 2: what I really like about your sample script dan, is that you are taking time to recognize all the good things.
Speaker 2: I think that delivery has to be um better
Speaker 1: than no,
Speaker 2: no, no, not better than yours. I think you have to make a point of making that beginning part
Speaker 2: a little slow because I think, and I don't think you did this in your example of it, but I could see someone kind of rushing through that and being like, oh thanks for coming to say hi, it's so nice that people socialize here, but you know, I really come to get work done and that starts to feel a little like
Speaker 2: sort of like your, you understand it all, you get it all and you're gonna rush someone right through to the point so they can stop bothering you and I think what I don't want to lose in yours because I like it was not in my sample script was the part where you are highlighting the goodness of what the connection does
Speaker 2: and so I would really want to add that to the type of sample script that that I had going on down at the bottom of our notes um but I would,
Speaker 1: yeah,
Speaker 2: I think I would just get to that point a little bit faster so that there's not quite so much on the front end,
Speaker 2: so it might sound something like,
Speaker 2: oh it's good to see you to the kids are having such a good, good time today, I am sorry, I want to let you know. I actually really value this time to get some work done and I do have a deadline today or maybe it's just I've I've really gotta pay attention to this so I'm gonna excuse myself and continue working on this. And
Speaker 2: I recognize that this sounds very similar to what anonymous has already done.
Speaker 2: But I think
Speaker 2: with either some direct eye contact or some even just those physical cues that are coming along with it, you might have to get up and move yourself if the person is choosing to stay where you are and I do think you you do want to apologize and say I'm sorry, I can't stay and chat but I really have to finish this so I am going to focus. I'm gonna put my earbuds in
Speaker 2: and zone in here.
Speaker 2: And I think that that that can get you pretty far, but I'm concerned about the person who just sits right down next to you and I think you might have to make a physical move like after you say this in order to go get that work done and that's that's just my perception of that that one person who was really not picking up the hint whatsoever.
Speaker 2: It might be that
Speaker 1: physical move or it might be that it it really just takes a couple of goes
Speaker 2: before
Speaker 1: they hear you.
Speaker 2: Yes and
Speaker 1: it's okay to do that. It's it's it's all right to repeat yourself if you're not being heard. And that's where the challenge becomes to maintain that
Speaker 1: polite and firm tone to not start to feel
Speaker 1: exasperated, put upon frustrated. And it can be hard not to let that become part of your communication but
Speaker 1: prepare yourself ahead of time and and stay consistent in the delivery and in the
Speaker 1: the position that you're taking that this is something you
Speaker 1: and
Speaker 1: you might want to avoid the imperative language need to do because it might not be something you need to do but something that you want to do that you're counting on doing that you're hoping to get
Speaker 2: accomplished.
Speaker 1: And and once
Speaker 2: you try that a couple of
Speaker 1: times I think that you're
Speaker 1: that you're gonna find that someone will hear that they will pick up on it eventually. There are very few people that are so socially oblivious that when you very clearly draw that boundary they continue to cross it again and again and again. The other sort of political move I was thinking about was making an effort when you get there to just do a little circuit and touch base with people. Maybe preempt the social engagement if you do pass,
Speaker 1: say hi tell people how good it is to see them engage just a little bit and then make the announcement of the declaration that you're gonna withdraw and you're gonna go do the thing that you count on doing and really like to do and if you make that effort, they might not feel like it's there.
Speaker 1: Um social responsibility or even like it would be a good thing
Speaker 1: to include you because you've already included yourself. You've been part of that community, part of that scene and you've let them know how you want to participate.
Speaker 2: I think that's probably one of the best pieces of advice out of this answer is is what you've just said to do that kind of pre engagement. Save yourself 10 15 minutes at the start of it all
Speaker 2: to kind of make the rounds, so to speak.
Speaker 2: But with each of your rounds, each conversation that you have, you have that opportunity to say. I do have some things that that I want to get to. So I'm gonna go sequester myself over in the corner and you know dive into the work that I brought with me. But it was great to catch up with you all and you know, I hope the kids have a good practice
Speaker 2: and I dan, I just think that that is the best idea.
Speaker 1: I like your excuse yourself language. Don't ever forget the power of those magic words.
Speaker 2: They
Speaker 1: are magic,
Speaker 2: anonymous. Thank you for both teaching us a new word and for sending us in your question. We certainly hope that our answer helps you enjoy that natatorium
Speaker 1: whether or not he wins in the swimming meet, he has proved to himself and to others that he is not a coward.
Speaker 1: Well, we all have little fears which hamper us. We should take a tip from Bill.
Speaker 1: Our lives can be richer, happier if we overcome our fear.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled dress and decorum
Speaker 1: Hi dan and lizzie. I hope this email finds you both. Well, I wanted to start by saying how happy I am to have found the awesome etiquette podcast
Speaker 1: as someone who suffers from pretty severe social anxiety. Listening to awesome etiquette has been a wonderful stress relief as it has given me useful information to take into social situations with the intention of being polite and considerate. So a huge thank you to you for that.
Speaker 1: However,
Speaker 2: that leads me to my
Speaker 1: question about how to address etiquette and consideration in an environment with different cultural standards.
Speaker 1: I recently moved abroad for higher education and have noticed that the culture in my newfound home is much more informal than I am used to, not just in social situations, but also in appearance.
Speaker 1: It is much more common here to wear casual clothing to work or school and loungewear and ath leisure seemed to be the norm when going out with friends or coworkers.
Speaker 1: This is very different from my home country, where putting effort into the way you look is seen as a sign of respect for yourself and the people, you spend time with
Speaker 1: this cultural clash has led to some awkward situations where new acquaintances have commented that I am dressed fancy or that they feel underdressed.
Speaker 1: It is never my intention to make others feel uncomfortable with the way I present myself.
Speaker 1: But I also do not intend to change the way I dress.
Speaker 1: I am not sure if they are intending for their comments to be seen as compliments,
Speaker 1: but I do not feel complimented by them.
Speaker 1: I do not want to be rude in any way, but I do feel that it is important to let people know when a line has been crossed. In terms of personal consideration.
Speaker 1: I am wondering if there is a polite way to make it clear that I am not trying to make others feel underdressed but that I find their comments to be inconsiderate of my culture and my feelings,
Speaker 1: thank you for all you do is greatly appreciated all the best Katie
Speaker 2: Katie, so glad that you found the show and also very exciting for you to be out sort of on on an adventure for higher education, living in a different country, experiencing new culture, that's very, very cool.
Speaker 2: But I am sorry that you're experiencing this sort of little hiccup in it. That that makes it feel a little off.
Speaker 2: And I do think there are some things that you could do
Speaker 2: for the casual moment where you show up somewhere and someone's like, oh, don't you look nice, you know, and there's kind of that little bit of tone to it, like you're definitely dressed up more than the rest of us. This is a moment that I would treat a little more casually and gently
Speaker 2: for situations where maybe a particular friend or a classmate that you socialize with very regularly or have become close to
Speaker 2: who's constantly doing it, even when you just like show up to their apartment or something like that, just to like hang out and watch a movie. That's a situation where I might be more willing to, to dive in and have that deeper conversation to let someone know that it's definitely not my intention to make them feel
Speaker 2: less dressy or maybe even feel badly about how they're dressed, but that this would also be a time where you could talk about how it makes you feel when someone points this out regularly
Speaker 2: in that group moment where maybe you're all out at a cafe or dinner together or something like that. I'd be less inclined to go into the deeper dive on my feelings, but I would be inclined to say something like,
Speaker 2: oh, well, it definitely wasn't my intention to make you feel underdressed. This is just how I dress. You know? And I'd use that kind of casualness in the bigger, more, more public version of when this happens
Speaker 2: and I'd probably do the deeper dive and let someone know how the comment makes me feel when it's someone I'm closer with and I spend a lot of time with and that comment comes from them very regularly
Speaker 2: dan. What do you think?
Speaker 1: I like the way you're thinking about different scenarios and different kinds of interactions and I was having a very similar thought. I was thinking that there are some times when someone might say something like that that's you can sense it's meant with good humor or it comes from a place of
Speaker 1: lack of consideration, but also maybe even its intended as a compliment
Speaker 1: and you don't really want to treat it as rude behavior.
Speaker 2: And
Speaker 1: I like your idea of keeping those responses
Speaker 1: shorter more direct. You know, sometimes humor might be appropriate. Oh this old
Speaker 2: thing. Other
Speaker 1: times it might be more about something that lets someone know where you're coming from. But it's it's quick and brief.
Speaker 2: Oh this this just
Speaker 1: makes me feel comfortable. I do this for me or something like that. It takes them to that place of, it's a choice that you make for yourself but you don't get into it too too much. But it gives them a sense that it also makes you feel good that it's that it's something that you like to do.
Speaker 1: I like your idea of
Speaker 1: investing more in relationships that you've invested more in when you've got people that you spend consistent time with or that are part of your social circle or even your friend group and they do something like this. That
Speaker 1: really probably is something they wouldn't do if they knew that it made you feel badly. Most people wouldn't do something that they know make someone else feel bad. That's the problem with most rude behavior. It's inconsiderate, it's something someone's not really thinking about the impact that it has. And
Speaker 1: I like your idea of investing a little more in those relationships and maybe talking a little bit about
Speaker 1: where you come from, why you like to dress that way. But getting into more of the explanation that we got in the way you ask this question
Speaker 1: and
Speaker 1: I was even thinking it might be an opportunity to explore some of those cultural differences or those different approaches and
Speaker 1: it becomes an opportunity to to learn to talk with each other about fashion and
Speaker 1: culture and society, other people's impressions, your expectations of yourself, your expectations of other people, all the things we love to talk about on this show, and that that could really open up an opportunity for someone to discover that their comments aren't being received the way they're intended without you having to tell them or really
Speaker 1: um try to adjust their behavior for them or even communicate that it's been hurting you in a way that might make them feel really bad. And that's always the tough part about rude behavior that you want to address it. You want to figure out a way to
Speaker 1: to help someone help themselves without necessarily explicitly pointing it out. And that's that's not an easy place to be.
Speaker 1: Um, but I think there's a lot of opportunity here to open up the discussion, particularly like you say, lizzie with those people that, you know, a little bit better that you have ongoing relationships with, and it's probably worth the time because those are ongoing relationships and this might come up again and again and again, otherwise
Speaker 2: dan, I also think that there's, there's room for and this won't be the right choice for everybody,
Speaker 2: but there is room, I think to take this down a couple of notches entirely, if it doesn't make you feel really bad when people say this, like if it, if it isn't
Speaker 2: super heavy, but it's more just a little annoying or for you, it's really noticeable that this conversation is repeated frequently.
Speaker 2: There is a version of this where you can just get really confident and, and, and apply a little bit of humor and when someone says like, oh boy, you look really dressy and fancy tonight, you might lean into it and say, I look good, don't I? Or something like that, like,
Speaker 2: you could bring that sense of confidence in how you choose to present yourself
Speaker 2: just to your personality within your friendships
Speaker 2: and that might be a way for you. And again, as long as, as this isn't hurtful when people are saying it to you. Um, I think that that there is a certain sort of fun nous to that, to be like, yeah, I do dress up, like I do put a little extra effort into this and I I enjoy it. I'm glad you noticed
Speaker 2: that kind of an approach.
Speaker 2: It's sort of a way to take the heft or the awkwardness out of it. I think by just applying a little bit of that, like, yeah, I'm dressed up like owning it, you know,
Speaker 1: in some ways that's inviting someone into that space
Speaker 2: of the
Speaker 1: place where you enjoy it and you sort of include them in the things about getting dressed up or
Speaker 1: really focusing on our investing in appearance, the way that works for you and you you let them feel that a little bit and you sort of teach them a little bit what feels good about that for you.
Speaker 2: I liked your use of the word invite because it got me thinking about how it might invite someone to be like, hey, can you, can you come over and help me get ready for this thing we're going to tonight, you know, because
Speaker 1: you you always
Speaker 2: look really good and I'm not saying that you're going to single handedly like change your social groups, culture,
Speaker 2: you know, in this,
Speaker 2: of this new place that you're studying in, but it's it's another version of this. You know, sometimes we're quick to go to have the serious conversation or, you know, you know, go down the kind of more serious etiquette path and sometimes humor and confidence can get you there too.
Speaker 1: There's one other thing that I wanted to mention in relation to this question and that's that there is a broad piece of etiquette advice that we give on this show, that is the caution about commenting on someone else's appearance, that
Speaker 1: we talk about harnessing the power of the compliment. And for a lot of people that's a comment on someone's appearance. And this is a discussion that we've had on the show. We've got great feedback on it and for some people that can feel really good to get a compliment about how they look for other people, comments about their appearance aren't welcome and
Speaker 1: even
Speaker 1: things that are intended as compliments. I think this is a
Speaker 1: an example of a comment that might come across
Speaker 1: where someone thinks it's okay because they're saying something positive or that what sounds to them like a compliment to someone else. It sounds like a pointing out of difference or
Speaker 1: a consistent mothering. And I think that there are all kinds of situations where we want to be careful about commenting on someone else's appearance. There's a general caution about it in the world of etiquette
Speaker 1: and
Speaker 1: I think that we want to add an extra layer to that caution that particularly when we're talking about crossing cultural lines and boundaries, commenting on someone else's appearance can bring up a lot of other things as well and I just think it's a worthwhile layer to think of when we think about that, caution on commenting about appearance.
Speaker 2: Absolutely dan. That is a really, really good point to bring up on this particular topic.
Speaker 2: Katie,
Speaker 1: thank you so much for this question. I hope that your adventures continue that you enjoy your studies and that our answer helps you feel a little more comfortable socially moving forward.
Speaker 2: Well boys, you know, is simply a state of mind.
Speaker 2: It comes as a result of confidence in the way you look.
Speaker 2: If you know you look well, your clothes are right, your makeup natural, your hair neat.
Speaker 2: The assurance of all these things brings with it that elusive poise
Speaker 2: dan. I find it very appropriate that I am reading you this question. Our next question is titled toddler traps.
Speaker 2: Dear lizzie and dan. This summer I have some very close friends coming to stay with me. They visited before. However, this will be the first time they will be traveling with their small toddler. I'm very excited to get to spend time with them all. But as a childless individual with limited baby interaction,
Speaker 2: I am terrified. My home may be filled with potential toddler traps. Do you have any advice on how to adequately prep ones home for a two year old? My biggest priority is creating a safe environment and comfortable one for the wee one and her parents.
Speaker 2: My next priority to a significant yet lesser extent is keeping my valuables unbroken and un grub bead. I love that word.
Speaker 2: Any tips you could provide would be appreciated by all parties involved. Thank you again for all that you do. I absolutely love your show and I can't wait to see the new book Best wishes chris I love this
Speaker 1: chris thank you so much for the question and we can't wait for you to see the new book too.
Speaker 2: I
Speaker 1: almost wanna with good humor switch your priorities. I think that your first priority can definitely be keeping your valuables unbroken and Grubby. And
Speaker 2: I
Speaker 1: say that not because safety isn't important, but um you can definitely trust the parents to be the most concerned about any safety questions that ultimately it is their responsibility to keep an eye on their child in new environments and
Speaker 1: that they should. And my guess is will be very keyed on taking good care of their toddler and that it is, it is really kind of you and thoughtful of you to be thinking ahead about how you can help them do their job. Well that is great hosting. So I'm a little bit just joking when I say you can switch your priorities
Speaker 2: but I also don't want you to
Speaker 1: feel the weight of that too too much and you do have some real allies and those allies are at this 0.2 years practiced in that.
Speaker 2: So
Speaker 1: I do think it's a good idea to do a sweep of your house for the things that you really care about for the things that if they were broken or damaged would make you feel bad about your host guest relationship and and and take control of that situation by moving them up. I
Speaker 1: I'm a big fan of the mantle tends to be a place that's high enough and there aren't scalable things around there that you can
Speaker 1: used to get up to it.
Speaker 1: But definitely think about getting things out of those little arms reach and I think you won't find that time misspent as far as some of those safety things. You certainly can do some things you might ask the parents ahead of time if there's anything in particular that would be helpful.
Speaker 1: They might be bringing a baby gate or something that allows them to
Speaker 1: part portion off or partition the house in a way that you could
Speaker 1: work just in the kitchen or maybe exclude a formal living room from the, the free range of the toddler who's coming.
Speaker 1: Oftentimes stairs are a big concern. So if there are any particular hazards coming up or downstairs, it might be something worth mentioning to the parents. So you can think about it ahead of time
Speaker 2: dan. I also, this is one at least from a another child free person cabinets. Low cabinets were such a thing for my sister's kids as they've been toddlers more so with my nephew than with my niece,
Speaker 2: but just grabbing some rubber bands or if you have them hair ties that you can put around like both knobs of a double cabinet or something to help keep it from from opening.
Speaker 1: I found
Speaker 2: that cabinets were always a really big thing for the dollars in my life.
Speaker 2: But I also feel like sharp corners and anything glass. Like we have a glass tabletop in my parents living room and obviously they have not, I shouldn't say obviously they chose to just not move that thing out for a few years while the kids were little
Speaker 2: and we all kind of have our eyes whenever someone is in the living room with one of the toddlers on that glass tabletop and how we're either, you know, playing with the brio trains on it or choosing to just smash our fists on it because we're too and that's what we do sometimes and it's like the glass tabletop. I feel like it's always something that's on the edge, but you mentioned corners and I think of those a lot too and that's something that you might actually talk with the parents about whether or not they can bring some of those corner caps that you can get or whether that's something you're willing to
Speaker 2: to spend a little bit of money on and they're not terribly expensive but just to be able to provide that extra level of safety. My question to you dan is how much is a parent do you expect the host that you're going to visit to do and how much do you think is really on you? As the parent?
Speaker 1: I go back to the initial thought in this question and that's that as a parent, that's really my responsibility.
Speaker 1: That when I'm taking my kids into new spaces,
Speaker 1: It's it's not everybody's responsibility to live their life without any cords attached to lamps that can break or 90° corners on their coffee tables. It's, those are things that are potential hazards for kids. And
Speaker 1: while it might be worth really, you know, dialing in certain portions of the house that they live in so that those things are are relatively safe and they can play with more freedom and in a way that's that's less encumbered or even less supervised.
Speaker 1: I don't think it's other people's responsibility to live their life that way. I think it's a really kind thing to be thinking about and
Speaker 1: I don't think it's necessarily your duty or responsibility.
Speaker 1: There is one big one that's a big safety question for parents and that's the access to outside. So
Speaker 2: whether
Speaker 1: it's the hallway in an apartment building where they very quickly can be
Speaker 1: In other people's apartments or an elevator going to 15 other floors or into a stairway or whether it's a house that has a driveway or a street nearby, whether it's a suburban area or a rural country road, those roads are real hazards for kids and
Speaker 1: thinking about where the access points are for coming and going is one of the places where as a homeowner you might
Speaker 1: have some awareness that the parents might not have coming in and that would be a place where you could say, hey, what would be good for being sure that everybody's in the house or we've really got some barriers or some thinking between the kids and the real hazards outside the home.
Speaker 1: Those are just the mission critical safety concerns, the bumps and bruises, the you break something that is hard to replace.
Speaker 1: Those all are really secondary compared to a little one getting out, getting free, becoming unsupervised in the bigger world.
Speaker 2: That's the big scary one for
Speaker 1: sure. It is
Speaker 2: aside from the breakables or the electrocution, you know, it's like it's, that's a that's a big wait, where's the kid? Oh my goodness, There's the back door shoot,
Speaker 2: you know?
Speaker 1: Yeah, so real hazards, the backyard pools, roads, stairways, those are things to to be thinking about and if there is a particular danger or a backyard that appears like it has a fence, but there's actually big gaps in it behind that hedge and that hedge, those are things that that you can do your part as a host, being sure to mention talk with a parent about them, even if you don't have to rebuild the whole fence and be sure it's all secure,
Speaker 1: you can let them know, being
Speaker 2: aware of it. Yeah,
Speaker 1: that awareness, I think that's a great way to, to talk about it. I think that's probably the best thing that you can bring to this situation. And it sounds like you've already got that. Thinking this far ahead
Speaker 1: about ways that you can help I think shows a lot of forethought a lot of that awareness and actually gives me a lot of confidence to joke about things like the safety being less important than your breakables when we all know that safety is the thing that's most important.
Speaker 2: Absolutely
Speaker 2: chris we're so happy for you that you're getting to visit with your friends again and getting a chance to really get to know their toddler.
Speaker 2: It sounds like you are on the right track for making this a really welcoming and wonderful visit for your friends. And we think you're going to do just fine.
Speaker 1: What do you do? Just let him go hog
Speaker 2: wild. No but you let him get it out of his system.
Speaker 2: Well how will you let him yell at you sometimes? Without getting mad at him
Speaker 2: and you let him take it out on his toys.
Speaker 2: Oh that's nonsense. Helen.
Speaker 1: Our next question is about four legged guests. People often bring their dogs with them to other people's houses. I'm hesitant to host get togethers because of this. How do I express at the point of invitation that the invitation is for the person and not their pet
Speaker 1: Ashley
Speaker 2: Ashley in a perfect world. Your guests would be asking at the point of R. S. V. P. Whether or not their dog or
Speaker 1: hamster
Speaker 2: or ferret or cat or goldfish are welcome to come. Pet turtle are welcome to come and that gives you the perfect opportunity to say oh we're actually gonna have this just be a people event this time. But thank you so much for asking and that
Speaker 2: would be just such a smooth and wonderful host guest dance. And yet we all know that doesn't always happen. Some people think that because their dog is tiny it doesn't count as a pet or because they hold it the entire time it won't ever be a nuisance. And I think it's just really important to remind all the
Speaker 2: pet owners out there who are myself and dan included
Speaker 2: that our pets, even though their beloved family members um they might even be security blankets after two years of a pandemic.
Speaker 2: They are not welcome everywhere and that we really do have to ask each time if it's okay. It's an important part of being a good pet guardian pet owner whatever your preferred words are.
Speaker 2: It's really important that we recognize that in an increasingly I think mostly dog friendly world that we want to be aware that we need to continually ask whether our dogs are welcome or whether this is a pet friendly event
Speaker 2: and the R. S. V. P. Is the perfect time to do that. And I think if you're not getting the question
Speaker 2: then I think prompting it at the point of R. S. V. P. Is a really good thing to do. But as dan knows it's all in how you do it that's going to make a difference dan. What's a good way to ask this question or two to address this question. If the pet owner has not asked about it at the R. S. V. P.
Speaker 1: I was imagining two scenarios one where you know the person know the pet and it's happened before. So there's a reasonable expectation on your part that this person might be either bringing their pet or considering it or just just might do it. And
Speaker 1: I think that if that's the case it's not just okay but it's important that you say something when that R. S. V. P. Response happens in some ways if it's happened before and nothing's been said.
Speaker 1: Sometimes people view the silence as agreement or permission. And so if it's happened a couple of times and nothing's been said the onus might really be on you to be explicit about changing that expectation even if it is something they should have asked about already.
Speaker 1: So in that particular case I would definitely say something and
Speaker 1: I would try to keep the focus on the event that's coming. Not the behavior or action in the past you might mention it as the lead into why you're raising it but that it's not that you're upset that it's happened before or angry about it or scolding someone for doing it without asking. But you want to let them know that for
Speaker 1: saturday night's event or saturday afternoon's barbecue whatever it is. Um That you really are excited that they're coming but you're hoping that people leave their pets behind for X. Y. Or Z. Reason or even if you don't want to give a reason just that you're wanting to keep it a people event and you're hoping that people can leave pets behind.
Speaker 2: Yeah not even using the word hoping but instructing people. Your sister in law does this on invitations. And and while I think you and I would often suggest doing it at the point of an R. S. V. P.
Speaker 1: To get to this question next.
Speaker 2: Never felt that Susan's um version of it felt bad or or rude or
Speaker 2: down on pets. She always says something like we love all of our four legged family friends. However we'd really like to we were asking that this be a people only event and that like you know it's it's just it just works. It's like I get what she means like often when I'm coming up
Speaker 2: especially back in the day when I visited them a little bit more often.
Speaker 2: Benny would come with me and knowing that for a big party they just don't want to have all the dogs running around or have any issues between pets and that kind of thing. It made it really simple and clear and I was always really grateful for that.
Speaker 1: Well there you go because my my follow up question was going to be with all those people who don't have a history with you of doing this.
Speaker 1: Would you just put it on the invitation to try to head it off? And it sounds like you're that's an absolute yes to that one. Well
Speaker 2: it's it's an absolute yes with a caveat. I think it works when like that was a that's a to a family barbecue. You know where she's just writing to all of us posts and settings and
Speaker 2: bakers and I feel like that
Speaker 2: is kind of like within the fam zone. You know what I mean? Like we all speak each other's language. We all know each other's intention. There's a lot
Speaker 1: we were talking about. We know
Speaker 2: that we know the person we're talking about me. Um We know like we really know what's going on here
Speaker 2: and I feel like that's why that works so well. But for anything outside of that I would probably try to keep it to the R. S. V. P. And if folks haven't called you to R. S. V. P. I would call them and check in about it
Speaker 2: and also give them the heads up when you check in that you are hoping for this to be a people only party and that might impact their decision.
Speaker 2: Some folks are dealing with pets that need a lot of care or maybe a brand new puppy that can't be left home alone for very long. There are all kinds of different reasons why someone might say oh boy, you know for a party that long without being able to bring, you know fluffy with me.
Speaker 2: I'm unfortunately not able to attend right now. And sometimes end of life care for pets, you know and that that last year or two of their life there can be a lot of situations like that. So
Speaker 2: um and again also with like puppies and when you're when you're training those little tiny cute fuzzy things. But it's worthwhile to when you're not in that family zone
Speaker 1: really
Speaker 2: work. The R. S. V. P. Whether that's you reaching out or them calling to R. S. V. P. Um to have that one on one conversation and make it explicitly clear in a kind friendly way.
Speaker 1: Always
Speaker 1: it's so true that often the etiquette is in the how it's not in the if for the weather but the how you do something. And
Speaker 1: that's specifically what Ashley was asking, how do I express at the point of invitation if you are in that more familiar family zone,
Speaker 1: it's ok to mention on the invitation. But I would really keep the invitation focused on what you're inviting for. I'd make the pet mention a little something extra. So I wouldn't say we're really looking forward to having a pet free barbecue. This saturday you're
Speaker 2: invited.
Speaker 1: It's we're really looking forward to the barbecue this saturday. You're invited.
Speaker 1: Little addendum or little extra asterix at the end. We're hoping to keep this a people only event so if pets could remain at home it would be appreciated.
Speaker 2: I love it. Every
Speaker 1: once in a while I pull out a sample script.
Speaker 2: You do better than you give yourself credit for. Actually thank you so much for this question. We know that a lot of folks deal with this and we really hope that our answer helps you and everybody out there who's planning for a pet free event.
Speaker 2: Thank you for your question, please send us updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette. Emily Post dot com. You can leave a voicemail or text message at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463. Or you can reach us on social media on twitter. We're at Emily Post on instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on facebook we are the Emily Post
Speaker 1: Institute.
Speaker 1: Just
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Speaker 1: we know you want your
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Speaker 1: If you enjoy awesome etiquette, consider becoming a sustaining member. You can find out more about this by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette, you'll get an ads free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content. Plus you'll feel great knowing that you helped to keep awesome etiquette on the air
Speaker 1: and to those of you who are already sustaining members. Thank you so much for your support.
Speaker 2: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer and the topics we cover, and today we have two pieces of feedback. Our first is from Carol on episode 404 and wedding gifts
Speaker 1: Greetings on a recent episode, # 404, you shared a letter from a woman dealing with awkward in law questions about the value of wedding gifts received.
Speaker 1: One suggested remedy was the deletion of the detailed wedding gift list she kept.
Speaker 1: I would like to share my perspective from 50 plus years of marriage every few years or so. While sorting through old papers, I run across the list of our wedding gifts from the people who loved us and shared our joy.
Speaker 1: Those memories are always a deep delight to rekindle and I'm so glad the list has survived. Think twice before discarding what can become cherished memories as the years go by.
Speaker 1: Love and hearts sincerely carol.
Speaker 2: Thank you carol for that feedback. We also have feedback from anonymous on episode 404 and the question about whether or not a daughter should give her aunt a ring she inherited after learning there were bad feelings about the ring having gone to the daughter and not the aunt
Speaker 1: Hi Lizzie and Dan. I wanted to offer my thoughts in response to episode 404, particularly the situation with the listener who had inherited her grandmother's jewelry and later learned that her aunt had also wanted it.
Speaker 1: It was her father's wish that she received the wedding rings and that wish was fulfilled.
Speaker 1: What the listener chooses to do with them is now up to her
Speaker 1: as someone who was often thinking of the karma of the universe. I would personally choose to give them to my aunt
Speaker 1: if my past experience with karma tells me anything, the rings will find their way back to her in time.
Speaker 1: It is beautiful to imagine her aunt enjoying them for a number of years and then the listener inheriting them once again before one day passing them on to another loved one.
Speaker 1: My husband proposed to me with a very special diamond the diamond his grandmother wore on her wedding band for over 70 years.
Speaker 1: His grandmother's wedding band had three diamonds, so each of her daughters received a diamond after her passing.
Speaker 1: Certainly this won't be possible with every piece of jewelry, but it was a great solution for their family and I felt incredibly lucky to receive this little piece of a lifelong love story,
Speaker 1: anonymous,
Speaker 2: anonymous. Thank you so much for that feedback, We really appreciate your perspective.
Speaker 1: It seems like episode 404 inspired a lot of thought there were some tough questions in that episode.
Speaker 2: There were, I remember going through it being like, whoa, okay,
Speaker 2: well thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please do keep them coming. You can send your feedback or update to awesome etiquette Emily post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 K I N D. That's 8028585463.
Speaker 2: It's time for a post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today we are going to talk about meetings and meeting etiquette at the suggestion of a long time listeners husband who wrote in saying, I'm not sure you've covered this or at least not for a while. So we thought it'd be a good time to revisit meeting etiquette.
Speaker 1: Oh, just give me an excuse to talk business etiquette in
Speaker 2: june right? And
Speaker 1: the funny thing is actually, really, I'm looking for that excuse. I like to talk business etiquette. It's one of my favorite things and as the summer starts to roll on those opportunities get fewer and fewer because let's face it, we're all thinking about barbecues right now,
Speaker 2: which
Speaker 1: is a great time to refocus on professionalism because it's important.
Speaker 1: And one of the times that it's particularly important is when we're getting together for meetings because by definition meetings or social experiences, people are taking their time to get together to accomplish a task and
Speaker 1: particularly when the summer is calling but at any time that is a moment to tune up your etiquette because you're with other people and you're there to get something done and the ways that you can
Speaker 1: interact and moderate your social engagement to support that task of getting something done is a big part of being successful and successful at navigating that meeting. Well,
Speaker 1: lizzie post, should we roll through some tips or are there any broad thoughts you have about meetings and meeting etiquette?
Speaker 2: I was just thinking about how our meeting, I was trying to think about the various meetings that I experienced that Emily post these days and it's so different from when we first started at the institute and we had
Speaker 2: An office full of 12 people and now it's, it's you and me on our phone daily, you know, so it's really different
Speaker 1: yeah,
Speaker 2: how our meetings have changed over the years, how a lot of them
Speaker 2: frankly have been eliminated due to just one on one interaction and working with smaller teams and that sort of thing,
Speaker 2: but that all of the things that I'm seeing on our list are still really important and I think there are things that you and I actually execute even in just our one on one meetings with each other and so I think they're really good things to go through
Speaker 2: and you know me, I'm a big fan of number one, this is like for a punctuality girl, the 1st 1st tip being on time is like one, I'm a big geek about, I love, I love being on time for things.
Speaker 1: You could almost start any etiquette tip list on any subject or topic and the first items that give me beyond time.
Speaker 2: It is,
Speaker 1: it's particularly important in business where all the old cliches apply. Time is money, dollars saved is a dollar earned on and on and on. It matters. It matters that you honor people's schedules and that you keep your time commitments that you honor time contracts
Speaker 1: says the guy who was 10 minutes late to the podcast recording this morning,
Speaker 2: I wasn't gonna say anything. But
Speaker 1: what did the guy who's going to be late do as soon as he knew that's what was happening, he sent a text saying 9 10 start and it's not ideal
Speaker 2: Where I tease you that we started at 9:14 and then the phone died. So we actually started at 9.20. no,
Speaker 2: you can
Speaker 1: do that. I can survive
Speaker 2: just for fun because it wasn't a big deal being like it, it didn't really impact us today. So it was fine. I'll
Speaker 1: tell you though, I would have been much less comfortable about that. If there had been
Speaker 1: one or 2 other people
Speaker 2: involved, it
Speaker 1: Started to be a situation where I was asking that 15 minutes not of one person but of three people. Okay that's actually asking for 45 minutes of other people's time
Speaker 1: or if the stakes for that, that time that meeting were higher. If it wasn't about
Speaker 1: makeup podcast morning catch up, but a meeting with the vice president or an external client and I definitely lean on your and my long term relationship and acknowledge that that's a part of that decision making process in the ways that I manage that time and keep those time commitments
Speaker 1: anyway, we're only on the first item, so I'm gonna keep going. So this postscript doesn't go forever. My second big tip for meetings is that you want to know your role just like sitting down at the dining room table.
Speaker 1: It's a different set of expectations. If you're sitting down as the host, the person who's planned the meal and invited everyone or if you're the guest who's showing up and following that host lead and cues
Speaker 1: and experiencing
Speaker 1: something that someone else has organized and put together. So if you're an organizer or a leader,
Speaker 1: your expectations are going to be very different than your expectations. If you're a participant or a guest and understanding the role that you're playing is going to help you figure out whether
Speaker 1: you're responsible for that on time. Start agenda at the beginning, warning about the closing at the end and finishing on time,
Speaker 1: handing out task lists, follow up two DUIs or whether your job
Speaker 1: is to show up with bells on, ready to listen, ready to engage and participate but not dominate or take over
Speaker 1: and follow your host cues about
Speaker 1: when to start, how the agenda proceeds and how you're going to conclude at the end
Speaker 2: dan, I think it's, it is really important. This second point that you've just made here, because it can be really easy when you're not the one who had to prepare all the materials for a meeting, when you're not the one leading the meeting to just think, oh, my presence doesn't matter quite as much.
Speaker 2: And if you've been asked to participate in a meeting, your presence
Speaker 2: does matter and it is required and there is a reason that you're participating in this. And I think that's a, it's just a really important point to make that even if you're not responsible for everything, you might be very responsible for listening and participating well,
Speaker 1: and sometimes it's not that you're going to be assigned a task or that you even have a role at the meeting,
Speaker 2: but sometimes
Speaker 1: the work of a meeting is starting to build consensus, not in terms of everyone's active agreement, but consensus and thought in just people's awareness of what's happening, how a projects developing what stage we're at of it,
Speaker 1: it might be that it's gonna take a couple of get togethers before you're embedded enough that you're actually gonna be contributing and idea waiting, thinking about new things or even knowing where you can offer to help support what's already going on. But I think that's a really, really important point lizzie if you're there, there's a reason that you're there, there's a reason someone invited you and wanted you there. And
Speaker 1: if it seems like that's not obvious to you, either talking to someone ahead of time to clarify expectations or leaning into that meeting a little bit more to try to figure out what that role is or that y is is a great task to assign yourself
Speaker 2: dan. I love this next point because it's something you and I are doing right now for a big marketing meeting for our, our big book launch that we have on Tuesday of this week and that is to come prepared to a meeting and I got downright giddy when we were on a call yesterday
Speaker 2: and you said, oh that's right, we've got this meeting on Tuesday. I really, I'm gonna be thinking about these things over the weekend and I'm
Speaker 2: gonna be bringing x, y and z and even us just having that conversation was a version of preparing for that meeting on Tuesday and I really, I really love the tip of come prepared because it gets you. It's got forethought
Speaker 2: um it means that you are going to be really ready to participate, even if that's just listening. It is that forethought of thinking ahead
Speaker 2: and recognizing how you are going to be participating, that I think sets you up really, really well when you are in the meeting
Speaker 1: and sometimes that role is going to be listening and when I'm talking to new hires or potential leaders, I say bring
Speaker 2: bring a pad and a
Speaker 1: pen to the meeting or if you're gonna take your notes on your tablet, tell people you're gonna be taking notes on your tablet. So they don't think you're doing other things but
Speaker 1: give the appearance or act as if something might happen, that would be important enough for you to want to write it down and remember it later. And that can be part of creating that that active listening posture that tells people that you're really engaged and that you're ready for something to happen. That's going to be a value to you that you want to retain.
Speaker 1: You can also communicate that just by sitting up in your chair and I don't mean ramrod straight stiff at attention the whole meeting,
Speaker 1: but I mean not checked out, I mean not slouched back in your chair, arms and legs crossed in front of you, yawning, periodically tapping your fingers, watching the fan spin
Speaker 2: using your hand to hold up your head, you know, with your elbow resting on the table,
Speaker 2: be a
Speaker 1: team player show up with, with an active and attentive engagement and
Speaker 1: whether that's
Speaker 1: in anticipation of speaking or contributing or whether that's really just to follow along and to learn
Speaker 1: it's really important and it's one of the most important roles you're going to play at most meetings. Those meetings where we get to lead, where we have a big presentation are exciting and people focus on them and they're oftentimes very important moments in our lives. It's likely that much more of your time participating in these situations is going to be spent in that role of an attentive and active listening participant
Speaker 1: and really embracing that role as one of your keys to success by
Speaker 2: sitting up straight. It does a lot. So our final point about in person or phone meetings that I really love because it always felt like
Speaker 2: the way you move forward after a whole lot of things are discussed is to clarify expectations and follow through.
Speaker 2: I loved it when, after our monday morning staff meetings at Emily Post, I could have sort of a little punch list or task list coming out of that meeting for the things I was focusing on that week or maybe some more detailed things about a particular project that was happening. I geek out about this last point that when you walk away from a meeting, you want to be really clear about what's supposed to happen next
Speaker 2: and it might mean that you don't have anything to do either. You're waiting on other people to get you things or just your role isn't one that's gonna be participating in in the actions that come out of the meeting, but I do love myself getting that little list of of what's going on, what are the next steps to take?
Speaker 2: What have we accomplished by talking about this and where does it lead us to next?
Speaker 2: So I'm always, I'm always a big fan of the end of the meeting. When it's kind of like the tasks are being doled out and the deadlines, you know, I love a good deadline, get listed and commitments are made.
Speaker 1: Well I know you love a deadline and I know everyone loves meetings that finish on time. All of you meeting leaders out there or anyone responsible for organizing a meeting, putting an end date on things or putting an end time on things is really important. So set a cap if you can
Speaker 1: and really try to ensure that it helps people to know
Speaker 1: both when to expect to be there and also when they can expect to be finished
Speaker 1: we would be remiss if in our current environment we didn't mention just a couple of expectations for meetings that happen via video or remote meetings.
Speaker 1: The three tips on our new courtesy slide that follows the meeting tips slide in our presentation deck
Speaker 1: reminds people to test their tech ahead of time, know how your platform works, download the most updated software for doing Microsoft teams. If you're a regular zoom user and someone asks you to go to a teams meeting, test your platform, test your systems, test your connections ahead of time,
Speaker 1: people had a lot of patients, a, lot of tolerance for distractions and tech disruptions. When people were first learning how to use these technologies, they've been around long enough that more and more. The expectation is that when everybody's ready to go, you're also going to be ready to go. Part of that. Being ready in the world of video meetings is that you're ready to turn your camera on.
Speaker 1: The, the expectation that your camera on isn't just there for when you're presenting or talking,
Speaker 1: it's really there for participating in the meeting. The difference for a presenter talking to a series of black boxes or seeing people's faces, seeing the responses, seeing the engagement, seeing what connects and what doesn't
Speaker 1: is vitally important. It's why people schedule video meetings, they're not as dynamic as the in person experience. You don't get as much information as you do when you're in a room with others, but you get a lot more information than when you're just hearing someone's voice. So if people have made the effort to be it
Speaker 1: a meeting that allows for that video to be on and a certain percentage of people I eat, anyone who's at the meeting as their video on, strongly, strongly strongly consider holding yourself accountable and being sure your camera is on as well.
Speaker 1: And then the follow up to that is that you've got decent light that your camera is located near the screen that you're looking at so that you have some semblance of eye contact happening at least in a virtual sense with the people that you're communicating with. So
Speaker 1: lights, camera action be ready to go and then participate
Speaker 2: dan. I've noticed that our technology has gotten better and so many people I see now using the feature that kind of keeps the person in focus but blurs out everything just around them.
Speaker 2: And that that's such a great way for being able to handle a situation where maybe your room isn't quite as put together as you would like it to be in the background right? We don't all have to live in a in a tv set in a video set
Speaker 2: for us to have a good image around us. There are a lot of solutions nowadays that don't just involve putting you
Speaker 2: with like a fake background of a beach and a palm tree you know to be able to have a good scene going on. I've I've noticed almost all the sales people that we work with do that feature where it kind of blurs out the background but they're nice and crisp and clean and I can focus on them.
Speaker 2: But it is worthwhile saying when you do have video going if you're not going to be using something like that to check the background,
Speaker 2: make sure that it looks appropriate for the type of meeting that you're attending.
Speaker 1: Try to minimize distractions, Children pets and it's not always possible but peter used to talk about, he knew when the garbage truck pulled up at the Adams
Speaker 2: school on
Speaker 1: Wednesday B. B. And he knew not to schedule meetings right then
Speaker 1: you can't always do that. But as much as you can control those background noises and distractions, people will appreciate it.
Speaker 2: What's your final tip for video calls these days?
Speaker 1: It's a tough one. It's related to the listening in person but it's that when you are using technology for a meeting, you really want to avoid interrupting if possible, let people finish their thoughts, finish their ideas
Speaker 1: for two people that record podcasts and like to interrupt each other. It's tough advice to give. But for most meetings you're better off really waiting for clear breaks in the action, letting people finish thoughts, complete sentences is advisable in person. It's even more advisable when you've got some technology and potentially a little bit of lag in that technology. I could go on and on about meetings because
Speaker 1: they're fun to talk about and there is so much etiquette that's involved.
Speaker 2: I want to
Speaker 1: put a little bit of a to be continued at the end of this post script. When we got the request to cover this topic. The topic of robert's rules was mentioned and it made me think about
Speaker 1: the before times when the Duxbury town meeting still happened in person and I'm looking forward to the return of those times again and I got to act as the moderator for the annual town meeting,
Speaker 2: you were the moderator of those meetings in person and I've
Speaker 1: retained the position. The town has continued to vote me in through Australian ballot, even though we haven't had a town meeting in a couple of years and
Speaker 1: my thought is that it's it's it's a little ways away. But as March approaches next year and as I get ready and review my robert's rules, I promise to return to this topic and we'll take a look at robert's rules and etiquette and meetings essentially the more formal version we call it the black tie version of the meeting.
Speaker 2: I like it, we're gonna hold you to that. Thanks so much for bringing us some awesome meeting etiquette advice this poster,
Speaker 1: We
Speaker 2: like to end our show on
Speaker 1: a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world and that can come in so many forms. Today we have a salute from lacey
Speaker 2: Dear A. E team. I have a three in one etiquette salute to share last week. I know right last week my two boys ages nine and 11, their baby sister aged six months and myself were invited to spend the day at a friend's house to swim.
Speaker 2: We know this lady from church and her son and my sons are friends.
Speaker 2: We spent the day with them last year, but now I had a new addition to the family. I brought everything I needed for baby girl only to find out I didn't need anything. Our hostess had baby toys, a blanket, a stocked diaper caddy
Speaker 2: and even a pack in play with a baby monitor in a separate room where my daughter could take a nap.
Speaker 2: I was so thankful for the welcoming baby friendly environment. Our hostess had babysat her granddaughter in the past and was willing to share the accommodations with us. She also served as lunch and didn't accept any offer from me to bring anything, although I would have been more than happy to help
Speaker 2: furthermore. Her son, who is about my two sons age, spent hours making my son's sheriff badges out of cardboard and reinforced with plastic.
Speaker 2: You can tell he spent a lot of time on it and was very proud to give them to my sons. They played sheriff and ended up taking the badges home with them.
Speaker 2: The next day my two sons expressed that they wanted to write thank you cards for their friend and make him his own homemade gift. As a thank you. They are working on that project today. All around. This was a pleasant day out.
Speaker 2: It is usually difficult to lug three Children out for a day and the generosity, hospitality and kindness made it all possible. So here's to our hostess. Her kind son and my grateful two sons for their wonderful displays of etiquette.
Speaker 2: Thank you so much lacey wow, that is a whole lot of good etiquette going on. Just kept
Speaker 1: rolling and loving it more and more,
Speaker 2: you know.
Speaker 1: And then they wanted to send a thank you note,
Speaker 2: awesome etiquette right there.
Speaker 2: Lacey. Thank you so much for sharing this etiquette salute with us
Speaker 1: and thank you for listening.
Speaker 2: Thank you to everyone who sent us something and everyone who supports us over on
Speaker 1: Patreon,
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Speaker 2: Our show is edited by the awesome chris Albertine and assistant produced by the amazing Bridget Dowd. Thanks
Speaker 1: Thanks Brigitte.
Speaker 2: Mhm