A Word of Advice

The Cleveland School of Etiquette

Etiquette, Manners and Social Skills Blog articles on the art of social grace

Today’s global marketplace is moving very quickly.  We decide if we like and trust someone in the first seven seconds of meeting them. That is why it is important that we create a favorable, lasting impression immediately. For example, “If I like you, I will educate you, hire you, promote you, dine with you, socialize with you, help you and introduce you to others that will do the same”. That is why it is important that we are knowledgeable about proper business etiquette. Our social skills need to surpass product knowledge because a person will train you on a product but not on how to convey a favorable impression.  It is the combination of your appearance, your manners and your body language that creates your image. If one of the elements is off, it will affect how you are viewed.  We need to be cognizant of how we are perceived. Are you presenting the best personal/professional image? Read our Etiquette Blog articles and see how you might handle situations differently. You might even be interested in taking one of our programs.

Team business meeting

Why it is vital to provide personal and professional development in today’s competitive market?

Investing in protocol training allows employers to attract individuals who are drawn to cultures that promote growth ultimately benefiting both the employee and the company long term.

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Colleen on Fox8 New Day Cleveland

Get your manners in line for 2024

Colleen discusses manners in 2024 with New Day Cleveland on Fox 8. Watch the video here or below:

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Colleen on Fox8

Back to school etiquette tips

Colleen discusses tipping on New Day Cleveland on Fox 8.

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New Day Cleveland

To tip or not to tip?

Colleen discusses tipping on New Day Cleveland on Fox 8.

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WTAM Newsradio

Colleen talks about etiquette on WTAM radio in Cleveland

Brad Sussman of WTAM News Radio 1100 in Cleveland interviews Colleen Harding about etiquette in today’s society.

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Teen with adult

Please don’t ask our children to call you by your first name

When we were young, our parents would introduce us to adults and say, “this is Mr. ____, or this is Miss_____ or Mrs. ____,” and we would say “hello Mrs. ______.” It was how we showed respect for an adult – someone older than us and had earned the right to be respected. We never

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Group call on computer

Zoom etiquette

Life is showing signs of a return to the old normal. Commuters are starting to fill the highways in the mornings. We are coming out of our home offices and finding our way back to the board rooms, or are we??? This pandemic has introduced a very different way of conducting business. If you are

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Woman in blazer

Does how we dress affect our presentation and confidence?

When we were growing up, our mother would tell us to get up and get dressed you’ll feel better. My grandmother would say put some makeup on or run the vacuum cleaner when someone had spent too much time being sick or down. It seems rather rough today at a time when mental health appears

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Can we be civil?

For months we have observed the anger, disrespect, and conflict play out in astronomical proportions. Some have attributed to racial injustice and some to Covid 19 and lack of social interaction or leadership. Regardless, ask yourself, can we calm down and breathe for a minute? At this point, is it possible to listen? I realize

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Young man in suit

How to raise a gentleman

If you follow the news and current events, one observation comes to mind. We are a bit starved for gentlemen and some leadership. My statement is not a political crack on anyone. Repeat my comment is NOT meant to criticize anyone. It is also not meant to sound sexist. This article is about our boys,

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Time To Rise

Etiquette in a Virtual Business Development World webinar

  It’s Time to Rise! The business landscape has changed. Our new normal will be different. For those who take action, there will be abundance.   Join the Client Experience Institute (CEI) on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 9:30 AM for a 45-minute ZOOM Time to Rise event where we will be discussing Etiquette in a Virtual

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Protocol in 2020

Will etiquette and having good manners be a priority in the future? It’s a great question. Today, we are not experiencing a shortage of bad behavior. We are surrounded by it. Individuals are making poor choices and being rude on every corner. Everywhere we look, TV, Internet, Business, Dating, Socializing, Schools, Universities, etc…. It’s all

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Colleen Harding with Mike Polk Jr. of WKYC Channel 3

How to be a Good Guest

The season is upon us when frequent visits and invitations appear. Holiday time is an excellent time to rekindle old relationships and appreciate current ones. It has been coined “a time of giving” but only those who truly give (time, talent and treasure) appreciate the season in its true splendor. While we are giving, visiting

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Family at the dinner table

What does it mean to be from a good family

What does it mean to be from a “Good Family”? It may seem a bit old fashion, but it says a lot about a person or family. I use the term quite often when it’s appropriate. I started thinking about what the term meant and if it meant the same thing to everyone that uses

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Couple on a date

Is Anyone Dating Anymore?

Is Anyone Dating Anymore? When I was young, we dated and the people before that dated and the people before them dated. It was how we got to know each other and decide if there was a connection. If there was a connection, we dated more until a decision was made to make it more

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People with emojis

Emojis and Emotion

Emojis and Emotion. It is pretty standard to receive a message with a character or a symbol attached to it these days. The emblem suggests our mood and how we would like the message to be accepted. It’s pretty terrific when you think about it. In the past, we had to rely on the state

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Can We Play It By Ear?

I invited a friend and her family to come over for a family night.  Bond fire,  flashlight tag with the kids, S’Mores etc.  It was going to be a casual and relaxing evening to visit and enjoy the Fall.   Her reply to me was pleasant  but contingent on another individual.  She had invited a

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Is there a general, universal definition of what is considered appropriate behavior for the workplace?

Is there a general, universal definition for appropriate behavior in the workplace? The simple answer is no!  A universal definition of appropriate behavior for every environment would require little diversity. However, any behavior, language or gesture that makes someone feel uncomfortable is unacceptable and should be discontinued.  If you work in a less formal environment

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Etiquette vs. Anger

Recently, I have been having a difficult time promoting good manners.  Not because I don’t see a need, but because of the recent outbreak of pure anger on TV, the Internet, Newspapers, Social Media etc.  Between the hate and the hurt, it is a trying time in our country.  It is very difficult for people

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Our Mother Taught Us That Life is Hard

Life is Hard! Recently I had a conversation with my daughter that made me think about our mother.  I asked her why she didn’t want to do something and she said because it was hard.  As adults, we don’t like to do things that are hard either.  Perhaps we are passing it on to our

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etiquette in Cleveland

Is Etiquette Important in Cleveland, Ohio?

Is Etiquette Important in Cleveland, Ohio? It’s an odd question because, at first, you think the answer would be, “Of course!” Then, you think, “Well maybe, but where are people using proper protocol? Who is using proper manners? Who’s teaching etiquette and to whom? Does it really matter if others are not using any manners?

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encouraging leadership is important

Why Encouraging Leadership is Important

Bad behavior seems to be at an epidemic level these days. This is why encouraging leadership is so important.  Individuals are choosing to work the system and take things that do not belong to them instead of doing what is right and honest. Recently, 60 Minutes featured a story about what is going on with

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hang up the phone

Hang Up the Phone and Shop

Hang up the phone and shop! The holiday season is upon us. Soon the shopping malls and stores will be filled with excited shoppers holding their lists, anticipating responses for gifts and gestures. I love holiday shopping. Excitement and unexpected surprises surround us. People meet for holiday lunches with packages and gifts. The smell of

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RSVP and Regrets Only!

Holiday time is just around the corner, and many will be planning to entertain for business and personal reasons. Many will send invitations that request a RSVP or Regrets Only response. It is important to respect what the host or hostess is asking with these terms. RSVP is a French term, “repondez s’il vous plait,” which means

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Will Etiquette Disappear?

Recently I conducted a class in which an individual asked if manners and etiquette will disappear after the older generations pass away? The person put it in different terms, but the premise was the same. I replied, “Absolutely not!” and here’s why: Yes, etiquette will continue to change and evolve just like everything else in

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Punch Up Your Power Lunch with the Food Network

By Jason Brill Assistant editor Jason Brill sits down with Colleen Harding, founder of the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol, to discuss how to punch up your power lunch. Hodge’s, Downtown Cleveland The waiter comes over. Waiter: Hello. How are you doing? CH: Good, thanks. Waiter: Are we doing drinks to start beside

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Dining versus Eating

What is the Difference Between Eating and Dining?

There was a time when people slowed down to share a meal with friends or family. It was a time to relax and socialize. There was no rushing or reaching or harsh words used at this table. Everything was done slowly, gracefully, and with purpose. A dining experience was pleasant and civilized. Today we are

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email etiquette pros and cons

Email Etiquette, Pros and Cons

An email is a fabulous tool. It truly is an excellent way to communicate when a person is in a hurry and needs to send a quick message. It is also a terrific way to send a response without bothering someone. You may send a message when you have the time, and it allows the

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encourage future leaders

Teaching Our Kids to Become Future Leaders

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a luncheon hosted by the Rotary Club of Cleveland. The luncheon included the top three speeches from a recent contest that the Rotary hosted for several local high school students. The winner of the contest will represent our city at the regional finals.The young man who won gave

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the death of common courtesy

Is Common Courtesy Dead?

In the 1960s and ’70s, it became popular to break the rules. It seemed that people were trying to be noticed by being rebellious. It was mainly the younger generations that were introducing the “shock factor” to society. They were very vocal about that fact that they were going to be different by destroying the

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4 Commonly Asked Etiquette Questions

I am asked many questions regarding etiquette.  Here are the top 4 etiquette questions commonly asked. 1) What is the No. 1 mistake that people make at the table? Poor posture! We spend so much time in front of a computer or sitting that, many times, our posture literally curves. As a result, our face ends up

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How to Make Better New Year’s Resolutions

As the holidays quickly approach, New Year’s resolutions start to surface. Some want to get into shape, and some are going to diet. Some don’t do anything at all and hope that something good just happens. Other say, “Why set yourself up to fail?” No one ever keeps these promises past January, so why bother?

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Holiday Etiquette is about Selflessness

The holidays are once again upon us. It is a time to entertain and socialize with friends, family, and business associates. So, what is holiday protocol? Etiquette is about what we do to make people feel comfortable in our presence. It requires us to put our own wants, needs, and desires aside and think of

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3 Tips on Response Time

How often have you heard, “I left them a message, but they didn’t respond or I never heard back”? Today we are busy. We are very busy, but that does not excuse us from basic, common, polite, practices like returning calls, messages or RSVP’s in a realistic amount of time.  So, what is the proper

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teaching kids respect

The Importance of Teaching Kids Respect

Today the workforce is tougher than ever. It is difficult to find a good job due to the lack of positions available and the credentials necessary to get the interviews. It is no longer enough to graduate at the top of your class. You need to stand out as a stellar candidate. It’s rare if you

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Think Before You Speak

Think Before You Speak !

Recently, I received an email that was very direct and upsetting. I didn’t know this person, and I had not solicited their opinion. I might have considered their point if they had not forced it on me in such an offensive manner. I thought about the purpose of such an email for several days. In

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Graduations Invitations: Proper Etiquette

Graduation season is upon us. It is a special time when young people are transitioning into the next phase whether it is high school, college or the professional world. It is a time to celebrate many accomplishments and look forward to a future opportunity. So, what is the correct etiquette for graduation invitations? When planning

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Dressing succesfully

Dressing for Success

Recently, I had a conversation with a very successful business owner about proper work attire. We discussed how casual the workplace had become, and he made a very interesting point. He expressed a concern for young people today that are unable to let go of “casual” when professional attire is necessary. To him, dressing for

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airplane etiquette and protocol

Bad Airplane Etiquette Doesn’t Fly

If you have traveled by airplane lately, you have probably noticed a significant change to how we travel now. The experience is not what it used to be, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better. Bad airplane etiquette doesn’t fly. The last time I traveled on an airplane, I felt like one of the people

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Are Your Pet Peeves Affecting Business?

When I conduct corporate training, I start with a pet peeves exercise. I give examples of personal pet peeves, such as people who put cell phones on a dining table or people who wear inappropriate (risqué) clothing to church. It normally gets people thinking about how pet peeves affect our opinion of one another. We

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cell phone etiquette

The Importance of Cell Phone Etiquette

Why is cell phone etiquette so important in today’s society? Last fall I attended an event for the re-opening of the Cleveland Playhouse. Tours were provided to showcase the beautiful improvements to create a more intimate venue for enjoying a production.During the presentation, a loud cell phone rang. It rang and rang and rang until

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Give the Gift of Kindness

Every year at this time, I look for random acts of kindness. I think we all do. I appreciate the gift of kindness like drivers that let me over on the highway. I watch shoppers let others go first in lines, and people show a little extra patience for a new clerk in training. I

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Beware of Alcohol and the Open Bar!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year … unless you are looking for a new job and are stressed out about how you are going to pay your Visa bill after the holidays. Either way, beware of alcohol and the open bar! Holiday time is upon us. Every year we attend parties and gatherings

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What is a Breach of Etiquette?

Etiquette refers to rules of acceptable behavior. It is how we make others feel comfortable in our presences. A breach of etiquette is an infraction or a failure to comply with something. Hence, an etiquette breach is a failure to comply with a particular behavior necessary for a situation or environment. Now that we have

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Is Casual Friday Too Casual?

Many times the question has been asked, “Has Casual Friday gotten too casual?“  Many would respond, “yes.” Originally Casual Friday was a treat. It was an opportunity to eliminate the ties and hose for one day of the week. It was a nice change and allowed us to relax a bit.Then we slid into casual

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