Virtual Manners
formalities

SMARTPHONE ETIQUETTE

The word ‘etiquette’ in French means ‘label,’ which is appropriate because nothing labels us like our personal behavior. Every time a new app or social media platform becomes available to the general public – technology that make our lives easier and more productive – we need to develop practical rules for how to use these tools in a way that serves, but doesn’t control, us. Here are some guidelines regarding cellphones from Treating People Well: If you’d like to read […]

Advice
formalities

TEACHING KIDS ABOUT MANNERS

Many years ago, while out shopping with my four-year-old daughter, I ran into an elderly friend and stopped to chat. There was a large fake rubber tree that was part of a clothing display nearby, which Liddy started to climb. I tried to catch her eye to make her stop, and kept throwing her dirty looks as I tried to keep the conversation going with my friend. Liddy looked up at me and said loudly, “Why are you looking at […]

formalities

TREATING PEOPLE WELL

Tomorrow’s the big day! Treating People Well will be available for sale in stores and online. My friend and co-author, Jeremy Bernard, and I have been working on this book idea for years and it’s hard to believe it’s finally happening . As former White House social secretaries, we had a lot of experience finding the most effective ways to get along with people from many different cultures and walks of life. Our book details the tricks (and lessons) we […]

formalities

A WASP’S CHRISTMAS

Family-centric holidays can be fraught: who carves the turkey? Do we need to wait for everyone to have food on their plates before we start eating? Is someone saying grace? And then there are the oddball friends and relatives whom we see once or twice a year. They ask invasive questions, take the day to let their passive-aggressive flag fly, or drink until things becomes a soggy blur. These are the times when I am grateful to be a WASP. […]

formalities

I’m SORRY IF…

I’m SORRY IF is no way to begin an apology. It’s a variation on a theme that we often see with celebrities and politicians: “I’m sorry if what I said hurt some people.” is not an apology, but a refusal of blame for another’s hurt by suggesting that their feelings aren’t valid. When I worked at the White House we learned the value of a sincere – and quick – apology. Anything less would have reflected poorly on the president […]