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Summer is well underway with classes beginning in less than a month. This edition provides you with helpful etiquette tips for the upcoming company picnic and return to classes. 


Also, I am hosting three informative and fun Etiquette Dining Seminars which I'd love to have you attend. Each seminar covers these and other areas of formal dining: 

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Place Settings
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Proper Use of Utensils
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Styles of Dining
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Napkin Etiquette
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Much More


Tip of the Month
When you have finished eating, loosely fold your napkin with no soils showing if possible and place to the left of your plate. The napkin is never wadded and left in your dinner plate nor on the chair.
Pack These For College
college bound

College students need to be sure and pack these social skills along with their college gear. They should not leave home without them.  College can be a scary experience for newcomers. The diversity, size and logistics of college life can be overwhelming. One way new students can help make their transition less stressful is to understand the basic tenets of etiquette.

When a person makes an effort to practice consideration, respect, kindness, service and inclusion they understand the purpose of good etiquette and how it paves the way for positive relationships.

The following tips can help make your college experience a rewarding growth experience. 

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Be aware of your body language
College is an opportunity to broaden your social circle. Some of the relationships you create in college may last a lifetime. Before you speak your body screams.
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No, you don't have to look like a Cheshire cat but practice a pleasant look. You may unintentionally look unapproachable. Eye contact is also an important non-verbal skill.

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Watch your posture

Slouching, head hung, shuffling your feet signal disinterest in your surroundings.

Practice good posture, the way you stand and walk. Are your arms folded? 

Our body language sends messages about our demeanor. Keep them positive.

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Learn to introduce yourself and others

College requires you to be able to step forth confidently and introduce yourself to others.  Waiting for people to introduce themselves may be a long wait. When you learn to introduce yourself, you make the decision about whom you wish to interact with. 

It is a major etiquette fail not to introduce others whom are present. Understanding the hierarchy of introductions can help you make this lifelong skill effortless. Don't be scared.

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College students have all types of methods of exchanging greetings. Complicated finger twisting, fist bumps and high fives all have their place. Peers expect and exchange these greetings. In the professional world, handshakes are the most universally accepted form of greeting. College students must learn to deliver a proper handshake. There are times when a handshake is the only appropriate form of greeting. Learn to shake hands like an adult.  Shake hands as often as you can. This is a non-verbal tool that will be critical in your professional and social encounters.

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Dining Skills

Your table etiquette requires that you learn dining skills. Good dining skills will transcend to all areas of your life. Wolfing down your food, chewing with your mouth open, holding your fork or knife incorrectly will hinder your professional and social success.

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Showing Gratitude

No man is an island. When others support you with acts of kindness a handwritten, snail mailed thank you note is always in order. There will be fellow students, professors, colleagues, parents, relatives who help you through your college years. Money, dinners, care packages and advice are all acts of kindness that require acknowledgement. A telephone call, text or email show none of the gratitude that a heartfelt handwritten note conveys. Professional life always requires acknowledgment. Get into the habit of sending thank you notes. The payoff is immeasurable.

Following these tips will give you the etiquette foundation for a rewarding, successful college experience.

Wonderful Kale »» for Your Pleasure and Health

Massaged Kale Salad

kale salad

Here a pungent garlicky dressing is infused into kale by massaging the greens and the dressing together with your hands. Any type of kale will work in this kale salad recipe, just remember to remove the tough stems before you start.

6 servings, about 2 cups each

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 2 bunches kale
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 minced anchovy fillet or 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Strip leaves from the stems (discard stems). Wash and dry the leaves. Tear the leaves into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Add Parmesan, oil, lemon juice, garlic, soy sauce, anchovy (if using), pepper and salt. With clean hands, firmly massage and crush the greens to work in the flavoring. Stop when the volume of greens is reduced by about half. The greens should look a little darker and somewhat shiny. Taste and adjust seasoning with more Parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, soy sauce and/or pepper, if desired.


Per serving: 185 calories; 15g fat(3g sat, 10g mono); 6mg cholesterol; 9g carbohydrates; 0g added sugars; 5 g protein; 2 g fiber; 321 mg sodium; 370 mg potassium. Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (234% daily value), Vitamin C (159% dv), Calcium (18% dv) Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2 Exchanges: 1/2 vegetables, 1/2 lean meat, 2 1/2 fat


Don't Skip the Picnic!

Often work activities take place away from brick and mortar buildings. The company sponsored picnic is a business event where the same workplace etiquette applies. It is not just a chance to eat and show your sport prowess. It should be treated as a work event, where workplace etiquette must be employed. Picnics suggest relaxation and fun but don't do too much of either.


The picnic is not the time to become caviler about your decorum.  How you conduct yourself, and how your family conducts themselves can help or derail your career. Your goal for any company event should be to make sure your reputation remains intact.

company picnic


Here are some tips to make the company picnic an event to look forward to attending.

Remember To: 



Resist the urge to skip the event. Arrive no later than 30 minutes after the start time. Stay awhile, at least an hour. You want to be seen. Managers should expect to spend most of the day. Showing up shows that you are a team player. Please, no uninvited guests. You are not the host.


Dress to impress


Picnic doesn't mean sloppy. Khakis or jeans for men. Anything with holes is not welcome.  Graphic tees are a no-no at the company picnic. Remember, this is a business event. Plain round neck colored shirts, collared shirts, or polo shirts are always safe. Stay away from grey, it shows sweat.

Yard shoes flip flops and grungy tennis shoes are not allowed at the company picnic.  Gentlemen, if you must show your feet, please get a pedicure first.


Picnic doesn't mean club or cocktail attire. Ladies, shorts appropriate for music videos are not to be worn to the company picnic. Bermuda shorts, capris, walking shorts and conservative sundresses are a much safer choice. Backless, halter tops, tops that expose your midriff, are not good choices either.  

That cute club top with the iridescent sequins doesn't want to attend the company picnic.  Club wear is never appropriate for any business sponsored event. The company picnic is not the place for trends.

Playing games is traditionally a component of most company picnics. Wearing flip flops, four inch wedges and heels of any size make you unavailable to participate. Join in. Team play is good team building for companies. Be a part of the activities. Remember participation is required. Don't be an onlooker.

Professional women need to remember that showing too much skin may impact your credibility. Your reputation needs to remain intact. Make sure your clothing fits properly, is not worn, stained or dirty. 
Visuals leave a lasting impression.

Prepare your family

Let them know the conduct that you expect. Encourage your children to participate in the games and activities.Your family's social skills will be on display. Picnics still require manners. Learning to wait their turn, saying thank you and please, and playing fairly will increase your professional image.


Introduce your family. Make sure your children know how to shake hands. Teaching children to shake hands allows them to control their personal space.



The company picnic is a great networking opportunity. Introduce yourself to colleagues you don't know.  Volunteer, play the games.  Refrain from shop talk.


Don't Forget:


Someone is listening

Everyone from C-level to custodial staff will be present.  Some topics are always taboo regardless of the setting. Politics, religion, sex, your health, your parent's health, money problems and tasteless jokes are never appropriate. Avoid gossip and negativity.


Someone is watching

Avoid alcohol. Avoiding alcohol will help you maintain appropriate boundaries, both verbal and physical.


Someone is taking attendance.
Make sure that key personnel know that you are present.

Thank the organizers.  Send a thank you note.

Have fun!

Good Parenting Includes Social Skills
family portrait

Social skills are not innate. They do not automatically accompany intellect. Parents must instill good social skills in their children and prepare them for the world outside of home.

Good manners are as important as food, shelter and clothing. The development of your child's social skills should be a pertinent part of your parenting. Good manners and social skills will not be an option for your child. The competitive nature of their future will require more than genius. Teaching your child to share, be respectful, say thank you, please and I'm sorry will provide them lifetime value.

Here are some guidelines for parents to begin the development of good social skills.

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  Magic Words
The magic words still work. Teach your child to say thank you, please, I'm sorry and excuse me.


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 Greeting Adults

Children should be taught to always acknowledge adults. They should be taught how to introduce themselves, and extend a handshake if appropriate. Teaching children how to shake hands staves off unwanted hugs. Always teach your children to use titles when addressing adults.  Mr., Mrs., Ms, Miss, Sir or Ma'am.


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Table Manners

It is imperative that you teach your children basic dining etiquette. Forks and knives are not adult only tools. Children should be shown how to hold a fork and knife as soon as developmentally feasible.


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Thank You Notes

Teaching your child to write thank you notes is a task best learned by example. Children need to understand the concept of gratitude and how to express it.  Instilling the importance of gratitude early will give your child a powerful edge in later years.


Children are sponges. They adapt very easily to new tasks and experiences. Don't make the mistake of thinking your children are too young to learn good etiquette.  Preparation for success starts early in life. Equipping your child with basic social skills will allow them to make memorable impressions wherever they go.

Our etiquette classes can help you improve your workplace etiquette, guide your children in learning good manners, and help you refresh your etiquette skills for formal events. We can also customize a program to your unique needs.


Wisetta  Dolsey
Call to book an appointment - 248-238-1993

Five Star School of Etiquette
 wisetta@michiganmanners.com  |  http://www.MichiganManners.com


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