Civility: Etiquette survey answers

Here are the answers to the 20 questions asked here last week:

1. Conversations. Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? These questions can help to create and maintain small talk. Sharing and finding equal interests is important during initial contact. Being interested and a good listener is ultimate.

2. Speakerphone: When using a speakerphone, let the caller know that you are on a speakerphone, who is participating in the conversation, and why they are included.

3. Voice Mail Messages: When leaving a message: State your full name (spell it), purpose of the call, and best time to return the call. Give your telephone number at the beginning and end of the message.

4. Telephone: In answering a call when the person sought is not there, you may say, "May I take your name and number and have him return your call?" Maintain the other person's privacy by saying that he is "unavailable." Do not divulge why he is unavailable.

5. Toasting: Never drink to yourself when you are being toasted. Just say, "Thank You!" and drink when they have finished toasting you.

6. Reception arrival time: You should never arrive early to any function. If the invitation states "6 to 8" you can arrive at 6 or anytime between 6 and 8.

7. Group connections: Using eye contact, connect with each person in the group.

8. Business card: At a social function when you meet the CEO, only offer your business card if and when he asks for it.

9. Formal invitations: Mail formal invitations 4-6 weeks ahead of the event.

10. Informal invitations: Mail informal invitations 2-3 weeks in advance.

11. Telephone invitations: If giving a telephone invitation, send a reminder card 10 days ahead of the function.

12. Cocktail parties: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. is the best time for cocktail parties.

13. Invitation expectations: If 100 people are invited, expect 80 (20%) to attend.

14. Dining introductions: Person should stand to greet the person coming to table.

15. Grief etiquette: Attend the funeral, and write a personal note to let them know the qualities you admire in the person she lost. After a few weeks, call to ask her out and to see what you can do for her. Perhaps, you can help her write thank-notes for flowers or sentiments that were sent.

16. Introductions: In a social situation, look at the person that is being introduced in this order of respect: elder, woman/girl, newcomer. Socially, it's "ladies, first." In business, there is no gender. In a business situation, introductions are by rank: client, president, secretary.

17. Zigzag conversations: Developing relationships requires a sharing of experiences from one person to another. Be interested and a good listener.

18. Network etiquette: Be gracious in ending the conversation by telling them that you enjoyed meeting with them, and that you would like to introduce them to someone else. Take them over to that person.

19. Airplane etiquette: In a three-seat section, the person in the middle has both armrests.

20. Tipping: Tip the doorman $1 to $5, according to how many bags. Tip the porter at least $1 per bag. Tip the concierge $10 or more for services rendered.

DIANA OLSON, MA AICI CIP is a certified etiquette & civility specialist/image stylist. Contact her at (626) 584-9761 or

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