In today’s global economy and competitive environment, success in business is determined by more than expertise and knowledge. The ability to interact with a diverse clientele, to define appropriate and inappropriate behaviors in business and social settings, and to project a positive image often make the difference in winning or losing a contract, an employment opportunity, or professional advancement.

Hilarie Blaney, a professional etiquette and protocol consultant in Oklahoma City, provides training to individuals, groups, and businesses to prepare them for any business, social, or international situation. Hilarie ensures that her clients will be at ease, whether they are guests or hosts, in business and social settings at home and abroad.

Renewing Your Gym Membership? Brush Up on Exercise Etiquette First.

Renewing Your Gym Membership? Brush Up on Exercise Etiquette First.

If you’re planning on dusting off that membership card to your local gym in the new year, kudos! Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body. However, if you’re planning on working out in a gym setting, there are a few hard-and-fast rules you need to know. Otherwise, you might be more susceptible to hissing than to high-fives. Before you get to the gym They say that 80% of a successful workout is simply showing up. Here are a few crucial things to remember as you’re getting ready to hit the gym. Be on time, and have a plan. Are you attending a group class or a personal training session? If so, make sure you arrive a few minutes early so you have time to stash your keys and fill up your water bottle. If you’re flying solo, make...

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The Etiquette of Social Kissing

The Etiquette of Social Kissing

The difference between American and European greetings has long been known.  The American prefers a firm handshake, while a European opens with a kiss on the cheek.  It has been the subject of many a TV comedy faux pas.  But in modern times, meeting people of different culture is commonplace.  So in honor of this month’s Olympic opening, let’s pucker up for a look at the etiquette behind a greeting kiss. The Social Norm It may be unsurprising that the social “rule” for kissing is as murky as any other.  Not only does it vary between the US and Europe, but also between different countries worldwide.  A Russian might kiss you three times on alternating cheeks, while in Italy two kisses on the cheek is acceptable. As if that is confusing enough, who...

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The Long-Lost Art of the RSVP

The Long-Lost Art of the RSVP

Let’s start with the basics. The term ‘RSVP’ stands for réspondez s’il vous plait, which is a French term that roughly translates to “please respond.” In this economy, or any economy really, knowing the correct number of guests to prepare for can be important. Too few hors d’oeuvres and guests can wind up ravenous – too many, and the host has just wasted money. This brings me to my first point, which may seem a bit obvious: if you RSVP ‘yes’ to a party or event, then show up. It seems like common sense to most people, but lately I’ve noticed a trend of people responding with a ‘yes’ and then not showing or, more commonly, simply not replying to the invitation at all. Perhaps it needs to be stated again, that RSVP means “please...

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Airplane Passenger Faux Pas and Holiday Travel Etiquette: Revisited

Airplane Passenger Faux Pas and Holiday Travel Etiquette: Revisited

With the scorching summer winding down and the holidays right around the corner, I find myself with the desire to revisit an area of etiquette we’ve broached on once before: travel etiquette. Recently, I was on a plane and I noticed a few things. Some of these are obvious faux pas; however, some of these I feel are simply being inadvertently overlooked on one’s travels. Timeliness and Anger Management – Like anyone or anything else, planes occasionally run late. While unfortunate, these things happen – but getting grouchy or upset solves nothing. Slamming the window shutter closed or sighing in exasperation at the baby crying isn’t helping anything, either. We are all in this plane together, and only for a short time. I...

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Invite your children to the dinner table – for their sake.

Invite your children to the dinner table – for their sake.

Frank Herholdt/Getty Images We all should read “A Good Talk.”  Daniel Menaker said, “conversation should be easy, and not in the least dogmatic; it should have the spice of wit.”  Reading this New York Times article, The Life (and Death) of the Party, and Menaker’s book reminds me how afraid I am for the futures of young people that only know how to text or email to talk. What will they do when they are invited to a dinner party some day?  They will be the “death” of the party.  As Ronald Reagan said, “all great change in America happens at the dinner table.”  So parents, invite your children to have dinner with you at the table and start the change. Best regards, Hilarie If you enjoyed this post, please consider to leave a...

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No Butts About It – Watch Where You Drop That!

No Butts About It – Watch Where You Drop That!

Our unusually dry, hot summer in Oklahoma has an unusual etiquette topic on my mind: the manners of smokers and their cigarette butts. First, the facts: 650,000 butts are dropped in OKC every day. Each contains 9-30mg of poisons like ammonia, cadmium (batter acid), nicotine and more. Total, 5.5 gallons of poisons are released into our environment every day – and that’s just in the OKC metro. A single dropped cigarette butt might not seem like much to a smoker, just like one sandbag doesn’t seem to make a difference in a flood or one leaf doesn’t seem to make a difference to a tree. When you start stacking those sandbags, though, they make a huge impact – same for the cigarette butts. Even more concerning than the long-term environmental dangers...

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No Butts About It – Watch Where You Drop That!

No Butts About It – Watch Where You Drop That!

Our unusually dry, hot summer in Oklahoma has an unusual etiquette topic on my mind: the manners of smokers and their cigarette butts. First, the facts: 650,000 butts are dropped in OKC every day. Each contains 9-30mg of poisons like ammonia, cadmium (batter acid), nicotine and more. Total, 5.5 gallons of poisons are released into our environment every day – and that’s just in the OKC metro. A single dropped cigarette butt might not seem like much to a smoker, just like one sandbag doesn’t seem to make a difference in a flood or one leaf doesn’t seem to make a difference to a tree. When you start stacking those sandbags, though, they make a huge impact – same for the cigarette butts. Even more concerning than the long-term environmental dangers...

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