Business Dining Etiquette…Pace Yourself

Business Lunch

Sadly, a business meeting dinner is not about the food…it’s a meeting…with food.  Avoid arriving at the restaurant feeling ravenous…it’s hard to concentrate on the task at hand when your stomach is grumbling.  Be a mindful diner and try not to finish well before everyone else – pace yourself. It is more about the conversation and networking than the meal.

Civility in Public Life: Collegiality Really Matters Says Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg


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Remarkable Friendship Of Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg And The Late Antonin Scalia Inspires 2017 Allegheny College Prize For Civility In Public Life

MEADVILLE, PA (April 7, 2017) – One of the nation’s oldest liberal arts colleges will honor the remarkable friendship of two U.S. Supreme Court Justices with the sixth annual Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life. Allegheny College President James H. Mullen, Jr. will award the 2017 prize to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and posthumously to Justice Antonin Scalia during a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., at 2 p.m. Monday, April 10. Justice Ginsburg and the family of Justice Scalia will be in attendance and will offer remarks during the ceremony.

“This award is particularly timely because we are in a worrisome age in American political discourse,” said Mullen. “We are in an era when one of the most positive and powerful traditions of American democracy – the tradition of friendship between ideological rivals – is imperiled. And one of the most ominous threats for democracy – the systematic demonization of adversaries – is on the rise.

“That is why the 2017 Prize will honor the remarkable friendship of Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia. Their disagreements on a number of the key issues of our time were acute, representing opposing interpretations of the Constitution. Yet they forged a friendship grounded in mutual respect for the intellectual integrity and love of country that each brought to service on the Court. In challenging each other’s opinions, they made each other better justices and through the friendship that grew between them and their families, their lives were enriched both personally and professionally. And, perhaps most importantly, through their friendship, they made the Court and our democracy stronger.

“Theirs is a powerful example for our civic leaders – an example we need now more than ever and an example our leaders should emulate in carrying out the nation’s business. This is a moment when the Justices’ message, and the message of the Prize, needs to be heard.”

A September 2016 Zogby Survey on Civility in U.S. Politics commissioned by Allegheny College revealed a chilling decline in such friendships. The percentage of voters who believe elected officials should pursue personal friendships with members of other political parties dropped from 85 percent in 2010 to just 56 percent in 2016.

Accepting the Civility Prize on behalf of Justice Scalia will be his wife, Maureen, and son, Gene Scalia. Also attending will be Governor Tom Ridge, a longtime advisor to Allegheny College on the Prize and a champion of civility.

The Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life was created in 2011 to annually recognize two public figures, one liberal and one conservative, who argue passionately but with civility for their beliefs.

Previous winners include:

  • The inaugural award was bestowed at the National Press Club in 2012 to political journalists David Brooks and Mark Shields, in recognition of their longstanding record of civil commentary.
  • In 2013, the College awarded the Prize to Senators Dianne Feinstein (D) and Lindsey Graham (R)for their efforts to exemplify civility while leading debate in some of the most contentious issues of that time.
  • The “Women of the Senate” were honored in 2014 for banding together to help end a government shutdown and creating a more civil climate in Washington, D.C.
  • In 2015, in recognition of Allegheny’s bicentennial celebration, noted historian Douglas Brinkley helped select the recipients, former Montgomery (AL) Police Chief Kevin Murphy and Congressman John Lewis (D-GA). Murphy took off his badge and gave it to Lewis as an act of contrition for the police department’s treatment of Lewis in 1961.
  • In 2016, the Prize went to Vice President Joe Biden and Senator John McCain, in recognition of powerful moments of civility during modern presidential campaigns.


Airplane Etiquette: Who gets the middle armrests

Airplane Etiquette:  Who gets the middle armrests

According to the Global Strategy Group, 56 percent of Americans would rather get stuck in traffic or go on a blind date than sit in the middle seat on a full flight.  Worry no more, the middle seat passenger should get both armrests, according to Contemporary Etiquette Institute and Emily Post. Print this out to slip into the pocket of the seat in front of your seat partners (before they arrive).

Better yet, greet your seat mates with a smile and a hello when you buckle up, and set your sights on an easy flight.

Business Etiquette: Who opens the door?

Who opens the door

Gender no longer determines who opens the door. Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums/Flickr

Manners such as please and thank you never go out of style, but etiquette isn’t etched in stone.  The majority of outdated customs stem from one thing…gender.  In today’s business world, gender no longer rules the day, rather professional standing or whether one is the host or visitor determines behavior.

The thing is, etiquette isn’t etched in stone. Social mores change over time. So some manners that would’ve been acceptable a few decades ago might make you look out-of-touch in a contemporary setting.

The rule of the day was for men to open the door for women.  The new guideline is whoever gets to the door first, regardless of gender should open the door and hold it for the person behind him or her.  The savvy junior executive will get to the door before the senior executive and hold the door.

When it comes to etiquette and good business practice, be courteous to everyone.  Kindness goes a long way when it comes to success.


Networking Tip: What to do if you’re stuck talking with someone


Networking doesn’t have to be scary

Remember: networking events have different rules from everyday life. You’re free to excuse yourself after even a very brief exchange. A way to break free is to verbalize your purpose for coming to the event: You can simply say, “Well, it was really nice talking with you. I should be sure to mix and mingle with everyone here.” Exchange business cards if you want, but don’t make promises of connecting later unless they’re genuine.

In the same way that it’s easier “to find a job if you already have one,” it’s easier to find a new conversation partner if you already have one. If you’re stuck talking to “Joe” and you see someone walking by alone, it’s great form to smile, make eye contact and extend your hand to introduce yourself as a way of inviting the new person to join you and Joe. Once that person joins, you can focus on them instead. Or you may just slide away from Joe more easily since he’s now talking to the new person you brought into the circle.

How to strengthen a relationship…

Encouragement can come in many forms.  A handwritten note, or a thoughtful email can be the greatest tonic for strengthening a relationship.  Is there someone who would benefit from a kind word from you?

How to build your EQ

Build your EQA little trick for building your EQ…The next time you get frustrated with someone, ask a simple question: Do you believe the person is doing the very best that they can? An empathy builder for sure…and a clear path to being more accepting of others…very good arsenal for your manners bucket.