Business Etiquette

Sticky Situation: Office St. Patrick's Day Dos and Don'ts

Julie Blais Comeau | Posted 03.16.2014 | Canada Living
Julie Blais Comeau

Every March 17th, all over Canada and the world, employees go to their closets in search of a little, or a lot, of something green to wear. Some even bring Irish treats and delicacies to eat at lunch or share at break. Others look forward to the traditional happy hour green beer and most don't know that Patrick was not Irish.

Sticky Situation: Should I Tell My Intern She Smells?

Julie Blais Comeau | Posted 03.06.2014 | Canada Living
Julie Blais Comeau

I just came across your website. I was looking for a solution on Google for "how to tell an intern that she stinks." She also wears the same clothes, every day, for the entire week. I am responsible for the retail counter in an aesthetic clinic. I have never been faced with this sticky situation; to tell or not to tell an employee that she smells.

Sticky Situation: How Would You Do in an Offbeat Interview?

Julie Blais Comeau | Posted 04.01.2014 | Canada Living
Julie Blais Comeau

So you think that you have what it takes to work for one of serial entrepreneur Richard Branson's 400 companies within his Virgin Empire? You have personality and that is what he hires. Right? Are you a bit nervous about making a poised and polished entrance? What about the small talk -- smooth sailing for you? And what if you do get the job and he proposes a toast to you? Do you drink up or not? Uh oh...

Sticky Situation: Constant Coughing Colleague

Julie Blais Comeau | Posted 03.17.2014 | Canada Living
Julie Blais Comeau

Sticky situation: I have a coworker two cubicles away who, for years now, has chronically coughed and always clears his throat. How do I politely get him to stop and be more considerate?

Sticky Situations: The Holiday Office Gift Giving Guide

Julie Blais Comeau | Posted 02.03.2014 | Canada
Julie Blais Comeau

Holiday gift-giving is the opportunity to thank those that make your work world good, throughout the entire year. But one misstep could have you circulating the office gossip pool for months to come. Don't overspend, don't underspend, and mostly importantly: read this guide before gift-giving season is upon us.

Sticky Situation: Surviving the Holiday Office Party

Julie Blais Comeau | Posted 01.27.2014 | Canada Living
Julie Blais Comeau

What percentage of holiday office partygoers have seen that guy or that girl do something that he or she regretted the morning after? What is one to do when the scene unfolds during one's jolly get together? Foremost, have your own party manners in check with these top five tips.

Sticky Situation: 7 Dos and Don'ts for Your Office Halloween Party

Julie Blais Comeau | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Living
Julie Blais Comeau

Halloween at the office: yeah or yikes? Before you pick your costume, buy the candy, decorate your cube with spider webs, or fake an illness to free yourself from the freak show, read these ghosts and goblins dos and don'ts.

Corporate Conundrum: Who Pays for Lunch?

Sue Jacques | Posted 12.16.2013 | Canada Alberta
Sue Jacques

Business meals can be awkward at the best of times, but things can get particularly uncomfortable when it's time to pay the bill. I was recently asked by an audience member if there's a foolproof way to determine whose responsibility it is to take care of paying for a business meal.

Corporate Conundrum: What Should I Wear to Work?

Sue Jacques | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Alberta
Sue Jacques

Ask ten people what business casual means and you're sure to get ten different answers. While some advisers will suggest that you always represent the dress code of the client, industry, or culture you are engaging with, my stance is different.

Corporate Conundrum: To Text or not to Text?

Sue Jacques | Posted 11.24.2013 | Canada Alberta
Sue Jacques

Welcome to Corporate Conundrums, a weekly column providing practical advice for readers who need help dealing with workplace challenges. From handling incivility and unprofessionalism to learning how to how to work with a jerk, no topic is off-limits.

Sticky Situation: How to Quit a New Job

Julie Blais Comeau | Posted 11.17.2013 | Canada Living
Julie Blais Comeau

Sticky Situation: I have to quit a job to go to another. For both jobs, the current and the next, people around me have recommended me. It gets stickier; I have only been in my current job for less than a month. I am now wondering what excuse I should give my boss while still displaying integrity?

Sticky Situation: How and When to Quit in Seven Steps

Julie Blais Comeau | Posted 11.11.2013 | Canada Living
Julie Blais Comeau

Congratulations! Although you may simultaneously feel excitement and urgency, both employers will appreciate you leaving and starting with polish and professionalism. Read on for practical steps to transition from one position to the next.

Sticky Situation: 20 Ways to Make Your Meetings More Productive

Julie Blais Comeau | Posted 10.28.2013 | Canada Business
Julie Blais Comeau

Are your team's meetings a waste of time or an inspiring and cohesive collaborative venture? Make your meetings matter by brushing up on your meeting manners. Here is a refresher of host and participant guidelines plus solutions to sticky meeting situations, that will guarantee a positive, purposeful and productive participation by all.

Sticky Situations: Is It OK to Dress Better Than Your Boss?

Julie Blais Comeau | Posted 10.15.2013 | Canada Living
Julie Blais Comeau

There actually is an unwritten rule that recommends not dressing up above your superior's style of dress. Simply stated, dressing more formally than your boss could be perceived as having the pretension of saying: "I'm better than you."

Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire: A Breezy Business Read

Sarah Vermunt | Posted 10.02.2013 | Canada Business
Sarah Vermunt

The book includes the recommendation that professional women dress "smexy" (the author's word for smart and sexy). Most of the powerful women I know look professional, but don't invest a lot of time into looking fabulously sexy. They're too busy kicking ass and getting shit done. I'm willing to overlook our disagreement on this issue, however, because other parts of the book are good.

Sticky Situation: Your Wardrobe Malfunctions Solutions

Julie Blais Comeau | Posted 09.30.2013 | Canada Style
Julie Blais Comeau

Wardrobe malfunctions don't just happen to Hollywood stars. They can happen to any one of us, at any moment. No, not necessarily in front of the cameras, but probably in front of your boss or your client. In anticipation of your next 911 dress distress you should probably memorize, the following solutions.

There's a Time to Text and a Time to Talk

Nancy A. Shenker | Posted 07.16.2013 | Canada Living
Nancy A. Shenker

So many people are hiding these days behind their devices, using efficiency and speed as just one of the many excuses to avoid direct communication. I don't purport to be the Emily Post of digital etiquette, but the following are times when some form of more intimate and potentially interactive communication may be preferable to their smart phone or tablet equivalent.

Sticky Situation: 20 "Textiquette" Guidelines

Julie Blais Comeau | Posted 07.02.2013 | Canada Living
Julie Blais Comeau

When invited to give a business etiquette workshop, managers now request that I include a texting activity. We review the dos and don'ts of this casual mode of communication that can, quickly and permanently, tarnish a company's, or an employee's, reputation. Here are 20 business "textiquette" guidelines to keep your interactions positive and interruption free.

Has Politeness Become Passé?

Sue Jacques | Posted 06.22.2013 | Canada Alberta
Sue Jacques

I remember meeting an executive at a corporate reception a couple of years ago who was bemoaning the fact that he's just too busy to deal with what he called "the niceties" of peer-to-peer communication. According to him, there just aren't enough hours in the day to swap insignificant comments of courtesy. When he said, "I wish people would just get to the point" it struck such a chord in me that I Tweeted about it, suggesting that maybe he's missing the point:

Sticky Situation: An Air-Kissing How-To

Julie Blais Comeau | Posted 05.13.2013 | Canada Living
Julie Blais Comeau

Sticky situation: Help! I got air-kissed and ended up butting noses. The incident happened during my first road trip with my boss, when he introduced me to one of our senior store managers. I put out my hand. He pulled me in to peck, not only once but twice, on each cheek. I was surprised. Startled, I moved and it caused a nose collision. What is the protocol on air-kissing, who goes first and on which side?

Efficiency Shouldn't Win Out Over Etiquette

Karen Cleveland | Posted 05.12.2013 | Canada Living
Karen Cleveland

Send those thank you emails. Send them liberally and sincerely. While efficiency is key, particularly in a business capacity, I also appreciate doing business with nice people. Kindness and thoughtfulness go a long way in building and maintaining relationships, a distance that efficiency alone cannot.

Knowing How to Say No

Sue Jacques | Posted 03.30.2013 | Canada Alberta
Sue Jacques

Like many of us, I used to be a Yes-person, agreeing to do things I knew were either out of my realm, a strain on my schedule, or of absolutely of no interest to me. All that changed after a recent experience that led to an epiphany about another way to say no.

Sticky Situation: 12 Steps to Recover From 'Send' Syndrome

Julie Blais Comeau | Posted 03.26.2013 | Canada
Julie Blais Comeau

Every modern day professional has at least one e-story to tell. Click that 'Send' button and you could be clicking your career away. Accidental emails can cause embarrassment, compliance issues, end a career or simply make the recipient smile. Here are 12 steps to avoid "send syndrome" and that sinking stomach feeling:

Sticky Situation: Handling an Awkward New Year's Party Request

Julie Blais Comeau | Posted 03.02.2013 | Canada Living
Julie Blais Comeau

In the New Year, I will be hosting a pot-luck for my colleagues. But I am concerned that my new hardwood flooring could be damaged by high heels, as a result of guests not removing their shoes at the door. Should I e-mail my team members in advance to ask that they bring their slippers or indoor shoes?

Taking The Stress Out Of Work Christmas Parties

Sue Jacques | Posted 02.10.2013 | Canada Alberta
Sue Jacques

Most of us have a love/hate relationship with the whole concept of "Secret Santa" parties at work. We love getting good swag but hate having to come up with something fabulous to buy. Standing in a store during the busiest time of year and agonizing over our contribution can be distracting, to say the least.