Thursday, May 28, 2009

You Know You're Tacky When...

The "You Know You're Tacky When..." series was a wonderful idea from a close friend of mine who regularly tells me the tacky and rude behavior he witnesses on a daily basis. If you witness tacky or rude behavior please tell me about it and I'll feature it in my new "Tacky Sighting Series."

Tacky Sighting #1 You Know You're Tacky When... your co-worker gives you a plastic container because he's sick and tired of seeing your Invisalign invisible braces on your bread plate during lunch.

Avoid Being Tacky Tip #1: Make sure you remove your Invisaligns and place them in your plastic container IN the bathroom, not at the table.

Stay tuned for Tacky Sighting's almost unbelievable.

Monday, April 27, 2009

NextTV on Fox - Me on TV

I had the pleasure of appearing on a wonderful new show called NextTV on Fox. Take a look at our Career Makeover segment to watch my mentor Kali Evans-Raoul, Founder & President of The Image Studios, and me coaching a job seeker on image, professional presence and etiquette. I know people hate when someone gives away the ending but...after coaching with us she landed the job of her dreams.

Looking to enhance your image and professional presence? Visit today!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Healthy Ingredients are NO Excuse

I believe in eating healthy, especially organic food when it's on sale at the grocery store (gotta stay within budget). However, healthy ingredients are NO excuse to forget your table manners.

Let's just review a few of the basics (sometimes we all need a refresher):
  • Take small bites so you don't look like a cow chewing its cud
  • Cut only one or two pieces of food at a time. It's only acceptable to cut up all the food on your plate if you're 5 years old or younger.
  • Chew with your mouth closed, PLEASE!
  • Wait until you've swallowed your food before you take a drink. Nothing will kill your appetite faster than seeing backwash floating in someones water.
  • Don't talk with your mouth full, wait until you swallow. This goes back to tip #1...if you take smaller bites you won't have this problem.
More advanced dining skills tips coming soon!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lie to Me...

No...I don't want you to "lie to me," but I am addicted to a new TV show on Fox called Lie to Me ( My schedule is pretty hectic so I DVR all of my favorite shows and watch them on Saturday afternoon, so if you watch the show on Wednesdays please don't spoil it for me.

Lie to Me is a show about about micro-expressions, nonverbal communication and body language which are passions of mine and topics that I often teach in my etiquette workshops, seminars and one-on-one coaching. You'd be surprised what you can pick up about a person once you understand the basics of nonverbal communication. It's a wonderful tool to use in sales negotiations or when you're on a date (you'll be able to tell he or she is faking it and really is just not that into you). The mouth can lie but the body can't!

How good are you at catching someone in a lie? Take The Lightman Group Lie Detection Test and find out.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Common Stinking Courtesy

"Chivalry isn't's just not expected." That's what comedian Steve Harvey said on Oprah last week. He was talking about dating but is this the case in everyday life?!? How can we spread the word that common courtesy (by men and women) isn't dead, it just needs a little mouth-to-mouth resuscitation?

Let's talk about the lack of common stinking courtesy on public transportation these days. This morning I witnessed an elderly woman stand for nearly 4 blocks on a crowded Chicago bus because NO ONE would give up their seat for her. DARN SHAME I tell you, a darn shame! Gender goes out the #20 bus window when it comes to respecting our elders. 7 out of the 9 seats reserved for the physically disabled were occupied by people who didn't appear to have a disability; they looked like able-bodied men and women between the ages of 14-45. Ok...I must admit that I'm guilty of sitting in the "priority area" at the front of the bus, but only when it's nearly EMPTY.

Unfortunately I was in the back of the bus and couldn't offer my seat but it took everything ounce of strength in my body not to yell "what's wrong with you people, don't you see the elderly lady needs a seat?!?" After 4 stops a young high school girl looked up from texting away on her cell phone and immediately offered the elderly woman her seat. The girl had common courtesy and I'm sure would be furious (as I was) if an able-bodied person didn't give up their seat for her grandmother, or anyone else's grandmother for that matter.

You may not want to think about it but if you're lucky, in X number of'll be elderly too. Wouldn't the elderly YOU want a seat?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Is Proper Etiquette Really Common Sense?

Many people feel that etiquette is common sense and any adult who wasn't raised by wolves should at least know the basics. Well...this story will prove those people wrong, very wrong. I didn't witness this etiquette faux pas, however, in my line of work I have no reason to doubt that it happened because I've seen things even worse.

Names have been changed to protect the "etiquette & protocol challenged."

Bill, a young associate at a prestigious law firm was invited to attend dinner at a well known Chicago steakhouse with one of their biggest clients and several of the firm's partners. He could barely contain his excitement when he accepted the invitation and knew this was his chance to impress the partners and fast track his career. Since Bill doesn't eat at nice restaurants very often he decided to brush up on his dining skills before dinner the following evening. Unfortunately Howard, one of the firm's senior partners, didn't do the same...

At the restaurant they were given the best table, the one looking out into the restaurant, and Bill waits to be directed to the appropriate seat. A round of scotch is ordered, the server shares the house specialities and everyone prepares to feast on a phenomenal meal. As Bill takes a bite of his sizzling bone-in filet he looks up to see Howard reaching across the empty place setting to grab a fork. What Howard did with that fork Bill still can't believe! He watched in horror as Howard scratched his back with the fork, then leaned over and placed the fork back in it's proper position on the table. A combination of shock and utter disbelief covered the faces of those who witnessed it. Bill, unable stomach what he'd just seen, left one of the best steaks in Chicago half eaten on his plate.

I don't know about you but I think that's pretty disgusting. Someone could actually end up using that fork, dead skin cells and all. YUCK! This story is proof that etiquette is not common sense, even to someone with a law degree from Harvard University like Howard. It seems like basic knowledge but I'll say it is NOT proper etiquette to scratch yourself with a fork, knife or spoon. What you do at home is your own business but in public silverware should be used for eating only (and hopefully you're holding your silverware properly).

Sunday, March 22, 2009

PJ McGuire to be Special Guest Speaker at PWCC Luncheon May 13, 2009

"Capitalizing on the Different Business Styles of Men and Women"

2716108_pwccimagePeople first evaluate your physical appearance but it’s your body language, mannerisms and demeanor that make a more powerful impression. In an instant, they decide whether they will or will not consider doing business with you. In these days of business casual, both appearance and behavior, we still need to “mind our manners.” We represent the products and services our company sells and more importantly, we are the face of our company to our clients. So, where do we learn the proper business etiquette and protocol we need to be successful in our careers? Unfortunately, it is no longer taught in most schools and many young executives are entering the corporate world unprepared. To succeed in business it takes more than a great education and a strong work ethic, you also need people skills!

Click Here to Register

Wednesday, May 13th
““Capitalizing on the Different Business Styles of Men and Women””
with PJ McGuire
Union League Club of Chicago
65 West Jackson Blvd.
11:30 a.m. Registration
11:45 a.m. Lunch
$55 Guests
$40 Regular Members
N/C Premier Members
Click Here to Register
Reservations are due by noon Monday, May 11th, or a $10 late fee will be applied. Only pre-paid registrations will be guaranteed.