Friday, November 21, 2014

Quick Tip - Invitation Etiquette

There are many events and opportunities this time of year, and that is the reason this quick tip is about hosting and being invited to "happenings".

When you are hosting:
  • Get the invitations out as soon as possible, minimally a month in advance
    • Have the date, time and theme clearly stated
    • Consider a 15-30 minute window for a start time so that people have some flexibility for arriving
  • Request a YES or NO RSVP by a certain date (consider 7-10 days prior to the event so you have time to make purchases and arrangements for activities)
  • Send a reminder a couple of days prior to the RSVP deadline
  • Let people who say "maybe" know that you will put them down as a "no, and to please not give it another thought
  • At the RSVP deadline:
    • Message people who said "no" and "maybe" that they will be missed and that you are not planning on seeing them there, rather you will look forward to some other opportunity
    • Message people who said "yes" to share you are planning on seeing them at the time, at the location, where to park, and if there are any special plans (being outside or potluck, etc.)
  • On the event day, get yourself ready prior to the start time so that you are ready to welcome and enjoy your guests!
  • Within a week, send thank you notes to each person who brought you a host/hostess gift
When you are invited: 
  • RSVP as soon as possible
    • If you are sure, reply "yes" at that time
    • If you are unsure, reply "no" at the time
    • If something changes, contact the host prior to the RSVP deadline to ask if there is still space for you to change your reply to "yes"
  • Arrive on time (not early or late), and if you are early, wait in your car or run an errand, as the host(s) may not be quite ready
  • Be positive on arrival, and show gratitude for being included
  • Bring a host/hostess gift that has your name on it (with wine or champagne, put your return label on the back)
  • Offer to assist the host with something for the engagement (and do it, if someone has something for you, and back off if there is nothing mentioned)
  • Be participatory and engaged
  • Have a ball
  • Stay minimally an hour or half the time planned, and leave within the end time, or as a lot of people are going home
  • Resist talking about going somewhere else while at the event
  • Say good-bye and thanks to the host(s)
  • Within a week, send a sign of appreciation to the host/hostess (see the tip above for ideas)

Whether you are hosting or attending, be happy, ready, willing and able to truly enjoy the experience!  

Friday, November 14, 2014

Thanking Others - Appreciation Ideas

"Appreciation can make a day, even change a life.
Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary."
~ Margaret Cousins
Margaret Elizabeth Cousins, also known as Gretta Cousins was an Irish-Indian educationist, suffragist and Theosophist, who established All India Women's Conference in 1927. 
(1878 - 1954)  

There are many opportunities to say thanks, give thanks, and express thanks, and yet sometimes we don't make the time to do make it personal...or even to say it at all!

So, first, while below is a list of ways to consider thanking others with a personal touch, if you are verbally thanking people for thoughtfulness, actions, a great attitude, ideas and more, you are far ahead of many, so give yourself some kudos. And if you want to amp it up, you may like some of these, which are 10 favorites:
1.   Send a hand-written thank you note (without starting the message with "I"), or a photo of the two of you or a group of you with a note on the back of the photo
2.   Send a text or email about what s/he did, and copy others who were impacted or included so that it is a little more "public" among key players
3.   Get a stylish frame that suits the person's office or home, and print a special photo of that person and his or her significant other or family
4.   Tweet or post on other social media what the person means to you (briefly)
5.   Find a positive quote and share it with that person with the reason it made you think of him or her
6.   Donate to the person's favorite charity in his or her name
7.   Offer to drive or pick up the Lyft, Uber or Taxi fare the next time you go somewhere
8.   Send flowers with a card before arriving at their office or home for a visit
9.   Arrive with the person's favorite candy (whether it is Twizzlers or Godiva), and don't "give" it to the person, rather discretely leave it behind where it will be discovered later
10.               Make personal "gift cards" or coupons to do something for the person within a set amount of time (babysit, cook dinner, print a report), and then schedule them fairly quickly so it's clear you are happy to do them

Whatever you do, make it count, be sincere, and share your gratitude with an attitude of appreciation...and an amped up thank you that is about the others more than you!