60 Second Etiquette: Bereavement

Many of you headed back to work today. And while your holiday season may have been merry and bright, it is likely someone you work with is struggling with the loss of a family member or pet.

What do you do or say when a co-worker loses a loved one?

An unfortunate but excellent question. A question I thought worth answering today. While we are refocused and re-energized to work toward our goals and on ourselves, I want you to also continue practicing your thoughtfulness and consideration of others.

Keep in mind that you may be in a good place, but life is happening all around you; and someone’s life has recently changed forever.

Because you are committed to conducting yourself with grace and distinction, here are a few A-List tips and best practices to guide you through how to handle a co-worker that has lost a loved.

Grief never goes away…it only changes with time.

Do you have a valuable tip you think should be included? Post a comment and/or tag me on Facebook or on Twitter. Better yet, if you find these tips helpful, share it.

#professionaldevelopment #60secondetiquette #personaldevelopment #businessetiquette

2020…Refine Who You’ll Be

This is the biggest self reflection time of the year!!! What connects us is actually pretty funny when you think about it. We are all working toward living our best lives, becoming the best versions of ourselves. And each year we go through the motions to make the next year our best year.

I’m sure you, like me, are already thinking of new ways you’ll prepare for the New Year, the new month…the new decade.

You’re thinking about the books you’ll read, the people, places, and things you’ll leave behind, the changes you hope to make. You’re ready to set new goals for yourself; maybe make a resolution or two. You’re contemplating vision boards, daily affirmations, journaling, memberships and more. You may even be starting to feel anxious about whether or not you’ll really stick to it this time.

Naturally, I want to help; because that’s what friends are for, right?

I want you to be ready for 2020!

What I mean is, I don’t want the ball to drop next week and you still feel lost, confused, or unclear about where you are heading. In order to get the picture perfect lifestyle you’re creating on that vision board, you have to get clear on who you are and what you stand for.

I want you to remember, the vision you are drafting and crafting for yourself, all comes back to YOU. Your thoughts, your priorities, your mental toughness, and your actions.

You can not manifest that which you are not willing to work for.

Your true success starts with a clear definition of who you are and what you stand for. I want to challenge you to take these last few days of 2019 to really put in the work and focus on yourself, preparing your future self. I want you to take a moment to refine your dream image and/or personal brand. I want you to reconnect with yourself and the root of your goals.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it…refine who you’ll be in 2020. Here’s how:

  1. Join The A-List, just click HERE.
  2. Receive Welcome Email & the Refine Your Professional Brand PDF
  4. Post About Your Experience, Goals & Take-a-ways on our FB/Twitter.

I guide you though quick and easy self reflection exercises to help you identify where you want to polish your image/skills. Then, you’ll create your personalized road map, assessing additional areas of support you may need. You’ll finish with an outline to position yourself for your next best step in achieving your goals, plus an A-list community to help support and hold you accountable.

Greet the New Year with confidence and clarity. Refine who you’ll be in 2020.

Write A Great Thank You…

Get your favorite pen and paper ready! It’s the season of giving, gratitude, and thoughtfulness. You are here because you want to know how to serve up a gracious note of gratitude each and every time.

But what goes into a great thank you note?

Someone has done something for you and you know a heartfelt thank you is in order. You’ve got your card; you are ready to write. Thank you…you pause…ummmmmm…that about covers it. That’s what I wanted to say.

Can you relate?

If you struggle with what to write, if you find yourself stuck not knowing what to say beyond thank you, you are in the right place! Keep reading and we’ll walk through the recipe for successful note writing. The ingredients you need for a great thank you each and every time you need to dish one out.

You’ll feel more confident in your ability to write out and acknowledge your gratitude. And you’ll have the recipe for consistency, something to fall back on when you are feeling stuck.

STEP1: Much like any recipe, you need to assess the time. We tend to shy away from elaborate recipes on a Tuesday night saving them for the weekend. In this case, you are assessing your timing. Whenever possible send a handwritten thank you as soon as possible. Your goal should be within 24 hours…a week at the latest. Now, I get it, LIFE HAPPENS and can get in the way. So I want you to know that late is still better than never. But as a professional practice, try to improve your response time to sooner rather than later. Deal?

Think about it. When would you like to be thanked?

STEP 2: Choose Your Format. Will you make a phone call? Send an email? Or hand write a note? In a recipe, it’s a lot like trying to figure out which pan you’ll use, loaf or bundt? If you can’t decide on with which format is most appropriate to send, choose and not or. That’s right, double the gratitude. Make that phone call or send an email almost immediately saying thank you for an invite, their time or a kind gesture. And then follow up with your handwritten, short, and focused note in a day or 2.

Still struggling with the most memorable approach? Ask yourself:

How you want to be remembered?

What will set your message apart?

Once a phone call happens, it’s over and email often deleted. But handwritten notes are a bit of an experience. Something to have and to hold.

Step 3: Keep it Short & Sweet! We’re talking 3-5 sentences. It’s plenty. Use this easy 5 step formula.

  • Greetings/Salutation
  • I wanted to thank you right away for…
  • Say why it was special to you.
  • Thank them Again
  • Close & Sign

If you need a format of exactly what to write, click here for our A-List Writing Worksheet. It is so easy you can use it with your kids.

STEP 4: Don’t Do To Much! What does that even mean, Michelle? It means, share your appreciation but don’t go on and on. Be gracious with a focus, in other words, stick to the point. This isn’t the time for selling yourself, your business or scheduling future plans & appointments.

No matter how you slice and service it, thoughtfulness and gratitude are great, everyday, ways to practice parts of your etiquette training. So go on, grab a pack of cards from Dollar Tree, Target, or personalize stationery all your own HERE.

For more personal/professional growth, inspiration, and training, Join The A-List. Plus, there is a surprise resource waiting in your Welcome Email when you do. Trust me, its a bundle of tips and exercises in an area every professional tends to struggle. But not you…not anymore! You’re Welcome.

Confrontations…what to do 1st

Do you struggle with handling confrontations with co-workers? Do have difficulty determining what to say? Are you afraid to be labeled as aggressive for speaking up? Are you frustrated with knowing how to get your point across without being distracted by emotion? Here is what I want you to do. So many times we don’t take a step back and assess a situation before we are ready to go ALL. THE. WAY. IN. 

Believe it or not, all confrontations do not require immediate attention. Often times, when we jump right into defending ourselves, our position, and our work ethic when we feel disrespected, embarrassed, threatened, and/or undervalued. And yes, we could find ourselves grandstanding and defending things that are not even in question. I’m sure you are asking yourself “well then, what would you have me do”? What is the BEST piece of advice, this first step. I want you to say, I want you to practice recap over react. Go ahead, say it out loud. I’ll wait. The very first thing, I want you to do is recap the situation at hand.

RECAP?!?!? Yes, recap, your clapback response is often in regard to the person doesn’t address the situation, which is the real problem you want resolve.

You have to take a step back…breathe…and then approach a situation with a clear head and a well laid plan. Write down what you believe has happened. This will allow you to see, sort, identify and clarify what you feel you need to address. It is the first step in being able to disect and remove unnecessary emotion from the equation; and possibly prevent you from looking like an aggressive hothead or unstable mess. Because you will be able to stay focused on the issue, not the person.

You will be able to begin shifting the narrative around you to one of listener and leader. Your peers will be in awe of your ability to hear hard things, process, and tactfully respond, if needed. This is a simple skill that will propel you forward, yet serve you well in many of your relationships. And it will take practice. Lot’s of practice!

Knowing how to respond with tact, starts with taking a moment to assess the situation BEFORE responding. In other words, think before you speak. Easier said than done, am I right? Recap over react, is one of the BEST first steps you can take toward tactfulness in addressing your peers and co-workers with difficult situations.

Now, if you are wondering, what is after recap; after I write it down, then what do I do next? I am happy answer. I’m delighted to share more tips with you. I’ve bundled strategic action exercises to help you get unstuck on what to do and  unstuck on what to say when approaching your next confrontation.

Put them all together, practice and you’ll feel more confident in your ability to handle sensitive situations because you’ll be equipped with a process to begin addressing issues (not people) consistently, professionally, and without added emotion. It’s in the A-List Approach to Confrontations and it’s free. All you have to do, is drop your email here to sign-up and download your practice guide.

I am here to tell you, you can do hard things. But you’ve got to be willing to do the work that matters.

The ER Visit

So yeah…this.

Let’s just say my island ER visit was interesting. I won’t lie to ya’ll…it took EVERYTHANG I had not to help one of my nurses understand that body language IS a language and just because her mouth wasn’t saying, I was picking up what she was putting down and I was going to pick it up, hand it to her and tell here where she could go and just how fast. 

DO NOT get this twisted friends.  I am not here to regurgitate the manners of yesteryear. In fact, many people don’t know; but manners are only a part of etiquette. I can teach you all about which bread plate is yours, how to eat soup, and a number of other fun table facts but I’d rather create a safe space where we increase our self awareness and at least try to conduct ourselves gracefully in the face of adversity. Even when that adversity comes in the form of a nasty nurse or just someone microwaving a fish lunch in the breakroom. 

Keeping your cool is not easy but it can and often does yield more fruitful results. So I am not here to appear perfect. The Good Lawd and many of you know that I am not. I am not here solely to distribute top ten facts and act like I have it all together. 

Michelle A Whyte Dot Com and The A-List are about growing, encouraging, and supporting each other to get it more right…more often. I want to create change for my son and my fairy godchildren. It’s hard to combat with the picture perfect, everyone’s an influencer, entitled, me, me, me, keeping it real, keeping it 100, party of 1 personna & social presence acting as reality. The fact is that’s cool…do you…and you can be that way, so long as you don’t have to interact with other people.  The second you do, their opinion of you begins to matter. That’s where the work has to be done. It’s how we interact and engage with one another That’s it. We want better, we want to set examples and be catalysts for change, in our personal lives, in our work lives and for our children. 

You lovely, courageous, and brave Ambassadors want the best of the best. You want better for your job, your community and your kids too. Chances are it is why you are rocking with me right now. But you will take what I am putting out, some of your will read it before you like or share it. Some of you will even try to begin applying it. But when you fail, and at times you will, your emotions can, do, and will get the best of you and I still want to be the place you turn. To ask the questions that maybe inspire an alternative approach, to get another perspective and most importantly to be loved up on when you make a mistake, own it, and then move on.