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Ordinary People. Ordinary Things. with Melissa Radke

Mar 26, 2019

Diane Gottsman is a national etiquette expert. She is the owner of a company that specializes in corporate etiquette training. She is the author of Modern Etiquette for a Better Life. She has appeared on The Today Show, Headline News, CBS Sunday Morning, and in the New York Times. She is also poised, beautiful, smart, and so well-spoken.

I was nervous about having an etiquette expert like Diane on the show today, but she put me at ease. Diane teaches that etiquette is about mind and soul, and that they are connected. She believes that etiquette is about putting other people at ease, and that's what she did with me. She also answered my questions with such grace and wisdom that I loved this episode. Diane shares insights about life we all need to keep in mind. This interview wasn’t what I had expected, but it is filled with actionable knowledge we can all use.

You can find Diane here:

Diane Gottsman Website
Diane Gottsman on Instagram
Diane Gottsman on Facebook

Show Notes

  • [02:45] Diane is in San Antonio today.
  • [05:25] To Diane etiquette isn't stuffy, it's about life skills and making other people feel comfortable. Every person at every age can fine-tune their life skills.
  • [05:59] When Diane was growing up she didn't know what she wanted to do, but she did know she wanted to work with people.
  • [06:25] Diane has a master's degree in human behavior. She started fundraising for meals-on-wheels. She also worked with a children's charity and one of the children said when she grew up she wanted to be just like Diane.
  • [07:33] She had an aha moment and realized that knowledge and training was all that was holding this little girl back. This inspired Diane to work and train people in all walks of life.
  • [08:33] She merged her teaching and training into one. By nature Diane is an introvert. She is still shy, but she's a socialized introvert.
  • [09:48] It's up to us to be relationship builders. Etiquette is just about being authentic and genuine. That is what Diane teaches.
  • [10:37] We get to choose how we behave and how others treat us. We train people how to treat us. If someone is talking down to you, you don't have to waste a lot of time with them.
  • [11:07] It's about feeling good about yourself and knowing that you are not competing with anyone else.
  • [11:16] Money doesn't buy class it buys a great pair of shoes. It's about self confidence and making others around you feel comfortable.
  • [11:36] If everyone likes you, there's something wrong with you. It means you're not speaking your truth.
  • [11:45] Diane teaches etiquette which is about mind and soul, and they are connected.
  • [13:02] There's a difference between assertive and aggressive. You lose your power when you scream or shout.
  • [13:48] As we grow, we weed our friendship gardens.
  • [14:40] A graceful exit isn't a shouting match. It's better to talk about something positive rather than negative. You can gracefully exit. You don't need to give excuses. There is power in truth, but use good judgement.
  • [16:54] Diane owns the Protocol School of Texas which is a company that specializes in corporate etiquette training.
  • [17:35] You are your brand. Always work on your brand.
  • [19:44] It's up to us as parents to do the best that we can. Give your kids structure and boundaries.
  • [20:54] Diane instilled values in her kids. The need to be respectful, make eye contact, exchange a handshake when appropriate, and be open and have grace. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
  • [22:13] When eating at restaurants, at the end of the meal, Melissa asks her kids what were the color of the eyes of their waiter or waitress.
  • [22:48] When you are introduced to someone stand up.
  • [25:25] Balance is the key with social media. You can tell a great deal about a person from their posts. Social media can help you, but we all need face-to-face relationships.
  • [27:20] Texting isn't a bad thing, but it may not be the best thing in some situations. Know the language of the person that you are relating to.
  • [28:29] Everyone should have people around them who lift them up.
  • [31:44] Cell phone etiquette? Put your phone away at a party or event. You can use your phone when getting a pedicure. Use your best judgement. The most important person is sitting across from you.
  • [34:28] Thank you notes? They aren't outdated. Send the note.
  • [36:29] Hold a red wine glass from the bowl and a white wine glass from the stem. A champagne flute is held from the stem.
  • [36:56] Hostess gifts are still a thing. Take one when you are invited to a party or to stay at someone’s home. Send flowers in advance. Don't make the host or hostess stop and find a vase. Bring wine, tea towels, or olive oil.
  • [38:21] You shouldn't be thinking about the exit at the entrance of a party. It's your job to be pleasant and interesting. At a wedding reception, wait until the cake is cut. At a dinner, you have to wait for dessert.
  • [40:57] Tipping for a housekeeper during holidays is fine.
  • [42:16] How to deal with personal questions. These questions are invasive and off limits. Keep your questions to yourself. Set boundaries with questions.
  • [45:41] Listen to your gut, it will guide you. Be kind to yourself and give yourself a break.
  • [46:49] We should all strive to surround ourselves with people who lift us up.
  • [48:12] Diane answers the three rapid fire questions.
  • [52:41] Etiquette is about class and grace. It's about raising our children to make others feel like the most important people in the room. It's about looking people in the eye when we speak to them. It's about listening instead of speaking. It's about putting down our phones. It's about extending a hand rather than a text.

Thanks for joining us on Ordinary People Ordinary Things. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review. Just like your mother taught you.

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