How to be a Good Guest

Spring is finally here!  Soon the smell of cut grass and barbeques will fill the streets.  Spring and summer are big seasons for entertaining and gatherings. We come out of hibernation with enthusiasm for entertaining outdoors.

If you and your children are planning to attend a future gathering, here are some tips to ensure that you are good guests.

  1. Always offer to bring something, whatever your age.  There are plenty of grocery stores in the area.  Grab a plant or a bouquet of flowers.
  2. RSVP in a timely manner, if it is requested. The last thing your host or hostess wants to worry about is contacting people who have not RSVPed.
  3. Be prompt.  If you are going to be late, always call.  Protocol dictates you can arrive 15 minutes after the stated start time.  Anything after that is late!
  4. Never arrive early.  You don’t want your host to feel rushed and unprepared for your arrival.    
  5. Dress appropriately for the occasion.   
  6. Teach your children to be courteous and to use the magic words: yes, please, and no thank you.  Make it a game and offer a prize to the child who uses the best manners.  One of the criteria could be that someone, outside of your family, would have to notice and verbalize the noticeable polite skills. 
  7. Take reasonable food portions.  You are always welcomed to enjoy seconds, if there is enough for everyone. 
  8. Compliment your host in some way.  It can be anything—just kind, flattering words for the effort put forth.
  9. Thank your host or hostess for having you.  You can send a note or phone or email.
  10. Reciprocate.  Invite the person or family to your home, club or a familiar restaurant.   

Colleen Harding

Hello my name is Colleen Harding.  I am the founder for the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol.  I started my company 7 years to address a niche and a need for protocol training.  I received two certifications from the American School of Protocol in traditional etiquette and corporate training.  Today, I work with individuals, schools, companies and organizations that recognize the importance of social polish in daily life and the corporate world.

I spent 22 years in the corporate arena as an outside sales representative with 15 years in Broadcast Sales.  I recognize the competitive advantage a person has when they respect etiquette and have received protocol training. 

I am a Bay Village resident.  Graduated from Magnificat High School and The Ohio State University. 

I am an active volunteer for the Westside Catholic Center, St Raphael Women’s Guild and Village Foundation Board Member.

Read More on Mrs. Harding
Volume 3, Issue 11, Posted 3:48 PM, 05.05.2016