Protocol & Etiquette Tips

Etiquette Tip: Use of a Napkin

In a restaurant:

  • As soon as you are seated, remove the napkin from your place setting, unfold it, and put it in your lap. Do not shake it open. At some very formal restaurants, the waiter may do this for the diners, but it is not inappropriate to place your own napkin in your lap, even when this is the case.
  • The napkin rests on the lap till the end of the meal. Don’t clean the cutlery or wipe your face with the napkin. NEVER use it to wipe your nose!
  • If you excuse yourself from the table, loosely fold the napkin and place it to the left or right of your plate. Do not refold your napkin or wad it up on the table either. Never place your napkin on your chair.
  • At the end of the meal, leave the napkin semi-folded at the left side of the place setting. It should not be crumpled or twisted; nor should it be folded. The napkin must also not be left on the chair.

At a private dinner party:

  • The meal begins when the host or hostess unfolds his or her napkin. This is your signal to do the same. Place your napkin on your lap, completely unfolded if it is a small luncheon napkin or in half, lengthwise, if it is a large dinner napkin. Do not shake it open.
  • The napkin rests on the lap till the end of the meal.
  • The host will signal the end of the meal by placing his or her napkin on the table. Once the meal is over, you too should place your napkin neatly on the table to the left of your dinner plate. (Do not refold your napkin, but don’t wad it up, either.)

Protocol for Remembrance

By: Leslie Lautenslager

In all you do and in all you say, be kind.

Being human means we all at some point experience the death of loved ones as well as bear witness to the death of others we do not know. With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 just days away, let us be reminded how our every gesture, word and deed during days of remembrance can be gently chosen to best serve the grieving as well as be most reverent for the occasion.

Offering a simple word of sympathy and condolence to anyone who grieves can be comforting. Please don’t be fearful that you don’t know the “right” words… there are no right words. Sharing a kind word to show you care is enough.

Whether for funerals of loved ones or for memorial services on a national or international stage, sober dress is always most appropriate. Although gone are the days where all mourning attire had to be black, it is still considered best to dress in a fashion that reflects the somberness of the occasion and in a way that does not cause offense to those grieving.

Sometimes the “ministry of presence” – where no word is spoken – is the kindest gift of all in times of mourning. Simply standing by a loved one, a friend, a colleague, and sometimes most especially a stranger, is often all the appropriate comfort needed.

In attending remembrance services, like attending funerals, respect the traditions of the occasion even when the traditions may not be yours. The protocol of any situation often entails knowing and following many rules. Let us know that the protocol of remembrance can be summed up simply:

Be kind.

View Fiona’s take on 9/11 on-site from above the WTC by clicking here to visit the FCW Chanel.


US Open Tennis: Don’t commit a double fault in the stands

The US Open Tennis tournament is fast approaching. Those of you who know me personally will know that tennis is a sport close to my heart. Tennis fans sit close to the action and the slightest movement or yelp can distract the players. To keep from committing a “double fault” in the stands, check out theses rules of etiquette for tennis spectators: “How to Behave at a Tennis Match“.


Going to any Golf Masters this Summer? Golf Etiquette

Just in time for the major golf events this summer, the US Open and the British Open, FCW has compiled a guide to appropriate golf etiquette, as proper behavior off the course are an essential part of the game.

If you are able to get tickets to any of the PGA events, it is imperative to follow proper spectator etiquette.

  • Please Be Quiet! It is important to be quiet and stand still when a player preparing and about to make a swing.
  • Respect All Players! Unlike other sports, heckling and booing are not acceptable during professional golf events.
  • Follow Directions! For your own safety and organization of an event you must follow tournament security directions, obey signs, and follow directions from staff.

Protocol during Ramadan

Ramadan in 2011 will start on Monday August 1st and will continue for 30 days until Tuesday, the 30th of August.Ramadan is the holiest month on the lunar Islamic calendar – a time for fasting, taming human passions, and developing compassion for those less fortunate (“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may acquire self-restraint ” Qur’an 2:183).

For Muslims worldwide, the start of the month is based on sightings of the moon, as well as other astronomical calculations. In the United States, most communities follow the decision of the Islamic Society of North America for the highly anticipated start of Ramadan.

Here are a few tips to follow during Ramadan if you are dealing with or in a Muslim Nation:

  • Avoid meetings that include lunch, extend after 5pm or departmental parties or social events.
  • Be understanding that it is the most special month in a Muslim’s calendar.
  • Working hours in some companies end earlier during Ramadan, please plan accordingly.
  • Eid is a day off.
  • Greeting colleagues saying “Ramadan Mubarak” (blessed Ramadan) is an appropriate greeting.
  • If invited to share Iftar – do attend it is a fabulous cultural experience.

Being in a Muslim country during Ramadan is a wonderful experience!