Serving Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Conn. Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire

Conversation Secrets that Profit Your Business and Career!

 Waltham West Suburban Chamber of Commerce 

 February 2  7:30 AM

Register at


The Interview Meal: Don’t Let Your Prospects Go up in Flames!

Fitchburg State University

February 2017 (Private) 

5 Star Manners for Children

For ages 8-11;  November 29 from 4-5:30 at Canton Recreation facility. For details visit t


The Interview Meal: Don’t Let Your Prospects Go up in Flames!

Framingham State University

December 2016 (Private)

5-Star Manners for Children

St Benedict Elementary School, Natick

In -School and  after-school series October  & November (Private)


From Hassled to Happy

Panelist for conference organized by Mary T  O'Sullivan 

This conference/workshop is designed for managers, executives, and professional who find themselves in tough circumstances. Attend this workshop and learn how to act with grace when you find yourself under stress in career, job, relationship, or personal situations.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Info and tickets:

Deborah Sampson’s 2nd Secret!

Parkview Elementary School, Easton, MA

October 7,  2016 ( Private)

Courtesy, Brazilian Style

The Olympic Games offer us easy access to a worldwide display of athleticism, talent and grit!  The Games also give us a glimpse into the culture of the host country. Below are rules that help define etiquette in Brazil:

Meeting and greeting

Men shake hands. By U.S. standards, the Brazilian handshake is lengthy; eye contact is sustained throughout.

Women kiss each other on cheeks, starting with the left.  A man and woman may shake hands, but the woman extends her hand first.

Brazilians stand close to each other when speaking .Their “comfort zone” is “too close for comfort” for many of us.  (Resist the urge to back away.)  In addition, interrupting another is common and acceptable.


 Parents teach children to clean their plates.  Leaving food in considered rude!

At a restaurant, expect to share your table with another party.

A 10% service charge (tip) is added to the bill. There is no need to add to that. Tips are pooled and distributed among the staff.

Gift Giving

If you visit a Brazilian home it is mandatory to bring a gift or send one later with a thank-you note. Candy (or any food/beverage) is appropriate for an afternoon visit or informal meal. For a formal dinner, step it up—bring a bottle of wine.

Flowers are acceptable for any occasion, with the exception of a formal dinner (go with wine).

When selecting a gift, avoid anything that is purple and black; these are mourning colors.

Late is Great!

A savvy Brazilian who is invited to a small social event to start at 6:00 knows enough to arrive no earlier than 6:30. If the gathering were to be large, he /she would arrive at 7:00. To be “on time” you need to be late!

Competition is essential to the Olympics.  Respect for the traditions of the host country and its citizens are at the essence of the Olympic spirit.






     Three Disappearing Manners Worth a Rescue


In the early days of commercial flying, decorum dictated that passengers dress up. Now that air travel is common, people dress for comfort. Manners change with society; some, however, are timeless. Below are three courtesies that are fading and warrant a rescue:

1 Training children to be comfortable calling adults by a title: (Mr. Ms. Mrs.  etc.) Calling adults by a title helps instill a fundamental respect for adults and authority. It also develops an important instinct: children learn to recognize situations in which it is important to sit straighter and choose words more carefully;these include a summer-job interview or introduction to a parent’s boss.

There is also a safety factor: calling someone by his/her first name sets a tone of familiarity. Do we want our children to perceive an adult they do not know as a friend?

Of course, there are adults, such as close family friends, in which the first-name-basis is appropriate. Parents decide this.

2 Standing to greet someone: At a recent event, I walked up to three high-school girls and introduced myself. They jumped to their feet. I was surprised and impressed. This brought to mind the fact that standing to greet someone is no longer common behavior. Doing so, when it is not disruptive, is a simple way to show respect and acknowledgment.

3 Offering Your Seat  I’ll never forget the elderly man I saw enter a packed train; hunched over his quivering cane, he disappeared into the crowd. When we later disembarked, I saw that nobody had offered him a seat! Why? Have we become so absorbed in our smartphones and to-dos that we have lost consciousness of those around us?  Four words that go a long way to showing consideration:  “Please have a seat.”

When we see a time –honored tradition disappearing, we would be wise to ask ourselves if it served an important purpose; if so, what's the replacement?.





Simple No-Cost Ways Kids Can Show Dad That He is Important


Are you pulling at your hair, trying to think of something special to give your  father on Fathers’ Day?  Try the gift of appreciation. There are simple actions you can take to show Dad that he is important. Read below to find out how Fathers’ Day came to be. You'll also see a few appreciation-gift tips:

 A West Virginia church planted the Fathers’ Day seed in July 1908 when it created an event to honor fathers. The church did this to recognize the 362 men who had died in a recent coal-mine explosion. In 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by her widowed father, tried to establish a day to parallel Mothers’ Day, already a national holiday. Presidents Wilson and Coolidge urged states to make Fathers’ Day a state holiday. Finally, in 1972 Richard Nixon proclaimed it a national holiday.

 Here are a few simple ways you can remind Dad that he is important:

  •  When Dad comes home at the end of the day, turn off the tv, put down the iPad, walk up to Dad, smile and say “Hi”. Why do I suggest this? A visiting college roommate of mine wondered how my father could come home from work in such a good mood.  After all, he was coming home, likely worn out, to the tumult of a household with eight kids! She finally figured it out—eight kids greeted him with hugs! A warm welcome can do a lot towards brightening a tired-dad’s day.
  • Ask Dad about his day. Dad likes to hear about your Turn the tables: show an interest in the comings and goings of his day—then watch him smile! 
  • At dinner, offer to pass the bowl of potatoes around the table, starting with Dad. Explain that he is the guest of honor and, thus, comes first! 
  • Show Dad that his time and efforts pay off. For example, if you are taking piano lessons, choose a song to practice and play it for him. He’ll see that the lessons mean something to you and that his money is well spent. Or maybe, he been working with you on your (baseball) pitch. Practice, practice, practice and pick this day to toss a ball to him in your new and improved style!
  • When friends come over and you see Dad, stop and say, “Hi” (or introduce them). Dad will see that you are proud to be his kid. He’ll be reminded of his pride in being your dad!’

Great gifts come in innumerable shapes and sizes. Sometimes, the gifts that mean the most are the ones wrapped with recognition and appreciation. These are gifts can be given over and over.  I wish your dad a happy Fathers' Day!