Ideas When Meeting Your Partner’s Parents

By Angela Marshall, 18th Dec 2014
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kozzi happy people looking at a tablet computer 441x294 Ideas When Meeting Your Partners Parents

With the Holiday season coming up it is often the time we meet our partner’s parents for the first time. When going to meet them it can be daunting and you can feel very nervous. All families have their own style, habits and some can be good or bad but none of us are perfect. Some of us are more affluent, better educated, had better opportunities in life, but the one thing we can all be is polite, respectful and friendly. Instead of treating it as something to worry about, think of it in a positive way on how you will see and learn how another family lives, and how great it will be to meet your partner’s parents and learn more about them.

My suggestions on what to consider:

  1. Wear an outfit you feel comfortable in and represents your personality but not too outlandish.  Something simple, tasteful and appropriate for the event e.g. going to a restaurant, visiting their home.
  2. Be on time – bad manners to be late and disrespectful.
  3. Address the parents as “Mr” and “Mrs” until they say otherwise.
  4. Follow your partner’s lead –  watch if they are more relaxed or more formal than your familyHandshake or hug, follow what the parents do.
  5. Take a Gift – flowers, chocolates, plant or wine if suited and they drink.
  6. Use your Ps and Qs- remember to say please and thank you.
  7. Body Language – head up, shoulders back, sit upright in chair – look confident and remember to smile!
  8. Offer to Help – be useful, wash up, carry food to the table, and help to make the food if necessary. Ask if not sure what to do; all families have their own ways.
  9. Compliment where appropriate – like something in the meal, dessert, drink, item in the home.
  10. Be Prepared with Answers to Questions-  make conversation; find out from your partner what common interests you may have.

 Don’t

  1. Be too quiet or too talkative – join in but no take over the conversation.
  2. Complain or be negative about people and things in work or school. Avoid controversy and be positive.
  3. Talk about politics or religion – especially if you know they have different views or beliefs to you.
  4. Get drunk – avoid over indulging with alcohol.
  5. Swear or use inappropriate language.
  6. Help yourself to a drink or food from the fridge or cupboard just because your partner does, wait to be offered.
  7. Expect all the attention – remember your partner has been part of their family and may get more attention.
  8. Display affection in public to your partner – avoid PDA,  especially on your first meeting, parents may feel awkward and uncomfortable.
  9. Be late or too early.
  10. Be Rude – avoid offending people, being moody or answering abruptly if the family offend you.

The key thing is to be polite, respectful, and friendly and leave them with a good impression that you are a nice person. If you have special dietary requirements ensure you let them know ahead of time, preferably via your partner.

Enjoy and have fun!

Finally, remember to write a letter of thank you.


Fashionable Capes are Great

By Angela Marshall, 15th Dec 2014
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Lacorine cape Fashionable Capes are GreatLacorine fur hat Fashionable Capes are Great

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Fairs

I enjoy attending Christmas Fairs and meeting unusual small individual companies. This year I attended the Mary Howard Fair at Sandown Racecourse and met a small company called Eve Victoria who sells great candles, diffusers and soaps and they happen to come from my home area in South Wales. It is ideal presents for me to give friends and family a little taste of something from my home.

Alpaca Cape

Lacorine my cape 200x300 Fashionable Capes are GreatHowever, my key and wonderful purchase was my Christmas present, from my husband, a beautiful alpaca cape from Lacorine. I love capes as they are so easy to wear for so many occasions. In cold weather they are ideal for shopping when going from the cold outside to inside shops, going to a football or rugby match and you need to keep warm, wonderful to look smart over a long dress and attending a wedding. They are so versatile. My sister in law looked fantastic in the Alpaca fur hat and ideal for her when she goes walking the dogs as well as shopping and everyday wear.

Lacorine

It is a family run business that specialises in bringing you beautiful and unique handmade Alpaca clothing direct from Peru. All the products are created from natural herd loss which happens during the harsh Peruvian winter.

I cannot wait for Christmas when I can wear my new cape. I purchased the cinnamon colour to suit my warm muted colouring.


Dress Well and Look Stylish for our Age

By Angela Marshall, 11th Dec 2014
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Depositphotos 4586169 m 1024x682 Dress Well and Look Stylish for our Age

Whether you are 25 or 50 it is important to look stylish and dress well. Every year, at your birthday,  look at your wardrobe and check what needs tweaking to suit your personal style and age. As we get older we also change and develop and what may have suited us a few years ago may not look the same or suit our personality now.

What does dressing well and looking stylish mean?

Wearing clothes that fit well and that are clean, neat and tidy. Ensuring you are always well groomed whether in formal or casual attire. Understanding your own style which reflects your wardrobe personality and age group and dressing appropriately for every occasion.  If in doubt it is better to be overdressed than under dressed. Learn and adapt your style by understanding and knowing what works for you and ensuring you feel as well as look good.

Everything must fit well.
  • Find a good tailor. Most decent dry cleaning places will also do alterations, but preferably get to know one personally so that they can check the fit of your clothes personally.
  •  A jacket fits across the shoulders and the sleeves are the correct length. Your suit sleeves should end just above the hinges of your wrists, so a quarter to half inch of shirt cuff shows.
  • Trousers are fitting correctly at the waist, should not be baggy or so skin tight that they will tear. Ensure the waist is comfortable and not so loose that you need the belt to hold them up and the length is correct with shoes on. Your pants should just clip the tops of your shoes, not bunch up over them.
  • Shirts should be the correct sleeve length and not puff out at the waist.
  • Suits should fit like a glove, a good suit should hug your shoulders, not slouch off them.  A tailor can check for any alterations as most off the peg suits require some alterations.
  • For women ensure the skirt or dress length compliments your legs.
Clean Neat & Tidy

Ensure you are always well groomed by ensuring your clothes, shoes, hair and nails are clean, neat and tidy.

Wardrobe Personality

Understand what styles, fabrics and textures compliment you and reflect your personality. You need to feel comfortable in your clothes to feel and look good which in turn gives you great confidence. Don’t wear what others look good in and yet you do not feel good when you wear them. Add accessories which you enjoy and bring out your own style.

Dress appropriately for the occasion

There are such varieties to chose from whether casual, informal, formal or evening wear. Check out the dress code and don’t be afraid to ask when attending events and ask for an example if they do not make it clear e.g.is informal jeans or no jeans, formal tie or no tie.

Dressing Our Age

As we get older it is wiser to introduce more and more of the classics into an outfit and add some new trends which will still be good to be implemented. Transitional trends become less important and the way to look your best consistently will be through simplicity; consider style rather than fashion. Buy a range of colours to add to your classics but check if your colouring is softer and needs lighter or more muted tones.  Buy better quality and experiment with different neck lines, textures and cuts which will add a touch of youth to your outfit and keep things varied.

Accessories

Accessories add style, are great to update your look and add colour plus they are a great way to express your personality. As we get older they help you to stay fashionable without being too trendy . Chose the best quality you can afford for business. Women always carry a spare pair of hosiery.


Ideas and How to Buy Presents

By Angela Marshall, 4th Dec 2014
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iStock 000013838726Small Ideas and How to Buy Presents

Buying presents for people can be difficult – will they appreciate and like the present when they open it? As an image consultant and author of books for men and women about wardrobe personality, I am often asked for advice. For me I always think of the person’s age, gender, interests and hobbies and most importantly their wardrobe personality type. I highly recommend you think what they would enjoy and like not you.

Tips and Ideas to help you:

  1. Think about the person you are buying for – consider their interests and hobbies, their age and personality type.
  2. Make a list of ideas and allow a budget of how much you want to spend.
  3. Give yourself time and some thought on what to give.
  4. Pay attention and listen for hints.
  5. Look for offers on websites, look around and look closely at everything.
  6. When purchasing clothes or accessories, always buy the item that represents the person’s personality not yours.
  7. Consider a back-up present or plan for the unexpected present.
  8. When possible obtain a gift receipt should the present need to be changed or refunded.
  9. If you don’t know them well consider a gift voucher or something in general like wine, chocolates or flowers.
  10. When shopping stay focused and keep as near as you can to your individual budgets.

Wrap your gifts beautifully

Think of the excitement when you see a beautiful present, irrespective of the cost of the gift. When possible wrap and present it beautifully if you want to really impress and show you have made an effort. It doesn’t need to cost, use your imagination or get ideas from the web.

Receiving a Gift

On the day remember it is the thought that counts. Remember your manners, and do write a thank you note for all the presents you receive and ensure, if you have children, that they do as well. It will encourage them to be polite but also will help them to learn to write and who knows they may well become a future author by thinking about what to say.

The manner of giving is worth more than the giftPierre Corneille, Le Menteur


Remember Your Manners at the Office Party

By Angela Marshall, 1st Dec 2014
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shutterstock 162076814 Remember Your Manners at the Office Party

It’s the time of year when most companies have an office party. You may be looking forward to it or actually dreading the event. Think positively and see the event as an opportunity to speak to people you don’t normally get a chance to see or speak to and get to know some new colleagues on a social basis.

However, remember you will face your bosses and colleagues tomorrow and in the future, so ensure you do not blow your reputation by misbehaving, getting drunk or making a nuisance of yourself. Give a positive image and show how you can socialise professionally.

Reminders of the Do’s and Don’ts

7 Do’s

  1. Dress to impress, not shock – wear something festive and fun but appropriate, wear something that fits you well and expresses your wardrobe personality. Something different to your office image but reflects you.
  2. Be on time, don’t stay late at work.
  3. Mix and mingle with colleagues and chat to people you don’t know or see rarely, make conversation and get to know them better.
  4. Be polite and courteous to everyone, even the people you don’t like very much.
  5. Smile and look like you are enjoying yourself, relax and you will!
  6. Have good table manners.
  7. Look good the next day – make an effort even if you don’t feel your best!

7 Don’ts

  1. Over indulge in alcohol.
  2. Overeat and find you are ill.
  3. Gossip about your bosses or colleagues.
  4. Become too familiar with your bosses or colleagues.
  5. Spend time on your mobile or inappropriately use your camera.
  6. Don’t eat too quickly or talk with your mouth full.
  7. Be the last to leave.

If a colleague has organised the event ensure you thank them and make a positive comment; they will appreciate it and remember you in a positive way.

 


Good Grooming a Must to Look Your Best

By Angela Marshall, 27th Nov 2014
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kozzi businesswoman in an interview with three business people getting positive feedback 884x588 Good Grooming a Must to Look Your Best

 

I was recently having a coffee at Waterloo station in London and opposite was sitting an extremely well dressed gentleman and what made him stand out compared to other people was not his suit but how well groomed he was. When someone is neat, tidy and well presented, whether they are dressed in formal or informal attire, they send signals to others about who they are. Good grooming pays dividends; it has a subtle but powerful influence on how you feel and look. It can affect the outcome you have on people in life.

Animals regularly clean themselves and put their fur, feathers or other  skin coverings in good order, as keeping clean is the most hygienic way of staying healthy. Cats are meticulously clean; they spend a large portion of their day grooming.

Personal grooming is about taking care of your appearance and body and being well groomed is about perfecting the finer details. Regardless of your income, background or lifestyle, modern women and men have no excuse for being badly groomed.  When you are clean, polished and look presentable people straight away think you are professional in your work and are more trustworthy than someone who looks scruffy.  Simply by attending to minor details you will convey confidence and self-esteem and it transforms your appearance. You may have the appropriate clothes that suit you but poor grooming will ruin your entire look.

Make time to examine your clothes regularly for dirty marks, lost buttons, split seams, tears or loose hems.  Always check, before going out, in a full-length mirror how your clothes look on you from front and back and check them during the day when you go to the toilet or washroom. Being well groomed some days and not others indicates you are not consistent and therefore not reliable.

To be well groomed all the time requires a routine with good habits.

7 Reminders for Presentable Grooming:

  1. Good hygiene – good body odour, skin clean and looking fresh, clean teeth and fresh breath. Have healthy teeth that look white and regularly visit a dentist.
  2. Nails – clean well manicured nails and feet.
  3. Hair – clean and presentable hair.
  4. Clothing Care – neatly pressed clothes, check your clothes for stains.
  5. Shoes- polished shoes and in good repair.
  6. Fragrances - be wary of using strong fragrances especially in business situations.
  7. Clothes co-ordinated –no visible lines or dark colours under light Read the rest of this entry »

Entertaining and Business Etiquette

By Angela Marshall, 24th Nov 2014
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10.Table lay out2 1024x685 Entertaining and Business Etiquette

Business people regularly entertain clients at lunches, dinners and various social events. How many employees will portray the image of their company’s brand and will their personal image fit in with the brand? Having good social skills enhances your personal and professional image and reputation. It can also give you the edge and stand you out from the crowd.

Hosting

Bus Lunch iStock 000005908817Small2 300x189 Entertaining and Business Etiquette

The fundamental role of a good host is to make sure your guests are comfortable, relaxed and enjoying themselves. Good etiquette creates an environment that allows everyone to feel at ease.

Dress code: As a host or guest it is always advisable to dress on the side of conservative sensibility: dress well and in good taste and observe any rules. As the host, advise your guests any rules, and provide guidance as to appropriate wear as what you may consider is smart may not be what your guests do and vice a versa. For example – Smart Casual e.g. Men – trousers, jacket and no tie, Women – dress, skirt or trousers and top but no jeans.

Host

The demeanour of the event will very much be lead by you as the host and is the ideal time to show your personality, but at the same time remember you will represent the brand of your company.

Tips:

  1. Arrive approximately 30 minutes before your guests.
  2. Planning – check that everything is organised and planned to your requirements.
  3. Greet everyone with a firm, sincere handshake, a friendly smile and direct eye contact.Kissing on the cheeks should be avoided unless you are close friends, as many people find this uncomfortable..
  4. Introductions – formally, you should introduce lower ranking individuals to higher ranking individuals and it is appropriate to include titles (e.g., Dr., Judge, etc.) and name prefix (e.g., Mr., Mrs. Ms.). If you are on first name terms and in a more relaxed atmosphere then you may prefer to use first names only.
  5. Mingle – mingling amongst your guests is very important but can be nerve wracking. Try to find topics of interest you have in common or gain information of ones you don’t e.g.  your guest may well be a keen rower, and understand the rules more than you. Remember, always smile and look happy to your guests.
  6. Relax and smile – be relaxed otherwise your guests will not relax. Make every effort to show you are enjoying yourself but remember you are there to ensure your guests enjoy themselves.
  7. Partner – when partners are included ensure your partner introduces her or himself and uses the same tips.

If you are new at corporate entertaining, remember it gets easier with practise. Observe good hosts when you are entertained.

If in another country or in unfamiliar territory it is best to do some research. Key is to be relaxed and ensure your guests enjoy the event.

Guest

Tips:

  1. Be on time – Don’t arrive too early or be late, arrive within 10 – 15 minutes of the time given.
  2. Conversation – Listen and avoid interruptions, contribute to conversation and pick topics that involve everyone.
  3. Compliments – give and take compliments gracefully.
  4. Drink – wait to be offered a drink and don’t over indulge on alcohol.
  5. Meal – wait for all guests to receive their food and the host starts their meal.
  6. Thank you – email or text if that is your usual way of corresponding but strictly speaking I always think it is best to write a letter of thanks. You will always be remembered and you show your full appreciation.

How to Network when attending an Event

By Angela Marshall, 20th Nov 2014
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shutterstock 180799913 How to Network when attending an Event

Many people feel uncomfortable walking into a room full of strangers and some will avoid it. However, it is something we all must do to broaden our business and personal relationships. Whenever you are invited to an event approach it as a good time to network and get to know new people.

General Tips:

  • Introduce yourself to people – give a firm handshake, a smile and a greeting or remark reassures the other person.
  • Importance of Giving and Receiving – the easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want.  In return you will receive advice, knowledge, contacts or information. “Pursue the relationship not the sale”
  • What to Wear - Dress in a style that represents your personality, your company’s brand and your personal brand.
  • Think positively - Know what you want to achieve from the event. Commit the time and make things happen!
  • Walk in with confidence – Good posture, smile, eye contact, firm handshake and don’t stand so close to a person that you invade their personal space.
  • Speak to people you knowTalk to them for a few moments to get a feel of the environment; ask for introductions.
  • Be conscious of others in the room and their awareness.
  • Working the Room - Occasionally you can get a prior list of attendees, identify any people you particularly want to meet, but keep in mind you never know whom other people may know.
  • Introducing Yourself to People – Speak to someone who is on their own and then suggest you join others. Join a group of three or introduce people you know to people you have just met.
  • Ideas of topics to talk about – Think of conversation starters that are simple and interesting and preferably open questions (current affairs, recent news, developments). Be enthusiastic and sound interesting.
  • Description of what you doAlways be prepared with a short sentence to describe what you do. Keep it brief and to the point and try to include the benefits to your clients. Show what you can deliver, be confident, passionate about your work and add some humour.
  • How to remember namesBe the first to introduce yourself and ask the person for their name. Repeat their name back to them; if you are a visual person, imagine their name written down or look at their business card.
  • Where to place a name badgeAlways wear your name badge on your upper right shoulder. Why? When extending your right hand for a handshake the person will automatically be drawn to your right hand side. Position the badge high enough on your right side to give other people the best view of your badge as well as your face. Plus the badge will always lie flat and more secure when it is on the upper part of your chest as this is the flattest.
  • Your Network Style  – You are in control of how and where you network. Use your personality style to suit your approach. Learn what makes you tick and works best for you, but do go out of your comfort zone so that you grow and develop and become a great networker.

 


The Importance of Networking

By Angela Marshall, 13th Nov 2014
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shutterstock 159929105 The Importance of Networking

The Importance of Networking

Whether in our business or personal life it is important to network with other people. Why? It is an ideal way of obtaining information & connecting to others, as well as increasing your understnading of other people and your knowledge in general.

What is Networking?

It is an easy way to build mutually beneficial business relationships through meeting people, sharing ideas, gaining information and resources and making new friends. Whether it is for business or your personal life. It increases your contacts locally and throughout the world; very experienced ‘networkers’ claim they can speak to anyone in the world within 6 interactions.

Why Network?

It is a way of establishing new relationships and is not about selling. It is an opportunity to advertise yourself, plus increase your knowledge and share ideas. The world has become smaller and life has become fast-paced, therefore strong relationships are more important than ever. We are all in the business of selling and how well we connect with other people will form the basis of our success. “People buy people” and they will interact with people they like and trust. Customers must have confidence in your ability to meet their needs. Decisions in a company are made by people not computers therefore your success and the success of your company will rely on how well you communicate and interact with other people. Conversation is a skill and like most things it improves with experience and practice. Listening is important and a good listener is the one that will inspire others. Don’t stay with the same person, move on, but do it in a polite way. For example say that you need to speak or find someone else or say ” I mustn’t keep you from meeting other people.”

Quote:

“Nothing worthwhile ever happens quickly and easily. You achieve only as you are determined to achieve… and as you keep at it until you have achieved”. Robert H Lauer


Being Thoughtful to Others

By Angela Marshall, 6th Nov 2014
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welcoming guest Being Thoughtful to Others

Our lives are very busy and we are often rushing around. We can all be guilty of focusing on ourselves and it is something we need to do from time to time to achieve what needs to be done in our lives. However, it is also important to be thoughtful and considerate to others and to have a thought for other people’s desires and wishes. Being thoughtful is more than just being polite, it is helping to make the world a better place to live in. It is about doing things that you would like others to do for you.

It only takes a moment to be thoughtful to others.  It doesn’t have to cost money e.g. opening a door for a lady with a pushchair or a man carrying a heavy parcel or saying “please” and “thank you” to a waiter when you order your meal or a coffee. It is not only polite, it also makes it a more pleasant experience for the waiter and it can make you feel better too.

Just doing little things for people you know can make big differences in their lives. Consider phoning a friend or member of the family who lives on their own and say a quick hello. If you know someone is going through a bad time ring them or send a note or card with a message you are thinking of them.

Being thoughtful is effortless and easy for everyone to do and if everyone does it, the world will be a much brighter place.

Things to remember:

  1. Be humble – think about others as well as yourself
  2. Do good deeds for others and don’t expect anything in returngo out of your way to make someone’s day a bit brighter. Do to others as you would wish done to you.
  3. Take time to think about the things you say or dotaking responsibility for our actions and considering how it might affect other people.
  4. Make a person feel special – give them some time, listen and show interest.
  5. Smile – go out of your way to smile at everyone.
  6. Pay Attention to what is going on around you – notice what a difference you can make and take action.
  7. Benefits – with practice we gain experience and learn the joys and benefits of helping others  and it improves our own life as well.

To sum it up if we all learn to be thoughtful, we will all grow as individuals and our world will become a better place. There will be fewer problems as we take care of each other rather than being selfishly motivated.



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