correspondence etiquette

Etiquette Tips We Live By

Navigating the world of etiquette can be overwhelming and complicated at times.  Yet, it doesn’t always have to be!  In fact, you probably already have some rules of etiquette that you follow in your everyday life.  Below are the etiquette tips that the Dempsey and Carroll team members live by:

Jaimie: One etiquette rule I live by is steering clear of having phone conversations on public transit. Not only is it courteous to other riders, it lets me take some time out of the day for myself with no interruptions. If I must take the call, I keep it brief, use my “inside” voice, and absolutely no speakerphone! I try to limit my cell phone conversations in public in general, but phone calls on public transit is a definite no no for me.

Oh, on an unrelated topic, but also very important to me…always send a thank you note!

Austin: For me, nothing beats a handwritten thank you note. If someone has me for dinner, they’re sure to get one. A texted or emailed thank you note will be read quickly and forgotten but a hand-written note will really mean something to the recipient. This practice strengthens new associations and cements old friendships.

Lauren: For me, etiquette is more than just about doing the right thing.  It’s about doing anything I can to facilitate gracious living.  It’s not about being right or wrong for me, it’s about being kind and gracious.  A few of my favorite things to do:

  • Smile and say thank you when getting off a bus
  • Open the door for someone
  • If I approach a line around the same time as someone else, I always let them go ahead of me
  • If I’m tipping for service, I always try to give a little extra – if 20% is $9, why not leave $10.
  • If there is a way to show kindness in any interaction – do it!

Kara: My most favorite etiquette rule of thumb that I live by is a two-part one:

Clean up after yourself and always leave a room better than how you found it!

Danielle: When going out to dinner with someone, I always try to have my phone out of sight.  So much of our lives is run by technology, so when I meet someone for a meal I like to disconnect for that short period of time.  This way, I can give someone my full attention without phones buzzing.

Margaret: I never show up to a party empty handed!  I’ll usually bring a nice bottle of wine or something small like a candle to gift to the host.  This small token of appreciation is a must for me!

So, what etiquette tips do you live by and why are they important to you?  Please respond here or email us at

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