by Jim Rada, Jr., photography by Bill Ryan

In today’s contentious world, it seems good manners have been forgotten. Cursing has become a part of our common language.  Work dress is jeans and a t-shirt. A recent survey showed that nearly half of families with children text each other even when they are in the same home. People don’t know how to treat each other or communicate with each other.

Kelly Frager knows, though, and she is trying to teach others the rules of civility that we call etiquette. She runs a business called Etiquette for Everyday in Mt. Airy that promotes the three Cs to her clients: Confidence, Courtesy, and Connections.

“I see etiquette as being all about relationships and how we interact with each other, not about rules,” Frager said. “When most people think of etiquette, they think of it as outdated and rigid with old ladies with purple hair being judgmental.”

She takes a broader view of etiquette as a way of successfully communicating our thoughts with others and as a way to better ourselves.

While Frager knew what she needed to teach to help people was etiquette, she worried about how the using the word in her business name would be perceived when she was planning to start her business in 2008. Her seminars are far from the stodginess associated with etiquette. Etiquette for Everyday not only lets people know Frager teaches behaviors, but that they are behaviors people should be doing all the time

Frager has a background in corporate training and human resources. She worked extensively with conflict resolution, negotiating, and team building, all of which play a part in etiquette.

“There is etiquette for everything,” Frager said. “It kind of guidelines for how we act and behave with one another.”

This could be for e-mail communication as well as dining out.

They are unwritten guidelines that also factor something that is larger in helping people be successful…likeability.

Communication has risen in importance in recent years because more and more of our contacts with others are made electronically

“First impressions are being made through e-mail and websites,” Frager said. “Opinions are being formed before people have a chance to meet.”

In large measure, Frager sees herself as teaching life skills to her clients.

“I help people feel, ‘I can do this,’” she said.


BUSINESS BITS

Etiquette for Everyday – Kelly Frager  •  www.etiquetteforeveryday.com  •  301-829-6944

  • Colleges frequently use for Frager’s services to teach their students how to mix and mingle and dine out at a nice restaurant. These are skills the students need as they interview with potential employers.
  • Frager has been Certified Etiquette Instructor through The International School of Protocol since 2008.
  • Frager has a blog where she regularly posts about etiquette topics.
  • She also has a Master of Science degree in Human Resources Development from Johns Hopkins University. Her work with businesses might be an hour-long workshop or a full day evaluation where she helps with everything from technology etiquette to conversation skills.
  • Not only does Frager teach her own workshops, but she also teaches classes at Carroll Community College.
  • Frager originally planned to focus on youths, but adults kept asking for her seminars and consulting, and she realized that adults needed etiquette skills just as much as young people.
  • Frager’s Girls’ Night Out seminars at a nice restaurant are very popular and regular fill up. They are evening sessions with real-life scenarios that are “not your grandmom’s etiquette.”
  • A couple work etiquette rules to follow include: Stand up when greeting someone, ask before borrowing anything, and send handwritten thank-you notes.
  • With etiquette, it’s not so much what you do or say but how you are perceived and understood that’s important.

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