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In the news…

Girls Rule! | The Etiquette Imperative featured in B.Couleur Magazine:


“Daily, girls are bombarded with subtle societal messages about their value and potential. When we replace negative messages with positive tools and proper social skills including courtesy, civility, and respect it proves to be the bottom line in determining a profitable and successful future.”

Recently, Girls Rule! and The Etiquette Imperative were featured in the B.Couleur Magazine article, “Girls Rule! Old-Fashioned Etiquette Prepares Girls for Modern Success” by award winning journalist, Nykeya Woods. We are honored and proud to raise the visibility and highlight the importance of etiquette mastery and it’s significant impact on future earning potential and civil social interactions.

Thank you to all of our supporters, partners, followers and subscribers for helping to make our work possible. We hope you enjoy the piece:

“Gone are the days when ladies put on gloves for an outing, dress up to run errands, or wear a slip under a skirt. More people today view etiquette-letting seniors or pregnant women sit on public transportation or holding doors open-as a dying practice. Yet, others argue that the more etiquette is disregarded, the more conflict will arise. Ladon Thames-Brumfield thinks a return to etiquette instruction could revive the art of civility and manners.

Seven years ago, the former corporate…

Read more…

Girls Rule!
Inspiring Girls To Blend…OUT!
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The Etiquette Imperative Job Interview Tip: To Smile or Not to Smile…That is the Question.

Table Manners

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Dear Etiquette Imperative,

Is it still improper to have your elbows on the table when you are eating? We have two children; a 9 year old daughter & a son who is 10, who seem to think I’m crazy. Any other table manner advice you can give me would be well appreciated. We are trying to raise our children to have good table manners, but we are certainly no experts.


Allison and Scott

Dear Allison and Scott,

Great question! You may be surprised to know that both you and the children are correct!

For informal dining situations, it’s okay to rest an elbow on the table if you’re not actually eating. But, if you’re eating, then only rest the forearm or wrist on the edge of the table. One doesn’t want to be hunched over their food. At formal functions, no elbows on the dining table.

Please consider telling your children that table manners are more than about proper eating; it’s about being kind and considerate of others. Although you know that they are smart and nice, other people will judge them on how they present themselves. In the long run, etiquette and social grace mastery is another wonderful tool, that will help them to attain their dreams and ambitions!

Whether in a restaurant or in a home, here are some basic table manners to teach kids stated in ways that will help them to laugh AND learn:

1. Eat with a fork unless the food is meant to be eaten with fingers. Only babies eat with fingers.

2. Sit up and do not hunch over your plate; wrists or forearms can rest on the table, or hands on lap.

3. Don’t stuff your mouth full of food, it looks kinda gross, and you could choke.

4. Chew with your mouth closed. This includes no talking with your mouth full.

5. Don’t make any rude comments about any food being served. It will hurt someone’s feelings.

6. Always say thank you when served something. Shows appreciation.

7. If the meal is not buffet style, then wait until everyone is served before eating. It shows consideration.

8. Eat slowly and don’t gobble up the food. Someone took a long time to prepare the food, enjoy it slowly. Slowly means to wait about 5 seconds after swallowing before getting another forkful.

9. When eating rolls, tear off a piece of bread before buttering. Eating a whole piece of bread looks um…tacky.

10. Don’t reach over someone’s plate for something. Politely ask that the item to be passed to you. Shows consideration.

11. Do not pick anything out of your teeth, it’s gross. If it bothers you that bad, excuse yourself and go to the restroom to pick.

12. Always use a napkin to dab your mouth, which should be on your lap when not in use. Remember, dab your mouth only. Do not wipe your face or blow your nose with a napkin, both are gross. Excuse yourself from the table and go the restroom to do those things.

13. When eating at someone’s home or a guest of someone at a restaurant, always thank the host and tell them how much you enjoyed it. At least say that you liked the dinner or mention a specific item that was particularly tasty, i.e. the dessert was great. Again, someone took time, energy, and expense to prepare the food, so show your appreciation.

Thank you for your question!

Bon appetite!

Ladon Brumfield
Girls Rule!
The Etiquette Imperative

Have an etiquette question? Email us at

The Girls Rule! Etiquette Imperative

During an interview for a magazine article on the subject of etiquette, the columnist me: 

“Is social etiquette an outdated concept?”

So many boundaries and expectations around acceptable social behavior have changed over the years, so I can certainly understand why this question begs answering.

‎”Manners provide insight to one’s soul.
They are the momentary display of those qualities
which reside in the heart.”

During my etiquette workshops, many teen, tween and adult young ladies said they initially felt “etiquette coaching” was an outdated concept…that was until they found themselves feeling awkward during high school and college admittance interviews, attended an event for which they were  grossly under prepared or inappropriately dressed or felt the anxiety of trying to stay focused on an important academic, business or employment opportunity while navigating an unfamilar place setting over lunch or dinner.

 The reality is, “please” and “thank you’s” never go out of style.  In fact, to get ahead in life, soft skills like social, communication, style and grace play a significant role in setting young ladies head and shoulders above the competition when being considered for special school opportunities and programs, scholarships, and jobs.  Don’t believe me?  Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Three separate studies conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and the Stanford Research Institute agree that success in getting, keeping and advancing in a job depends:

85% on people skills, and only

15% on technical skills. 

So proper social skills including courtesy and respect may be the bottom line in determining a profitable future.

This CNN piece examines the potential advantages of proper etiquette for job hunters.

Etiquette mastery an outdated concept?  I think not.  It’s a valuable tool to leverage as we work diligently to achieve and live the successful lives we envision. 

Ladon Brumfield, Director
Girls Rule!
Inspiring Girls to Blend…OUT!

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The Etiquette Imperative Workshops

The Know Your Destination Etiquette Series.

The Etiquette Imperative, as featured on The Evening News with Katie Couric, Chicago's NBC 5 and in other media outlets, provides an organized opportunity for discussion of the rules of etiquette in an age appropriate fun and engaging manner.

Access to these esteem building, critical life skills help girls to successfully navigate social situations, enhance their communication skills and serve them well as they transition in to adulthood. Learn more!

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