• mindy

Power Skill: Best Fork Forward


A few years ago I was hosting an event in Portland for moms and daughters. One of our guest speakers, was a young NIKE powerhouse who came to speak to our guests on the power of confidence. After the event she came up to me, "Mindy, I don't know if you remember me. I attended several of your athlete etiquette dinners at The University of Oregon. Funny story, on my first day of work at Nike, I was invited to a dinner with co-workers and clients. While I was at the dinner, I looked around and realized people do use the skills you taught us, they are actually a thing. I was SO happy that I went through the class, and knew exactly what to do."


YES! Dining manners ARE a THING! LOL. We don't learn them to feel better than others or to stifle our self expression, we use them so we can enter into any social situation with food and feel fully confident in who we are, focusing less on what fork to use and more on the person in front of us!!!


This week our Oswego Lake Country Club Class, Eugene Leadership / LeadHERship Academy and all of our High School Prep focused on Dining Etiquette. For our younger students learning these skills early allows for extra practice time during family meals or when out will friends. For our teen students, we learned them through the lens of high school social situations and thinking ahead to interviews, formal functions and dances.


Some students were really excited to learn, others questioned the importance and there were a few who came in very confident they had already mastered the skills. LOL. However, by the end of class all students were fully engaged and asking a lot of questions. Much to many students surprise, there was a lot to learn!


Parents, whether you have students in the program or not, I encourage you to make talking about and learning manners empowering and EVEN FUN! Take a manner a meal and work on the skills together or have different members of your family be the expert of the night and teach your family a dinning skill. If your children are in our program, they have A LOT to teach and will feel very excited to share and show you what they are learning. For our Eugene Families, please don't forget to register for our Graduation Etiquette Dinner HERE!


Here are a few questions to get those conversations started...

What are the tips and tricks for remembering the sides the utensils go on when setting the table?

Where do the dessert fork and spoon go.

Tell me about B & D.

Which side do you enter and exit your chair?

When do you take your napkin?

What did you learn about using your napkin?

When is it ok to take the first bite?

When is it ok to talk with food in your mouth?

What are the rest and finished positions for American and Continental Style of dining?


For more specifics on the skills we learned, here are a couple of articles I wrote / contributed to:

Forbes Woman: Styles of Dining

Washington Post: Setting the Table






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