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Some dinner parties require a more formal protocol. For example, a military dinner will have strict guidelines as to where personnel will sit. If you are hosting a client dinner, you might also prefer a more formal arrangement. Even in a casual setting, you can choose to follow protocol to honor a special guest. The below description is based on a social party (vs. business), a rectangular table, and includes both men and women:

When hosting a dinner party, where you place your guests around the table is a crucial element for the success of your event. You presumably put thought into who you invited to the gathering. Do not stop there. The placement of each person around the table is something that should not be thrown together at the last minute.

I love entertaining friends and family in my home, especially during the holidays. But I must admit, it can be a bit overwhelming hosting a dinner party in the stage of life with little ones running around. The cooperation I receive from my toddlers is a significant factor in how efficient I am on a daily basis. Add in hosting a party, and it can be overwhelming. If you find yourself wanting to gather friends for a festive evening, here are my tried-and-true tips for entertaining with young children:

Planning a party can be fun, but do you know the best way to ensure everything runs smoothly? Have a rehearsal for your party. Yes, you heard correctly. You have spent a great deal of time planning your theme, creating your guestlist, and delivering your invitations. Now is the time to do a mock rehearsal which will allow you to create an action list of outstanding items around your home that might need attention. It also helps solidify any last-minute details.

These thirteen tips will get your through any dinner party. Here is a quick refresher. 

1. Leave The Cocktail Glass Behind:

If you are attending a dinner party, there may be cocktails offered before the meal begins. When the hostess signals it is time to head to the dining room, leave your drink behind. Why? The dining table has been pre-set with the glasses you will need and adding another to your place setting will only clutter the minimal real estate in front of you. Your palate is another reason to leave the cocktail behind. Many hostesses go to great lengths to pare wine with the food being served. Once seated at the table it is time to switch to wine or water.

You just received an invitation to a party, and the attire says: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture. What??? Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for a party, make it clear. We do not want our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

Table manners are the area in which I receive the most questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in managing an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction. Even if you are unsure, most people do not care.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food, drinks, a clean bathroom, and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest. When a hostess plans a party, a great deal of time is spent deciding who she will invite. What group of friends go well together?

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party looking scared, so unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screamed, “I wish I was anywhere but here!”

You are invited!!! There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP. Follow the six steps below and the hostess will be singing your praises!

  • Alina Gersib

3 Tips for Interpreting Personality Test Results



If you are looking for a tool to identify key motivators in life, to shed light on why certain occurrences bother you and others do not, or searching for examples of what a good career fit might be, a great jumping off point is to take a personality test. These tests, like Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, DISC, or Big 5 Personality, are different psychological approaches that help explain aspects of our personality. Each test’s purpose varies with some tilted towards business and how you interact at work and others focusing on your main desires and how you relate with the world around you. Personality tests are an insightful avenue that allow us to take a step back from ourselves and receive insight into the ways we operate from a trusted source.

When I first took the Myers-Briggs test I felt like someone truly “got me” and understood how my brain worked. It was cathartic to feel like I was not alone. Upon taking the Enneagram a few years later I had a similar experience, but in a different capacity. Both spoke to a part of me that needed their wisdom yet the guidance they imparted impacted me in different ways. When it comes to personality tests every one of them is unique. Each test has truth and wisdom to give, however some are more suited to analytical individuals while others for more creative people. There may be some tests you enjoy and others you do not agree with as much. Take what is helpful from each but do not get caught up in the flurry of information. Here are a few helpful tips to remember while reading your results:

1. It's not about the identity - It is important to remember that the purpose of taking these tests is not to solidify an ego identity. In fact, depending on the day or what environment you are in before taking a test, your results very well may vary if you retake a test. Do not be caught up on the results, instead focus on the areas that resonate with you and see how you could apply them to your lif

2. Do Not Become One Sided - It can be easy to overly identify with the strengths of your given type while at the same time internalizing the weaknesses and letting them become “off limit” areas in your life. The tests are a tool to illuminate blind spots. Once you see what a personal weakness is, do not run from it or play the victim. Learn to recognize your weaknesses and come up with a plan to grow in those areas.

3. Apply the Information – When it comes to personality tests it can be enjoyable to simply read the results to get a little uplift and then go about your day. Though there is nothing wrong with this, if you only approach the knowledge you gain from this perspective you will miss out on the whole picture. It is important to take your time with the information and compare it to your life. Are you currently living a way that matches the picture of health for your type? If not, what are some areas you could shift? Take some time to journal or think over how to incorporate the material into your daily life.

As you learn about yourself you will more easily be able to connect to others and share your gifts, talents, and thoughts with the world. Let these resources be a pathway to deeper understanding and growth in your life.

-Alina Gersib