Mary Mitchell is dynamite! Her extensive background in protocol, and the experiences she¹s had around the world, contribute to her being a knowledgeable, credible, and engaging speaker. I¹ve experienced several of her talks aimed at postdoctoral scholars. Postdocs have spent years becoming brilliant scientists, but some need a great deal of help with the finer points of interpersonal engagement. Mary understands postdocs and helps them see the light on why good manners and proper social etiquette and behavior are the tipping points for getting a great job and achieving career success. Mary¹s advice is truly eye-opening for postdocs. Evaluations after her talks are always very positive, with some even saying they were skeptical at the start, but by the end they were convinced they needed to tune up their social skills. I¹m grateful to Mary for her dedication to enlighten postdocs and help them on the road to becoming influential leaders in science.
Mary masters the art of human interaction from first-impressions to engaging relationships. She listens to clients to understand their motivation, and delivers awareness, competency, and caring that makes a difference. Her workshops and personal coaching sessions have helped our academic community from all corners of the world gain confidence and competence in the nuances of social engagement, and an appreciation for how respect is conveyed and relationships are impacted by them. In our complex and hectic world, she illuminates the subtle, and not so subtle, behaviors in our interactions that mean and matter a lot.
Mary Mitchell is a super star when in comes to providing information about protocol, etiquette, and presentation skills. UC Berkeley graduate students and postdocs were so happy to learn the details of “putting your best foot forward”. You don’t get this kind of stuff in a PhD program.
“Mary has been instrumental in guiding our postdocs through the sometimes intimidating process of networking, dining etiquette, and interviewing for jobs. Postdocs face enormous challenges making the transition to the next phase of their career. Mary is an outstanding guide and coach at this critical time.
Mary is one of our most popular and influential speakers. Her one-on-one coaching sessions have transformed nervous applicants into confident job seekers. She provides a wealth of knowledge and experience, all delivered with grace, humor, and empathy.
I can’t say enough about the impact Mary has had on our postdocs, and her sessions are always a highlight of our career development offerings.”
“Mary Mitchell helped our researchers to feel more confident in social situations by giving lively, accessible advice on how to prepare for such events. Her curriculum is particularly helpful for international fellows who need to improve their US cultural skills such as making “small talk” and the proper way to shake hands. These skills are invaluable for successful networking that can lead to job offers. Our postdocs were motivated to expand beyond their comfort zones into new, challenging endeavors as a result of her encouragement and training.”
“Having Mary work with our Postdoctoral Fellows in Philadelphia was wonderful! We are so grateful for all the time, effort, and wisdom she put into the program. I think their unequivocally flawless rating for the workshop speaks to how much they valued and enjoyed the information and the way it was presented. It was a joy to work with her, and I am looking forward to putting part of the workshop online.”
Thank you so much for your wonderful presentation to our new MBA students…I was delighted at their level of engagement and attribute it to how engaging you made the discussion. Your message makes the subject so accessible, and you create a great buy-in. I found myself thinking about how true it is that we do discriminate based on our perception of other people’s manners.
“As a member of the Finance Conference Committee, I was privileged to receive feedback from the participants who chose to attend Ms. Mitchell’s presentation. Finance personnel are individuals who are often happy to sit in a back room and crunch numbers. Getting out of that comfort zone and socializing can be difficult. Several participants shared that they felt Ms. Mitchell was speaking to them directly, helping them personally. She made many practical suggestions that we all intend to apply to our lives, both socially and professionally.””Ms. Mitchell was chosen to present at the conference in an effort to offer some self-improvement techniques to the list of program-related topics. In an entertaining fashion, Ms. Mitchell offered pragmatic avenues for transformation and success.”
“As individuals, my presentation team colleagues and I learned from Mary to make the most of our natural communication styles. As a group, we learned the dynamics and finer points of presentation skills, especially using multi-media. We were able to keep our audience engaged in challenging circumstances, and everybody had fun. Mary is a class act. She generously and graciously shares her wisdom around building successful professional relationships.”
“People are what make the difference in organizations and The Mitchell Organization delivers on people, helping to make them better team members through increased confidence overall, professional demeanor, and with an expanded communications skill set.”
“National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD)”Good manners create good relationships. Good relationships create good business. Mary came to speak to our team of professional staff a couple weeks before our Annual Conference on just that subject: Our audience would be very successful business men and women who serve on public company boards of directors. Introduction protocol, extracting oneself from a conversation, first (and lasting) impressions, and other smart reminders were all covered in a quick and entertaining 90-minute session. The result – a 98% ‘exceeds expectations’ rating from our 700 members in attendance to the question, ‘How would you rate the overall friendliness and helpfulness of NACD staff?’ Thank you, Ms. Mary Mitchell!”
“The Mitchell Organization came to Whitman Middle School during the summer of 2008 with a program called Success 101. I remember thinking, “No way; these kids are never going to accept learning manners.” We needed to give this program a twist so that everyone was going to be “successful.” During the course of the six weeks, these students were coached on how to create relationships and build success within a very challenging population of middle school students. One week, the students listened to a former Seattle Supersonics player and also, another week, got the opportunity to learn Yoga from Dr. Weber. One student stated, “We learned manners, and they (The Mitchell Organization) made it fun.” This is great program and a great way to reach kids.”
“Mary Mitchell’s programs at our firm were very successful. Our lawyers came away more confident of their communications and interpersonal skills. As a result, their networking and client development abilities improved significantly.”
“I had the opportunity to work with Mary on enhancing my “executive presence”, with a focus on expanding communications skills for a broad range of constituents. I walked into the experience with an open mind and a commitment to personal and professional growth. And, while I certainly walked away with some very sound guidance and practical advice, many of the “lessons” were unexpected. Mary’s holistic approach to coaching ultimately led to a deeper awareness and understanding of myself—“authenticity” in leadership terms. Years later, I am still amazed by, and grateful for, the effect that seemingly small changes (to me, at least) had on my professional relationships — with leaders, colleagues and peers, and direct reports.”
“I believe that the most valuable and insightful thing that Mary taught me was to look at situations and people from their perspective. In doing so, it changed my perspective tremendously in terms of how others reacted to me or how the situation played out. Understanding others’ communication styles is to truly understand how to manage people and situations successfully. In addition, Mary was instrumental in teaching me that people behave the way they are hard-wired. Thus it is pivotal to approach them with that foreknowledge.
These are some of the many things I have learned from Mary:
- How to phrase things more effectively, based more on observation than opinion.
- How to listen actively.
- The importance of dressing appropriately so as not to distract others, and to advance my company’s brand. That meant dressing with more restraint in my conservative professional environment.
- To sidestep my ego in the interest of good leadership and better relationships with others.
- When I look for the positive, it will find me, and I must always remember to take time for gratitude.”
“I became acquainted with Mary Mitchell via her long running “Ms. Demeanor” column in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Mary’s excellent books speak for themselves. Mary has also been my public speaking coach as well as a collaborator and mentor on many projects. Working with Mary is a joy. She combines her warmth and humanity with a solid knowledge base, an active and supportive presence, and a wicked sense of humor. When I need to get out of my office and address the public, Mary is my go-to person.”
“Mary has helped me immensely in areas of communication with others (which includes learning to listen, networking, and putting the needs of the audience ahead of my own), as well as pacing myself better by utilizing mental rehearsals and prioritizing. We worked on improving my posture and table manners, which in turn gave me a more professional demeanor and heightened self-confidence.”
“Mary made me have fun, even when I did not want to. She made me see myself as others see me—not as I was seeing myself. She hatched me out of a shell and gave me wings to fly.
Mary’s expert coaching should be an essential part of personal and professional growth for anyone who wants to achieve all they are truly capable of.”
“I think that a lot of people believe that they know how to deal professionally with other people, but they don’t, because no one has pointed out the things that were missing, or flat out told them were off. As Mary pointed out to me so eloquently, you don’t know what you don’t know. She was so helpful, teaching me what no one had previously taught me. She showed me how to gain lots of leverage internally (by being more confident in various social and professional situations). She also helped me gain leverage externally by making a noticeable and positive first impression. I found especially helpful her suggestion that I give myself a truly unbiased first impression assessment, as if I were meeting myself for the first time.
Now that I know the basics, I am better able to serve the people I meet with an extra dab of attention or politeness that they never seem to expect. I like watching the subtle reactions people give, when they realize that I “know the rules”. I feel small victories within myself, when they hand over a little confidence in me before we have ever even done more than just meet. I am a competitor and I live and breathe on head starts! Thanks to Mary, I get a head start in virtually every instance! She taught me that doing what is expected in social situations gives you a leg up, whereas doing more than expected in social situations gives you a huge head start.”