One of my favorite ways to engage people and my students in my etiquette classes is by using the Socratic Method. I ask thought-provoking questions of each student and fan the flame of progress over perfection. My classes are never the same twice because everyone in my classes is different every time. My method of teaching etiquette is fluid, and as the teacher, I never quite see myself as an expert in keeping my ego in its place. Instead, I like to ask questions and grapple with expanding my viewpoint with new information. Today I have the pleasure of asking questions, and I'm equally pleased the answers will come from Myya Passmore, someone I feel shares my perspective of progress over perfection. I have always admired Myya from afar for her authentic and approachable demeanor and her undeniable love of her son Kal, whose many adventures serve as a testament to her creative and integrated parenting style, balancing life, work, and being a total boss mom.
Myya, Tell us a little about yourself.
Thank you so much for that beautiful introduction. What can I say? I'm an ambitious dreamer who believes we have everything we need to fulfill our God-given purpose. Professionally I am a strategic communications practitioner focusing on multicultural communications and public affairs. I am a General Manager for one of the nation's most influential creative communication and advocacy firms. Every day I am blessed to navigate the management aspect of a Fortune 500 company. I manage people, operations, and our D.C. accounts. I am also an independent consultant as the CEO of Culture 44, a small boutique firm specializing in public relations, community outreach, and campaigns for organizations looking for multicultural approaches to strengthen diversity and customer relationships within diverse communities. I also founded Hello Mom Tribe to help moms navigate what it means to balance individuality and happiness with motherhood. I realized early on that I needed to identify what that meant for me, the founder, first.
A lot of my work lately around Hello Mom Tribe is focused on using my life as a case study of one. I've been blessed on this journey to attract so many moms looking for the freedom to be themselves and find their sense of happiness while still being present as a mom. Hello, Mom Tribe is our safe space. Hello, Mom Tribe creates events for moms to navigate motherhood together, to navigate our dreams and goals together, and to effect change in hopes of making things better for our children through simply getting involved at schools and in the community. Eventually, we may go into lobbying to affect laws and policies related to childcare, maternity benefits, breastfeeding laws, and pay.
PE: I admire the way you take the initiative and the way you share your authentic journey. Authenticity is something that I coach etiquette professionals on a daily basis; your approach to life and your unique journey is a breath of fresh air. Mya, have you ever taken an Etiquette class formally?
Long ago, I took an etiquette class in elementary school. I can use a class as an adult because I am in so many different rooms with influential and everyday hardworking people that I always want to ensure I am respectful and impressionable.
PE: Are etiquette and good manners something your parents taught at home?
Haha. Yes, my mom continues to correct things I do as an adult! Etiquette and good manners have always been important to her. I am constantly learning; a mother's job never ends.
PE: I couldn't agree more; so as a mom, how do you model good manners and etiquette for your son Kal?
I lead by example mostly, and I correct my son and show him how to do things with love and a level of patience it seems only superheroes possess. In all seriousness, I am fortunate to expose my son to things in real time because of my line of work. He understands how to greet people, sit down, and eat with good table manners and he is comfortable being himself (however, he can use some of your classes! Lol). There is always power in establishing a higher confidence level in a child. With confidence, kids can do anything.
PE: I couldn't agree more; parents teach what they learn, just like my parents did. But formal etiquette gives children added confidence with every social interaction. Still, at Peerless Etiquette, we ensure the courses are age appropriate to match the child's developmental milestones. However, the fact that you expose your son to new things and people is priceless. Because ultimately, learning is in the doing.
What advice would you give a new mom on helping their child grow up with good manners and respect for others?
Have grace and allow children to be themselves. I lead from the background as a mom, and I also find myself leading from the background of my profession. I believe that Leadership must be modeled, and you must start with a mutual respect of seeing children as little people you are molding to be the best version of themselves. If you pay close attention, you can see their personalities early on, and my advice is to develop the person you see, not the person you want them to be. You lead manners by example and by correcting with grace and love. Correct and show them the way with love. You show respect for others by respecting them first. The concern is felt and understood, and once that's established, everything else is easy.
When it comes to your children "Develop the person you see, not the person you want them to be" Myya Passmore
What's one etiquette rule you think is most important?
Be yourself. It helps you to own any room you enter and applies to any setting.
PE: That reminds me of a quote by Dr. Mya Angelou." When we belong to ourselves and believe in ourselves above all else, we belong everywhere and nowhere." That is one of my favorite quotes that has inspired me to stay true to myself and my values no matter what. Excellent advice Myya, it speaks to integrity.
How can our readers get in contact with the mom tribe? Find us on IG and Facebook @Hellomomtribe