The Steps to Mastering the Art of Business Dinners

You might not care about other people’s manners as much if you don’t see them often, but when you sit down for a business meal, you’ll expect yourself and others to at least know and display the basics. There’s more to dining etiquette that everyone should know, and it’ll also be a big help in establishing the next stage of a relationship and leaving others with a good impression of ourselves.

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Setting the Right Agenda

Different meals produce different results, especially when you’re meeting up with different people. In order not to get sidetracked, you’ll need to be clear on just what the agenda for the current meal is. If it’s going to be a bonding, get-to-know you scenario, you’ll want to adjust the way you handle it. The same can also be said if it’s a meal to discuss more serious matters in detail.

It’s Still Work

There’s more to eating dinner together than just making polite conversation. First of all, a business dinner is an extension of your workday, so you’ll need to have that mindset. Secondly, get comfortable with your surroundings and the people you’re with, but not too much that you lose track of why you’re even sitting down to a meal with them in the first place.

The Food is Secondary

You’re not expected to starve yourself before your business dinner. In fact, the meal is only there to facilitate talks, and that should be the main focus. Stave of hunger by grabbing something a little earlier on. After all, if you’re busy trying to clean your plate, you won’t be able to concentrate on the other people there and what the topic is about. In other words, know exactly what you’re going to the dinner for.

Get Ready to Talk

It’s becoming common to see people eating hurriedly by themselves these days, but when it comes to a business dinner, communication is the biggest part of the entire process. The more familiar you are with a wide range of general topics ranging from food and traveling to sports and current news, the more you’ll have to actually talk about. Also, if you want to find out more about someone, you’ll also want to keep some key questions on the tip of your tongue to ask them.

Take Note of Your Body Language

If you’ve not realized before, your body language speaks volumes, and so does everyone else’s. Do convey attention by sitting straight and looking at the person you’re speaking or listening to. Other more common table manners will also apply, such as not talking with your mouth full, pointing at people with your utensils, excusing yourself to use the washroom, and stoning in the middle of a conversation.

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Posted on Mar 19 2019