Schmoozing over dinner and drinks is a long-honored relationship building tradition, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, your stock can plummet in just one meal. I sometimes wish people could go-pro their business dinners to see how bad it truly is in restaurants everywhere.
Here are five ways you could blow the deal with poor dining etiquette.
1. Chewing with your mouth open. The game of “see-food” was cute as a kid, not as a professional. Keep the lips closed while you enjoy some morsels.
2. Taking huge bites. Want to look eloquent? Take smaller bites instead of overloading cheeks with grub.
3. Using the wrong water glass or bread plate. Total rookie move. Start the table circle the right way and others will thank you. Your bread is on the left and your drink is on the right. (If you’ve seen my “Profitable Networking” keynote you’ll know my trick for remembering this!)
4. Eating too fast. Woah Nellie…slow down! What’s the rush? When you eat too quickly you may look anxious or make people feel rushed.
5. Licking your fingers. That’s what your napkin is for. Can’t begin to tell you the number of times I see professionals licking their fingers – and then shaking hands. WHHAAT!!!?? Make it stop!
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