We know that maintaining a professional image is critical for those in sales and other customer facing roles, but don’t forget that this personal branding is also important to any professional working to advance their career! A solid grounding in the rules of business etiquette equips you and your people to make the right impression in any situation.
One of the many topics our Accelerate Institute participants cover in the Personal Branding & Etiquette Experts modules is dining etiquette. Here are a few smart tips:
- Be aware of the amount of time allotted for a professional dining event and clearly define your objectives for attending in advance. If you know you want to connect with the VP of Human Resources at this one-hour luncheon, you will take action early and be unlikely to miss the opportunity.
- Consume your meal at a measured pace and in sync with your host or hostess. Waiting too long to begin or lingering when the rest of the group has finished eating and needs to get back to the office can be distracting. For example, if nobody in your party is ordering dessert you may wish to pass on the course as well rather than obligate them to wait on your crème brulee.
- Balance eating and conversation to create a comfortable environment for all. Asking open-ended questions is a good way to encourage a conversation partner to speak and allows you time to take a few bites.
The primary purpose of professional dining events is networking, and understanding how to navigate these without faux pas can be a huge factor in building your personal brand.
To learn more about this and other important skills of business leadership, check out the Accelerate Institute.