Let’s talk about that over lunch…

Business Colleagues Eating Meal Together and Discussing of Work

So your manager just invited you to lunch with a few of your colleagues. Maybe it’s just to get out of the office for a while, or maybe it’s to discuss something.

Excellent! Another opportunity to strengthen relationships, get to know people and cultivate your image.

But it can be a little tricky – it is business AND lunch.

Meal etiquette aside,here are a few things to keep in mind…

  • Be on time – don’t keep others waiting. Leave yourself plenty of time to get where you need to be.
  • Be attentive and stay engaged. Make sure your phone is off or on vibrate to prevent distractions…
  • Don’t dig in just because the food arrives. Wait until they do.
  • As for alcohol – don’t! If your manager has a drink and it seems ok, then go ahead. But stick to the one drink rule.
  • Order something easy to eat. I have seen people miss this one and make a bit of a spectacle of themselves with things like spaghetti and ribs.
  • In general, listen more than you talk and make good eye contact.
  • Have a few topics in your back pocket in case the conversation slows down. Maybe current events or better yet an interesting question about company strategy…
  • Share enough about yourself to create a bond with others, but don’t get too personal.

Finally, be sure to thank your manager/host at the end of the meal and maybe a quick note the next day is not a bad idea.

Good etiquette may not exactly get you that next promotion but making some blunders that were easily avoidable might just hold you back.

Is that a chance worth taking?

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