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?