Social Graces in Business Places…

The way you handle yourself is just as important in the office as it is at a business lunch, formal black tie affair or social function related to business. Some companies would never consider hiring someone for an important position without first taking them out for dinner. Why? Because the way a person handles him or herself in a more relaxed atmosphere can be very telling. Company picnics and holiday parties can be potential problems: mix a festive occasion, a party after hours, and plenty of free food and alcohol and you have a potential disaster.

Tips for successful meetings, dinners and other work-related gatherings

  • Extend yourself to those you don’t know well — take an interest in others by asking questions and showing interest in what is being said
  • Remain standing as much as possible — you will appear more approachable to others
  • Stick with safe and light conversation topics
  • Know how to make introductions and always include some information to provide the basis for a conversation
  • Always keep one hand free to offer a handshake
  • Move around the room rather than plopping yourself down in one spot for the evening — this will enable you to mingle and talk with different groups of people
  • Don’t drink, but it you do, do not drink to get drunk. You will regret it if you do
  • Be positive; nothing pushes people away faster than doom and gloom
  • Stick to light conversation topics; avoid anything too controversial or opinionated
  • Focus on the people, not the food
  • Use good manners, always
  • Be more interested than interesting