Okay since we’re doing the Miss Manners thing this week, let’s look at another area that could be sabotaging your success: table manners.
It’s quite common in many parts of the world to consummate a deal at a meal. And you will likely be meeting many potential employers, business partners, or clients at Chamber of Commerce, networking clubs, or similar luncheons.
So are your table manners promoting you, or holding you back?
I knew nothing about etiquette growing up. My family certainly didn’t travel is high-class social circles. When I went to a luncheon, I nervously waited to see what bread plate and water glass the people next to me used, so I’d know which one was mine. I didn’t know which utensil to use with what. And as soon as my plate was set down, I started wolfing down my food without waiting for the rest of the party to be served. Eventually I came to realize that I needed to learn something about etiquette.
And you can learn that easily today, as simple as clicking on the Internet. And when you learn some social graces, you’re more confident, self-assured and attractive to others.
You’ll also find that most good etiquette is common sense. The utensils are set to be used in the order food is served. Good manners aren’t about “catching” someone, but making functions run smoothly and comfortably for everyone.
There are all kind of poems and memory joggers to remember what are good manners. “Like a ship sailing out to see, I spoon my soup away from me.” Want to know which bread plate is yours? Remember BMW. Bread is on your left, main plate in front of you and water to your right.
Wait until the whole table is served before you start eating. If you’re the person that hasn’t been served yet, graciously insist that everyone should begin without you while their food is hot.
Chew with your mouth closed and never speak with food in your mouth. Relax and have fun, you suave, sophisticated socialite you!
P.S. I’m back home in Sydney. Bambini’s get my table ready!
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