Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Meeting While Eating - Business Dining Simplified

"No animal should ever jump up on the dining-room furniture unless absolutely certain that he can hold his own in the conversation." ~ Fran Lebowitz, American Writer and Humorist (b.1950)
There are times when you are anticipating, and even expected to dine while conducting business. The holiday season that is nearly upon us, often brings about more of that than we typically experience. I am no food snob, or even Emily Post, and yet, I get asked to share tips and thoughts on Dining Etiquette, which I call "Meeting While Eating" fairly often, and here are my top 10 points to ponder:
1) When leaving the table during dinner, you place your napkin on your chair seat or back, and not on the's dirty, let's keep it off the table. And, when you have your napkin in your lap, keep it folded over with the fold toward you (no bibs or tissues for your napkin's use!).
2) All electronic devices stay off the table during dining. Bring them out only before or after eating (preferably after). Not even having the phone off and face down is tells people you are possibly interested in something other than them while you are together. Let that time with the other person be "enough".
3) When you are not sure what drink or break plate is yours at a set table, Think "b" and "d"...bread and drink. By putting your thumb and first finger together under the table, you can remind yourself of that to use as "yours". And, if someone takes yours, be kind, and discreetly ask the waiter or waitress for another plate or whatever it is, instead of calling someone out who doesn't know the Think "b" and "d"...bread and drink trick/reminder!
Also, if you use sweetener/sugar packets, the empty packets are to be slid under your plate slightly, and not wadded up on the table. The waitstaff will discretely dispose of those.
4) Keep purses, keys, sunglasses, bags and portfolios off the table while eating. All accessories on the table should be related to the restaurant and/or the meal, and not coming from you...put them in another chair or under yours...or better yet, leave them locked in your car trunk!
5) When at a cocktail party, keep your right hand free to shake hands. Carry your drink in your left hand, and resist carrying food when you're on the move. Stop and eat, dispose of the plate, and then socialize. And, at all types of line-served food, buffet or cocktail party, get a new plate each time you get food.
6) When passing bread, butter, dressing, etc., you offer to your left and pass to your right. And, while we are on passing - the salt and pepper are passed as one unit...even if someone asks only for the salt.
7) Even if you are clearly at a business lunch or dinner where a sale may take place, it is not okay to bring out papers and demo items/products during the meal portion of the meeting. That can be messy for the papers and items as well as the people, so wait until you have finished eating...after all who has ever signed a contract with their mouth full of food?
8) It matters what and how you order when at a group dinner or event! Watch the lead of the host. No doggy bags. Watch ordering appetizers, finger food, desserts, coffees and drinks, as you could be "that guy" or "that girl" who is the only one with 6 courses! Use "please" and "thank you" with wait staff, as they are doing their job, just as you may be doing something related to yours!
9) Chewing of anything other than food is inappropriate - no ice, gum or items will enhance a business meal meeting.
10) Remember, unless you have agreed ahead of time, s/he who invites, makes reservations, pays, and thanks someone for joining, so keep that awkwardness of the bill off the table, so to speak, by being clear ahead of time.
Meeting while eating is a way of life for most of us, and these tips will keep you enjoying yourself, your company, your meal, and your results!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Do You DARE?

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.” ~ Seneca, Roman Philosopher (BC 4 - AD 65)
With so many opportunities out there, do you DARE to to go after one?
By DARE, I mean, do you focus on:
D - Desire - what do you want?
A - Attitude, Actions, and Accountability - what are you thinking, doing, and owning?
R - Results - do you have plans, goals, accomplishments for which you are striving?
E - Examine - will you look at how to make things happen, and others' success?
DARE to do it, DARE to be who you want to be, and DARE to seize those opportunities!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Make Change Palatable with "Adjustments"

"A year from now you will wish you had started today." - Karen Lamb, American Writer
If change is something you dislike, avoid, or find others don't welcome, consider thinking of change and/or presenting it as an adjustment or an adaptation, instead.
Since change itself is not necessarily what people dislike, rather it is how it is presented that is unappealing or sadly, inconsiderate, presenting the change as something that is adaptable as an adjustment, shows more appeal, and is considerate of the other person/people.
This can work internally for yourself and externally with others, as it is realistic and palatable.
Remember, push change, and get resistance. Offer adjustments, and get collaboration!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Move from Intent to Execution

“Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live.”` Chamfort,French playwright (1741-1794)
Sometimes we have an interest and even a desire to get things done.
Other times, we make getting something accomplished a priority.
These feelings are similar to a point, and then there is a distinction in what does or does not happen from there. One has intent, the other yields results. One can lead to another...
Flatly, the connection from intention to execution is ACTION...act now, get results, be accomplished!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

What Is Right In the World?

"Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it." - William Penn, English Quaker leader and Founder of Pennsylvania (1644-1718)
When people ask me what is wrong with our world today, I like to think in terms of what is right...because so much is right! Since our actions are our attitudes, and attitudes are contagious, here are a few actions to consider:
1) Speak with someone to his or her directly instead of talking about that person behind his/her back.
2) Offer fixes instead of finding fault.
3) Let your effort outshine your ego.
I'll bet you'll not only make more friends than enemies, you'll make more of a difference for someone (minimally yourself) rather than just an impression on them...and doesn't that just feel right?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Maximize Your Mozumility!

"I believe that every person is born with talent." ~ Maya Angelou, American Author and Poet, (B. 1928)
While I may have trademarked "Moxumility", there are many people I admire, and strive to learn from, who I believe exemplify the combination of Moxie and Humility. Sally Brundage, my former English and Theater teacher is one of those women, and Maya Angelou is another. I bet you have a few of those men and/or women in your life, too!
Having the moxie, the confidence and direction to stand up for something and/or someone (often yourself), and also exemplifying humility, the ability to step back, let others get credit, learn and grow with an appreciation for others and your surroundings, is something we all can do. Here are my top 10 ways to Maximize Your Moxumility:
10 - Be the expert in your space for your size, clients & offerings. Stay in that expertise and refer out to others in different areas of expertise.
9 - Be trusting to be trustworthy. Get a mentor, be a friend, and earn the right to be trusted over and over again.
8 - Be responsive instead of reactionary. Know that reactions lead to apologies often while response follow thought and consideration...leading to engagement.
7 - Be contagious. Network, and be someone worth knowing. Check your attitude, and ensure it's worth "spreading"!
6 - Be grateful instead of just full of "great"s. Being positive is one thing, being a Pollyanna is another...and not one of moxie or humility. While things may just be okay or good, be grateful for what you do have instead of what you don't have and go from there.
5 - Be absolutely, positively addicted to the truth!
4 - Be more interested in others than interesting to others. Be conversational with questions and not just stories, replies, and "I", "me", "my".
3 - Be about "What?" and/or "How?" over "Why?". Why keeps us in the past, where what and how allow us to move to the future.
2 - Be the product, and be the value. People will "buy" you long before they purchase a product. Know that, believe in you and your service or product, so others can "buy in"!
1 - Be an intentional example that others can sample. Practice what you promote. Volunteer. Give back. Let others "eavesdrop" on leading, success, and of course, your moxie and your humility!
So while you are filled both with moxie and humility, please remember to balance, combine and hone them with your own form of "moxumility"!