26 June 2008

Can knowing which fork to use help you in your career?

Do people pay attention to our table etiquette when we are entertaining a client, having a lunch interview or when we are at a work function? I think they do and having good form can be a help to your career. I once went to lunch with a co-worker who kept talking while he was eating and the food was literally falling out of his mouth. It was embarassing for me, but he didn't seem to notice. Imagine if I had been a client?

There are etiquette schools that teach business executives, and others who want to invest in their career, how to act in public. Here are some etiquette articles I found on how to pass the salt and pepper, is it OK to ask for a doggy bag at a business lunch, how to entertain guests at a restaurant and even something on dining posture while eating.

I’m sure we have all been at work functions and are waiting for the first person to take a sip of their water or take some bread from their bread plate so we know which one is ours. At some functions the dinnerware is so crammed together it is hard to tell which belongs to you. You will never have to guess again because here is an article to help you know "which is mine?"

The Art of Table Conversation?

I was at a work function recently and sat beside a co-worker and noticed throughout the dinner how she kept the conversation going and kept it interesting. She wasn’t loud or obnoxious, but quietly went about engaging us in conversation. I assumed she had either been trained in this art or because of her job of meeting so many people she had become good at small talk. She was a pleasure to have at the table and it helped to get everyone talking. Work functions can sometimes be stressful to know what to say.

I learned small talk when I was a hairdresser. A hairdresser has to talk to many people in a day. I remember when I first started hairdressing school, I didn’t want to touch the customers, let alone talk to them, but I got over it and actually started to enjoy the interaction with the different people who came to see me each day. It is a different kind of small talk than in business, but it gave me the ability to know how to ask questions and to keep a conversation going.

What do you say at a farewell lunch?

It seems to be expected that you will give some kind of a speech at a farewell lunch. What are you supposed to say? Is there an etiquette on how to say goodbye?

Check out these etiquette articles on when to start eating, how to reply to a toast and dining conversation.

But I still don't know what to say at a farewell lunch...

All etiquette articles linked from the Etiquette School of Ohio's blogsite.