Most executives have not had the luxury of attending finishing school; however, they are expected to handle business in the dining room as well as they handle it in the boardroom!

Many business transactions take place during meals, whether at a formal dinner, a power lunch or breakfast. Think about the following tips on modern table manners during the next business meal:

  • Topics of conversation: Business meals are not scheduled because the host thinks guests are hungry, so eat something light before the meeting and concentrate on sharing the benefit they will gain from the meeting.
  •  Is it to build the relationship? Make it all about the prospective client or guest. It is not about us, our deals and our clients. After we know (from our excellent listening skills) what that person wants and needs, then we can inform him or her what we can do for them, how we can meet their needs, and solve their problems.
  • What is happening in our prospect’s industry? The better informed we are, the more we can help them get ahead of their competition.
  • Discovering any details about the meal companion ahead of time will aid in asking the most intelligent questions during the meal.
  • Avoid controversial subjects. Etiquette is about ensuring that those around us are comfortable in our presence.

When the focus is on what they need and what you can do for them, they will seek ways to do business with you!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rita Rocker is a national inspirational and educational speaker, communications and image specialist, and a career and virtual presentations coach with Transformation Academy, LLC.  She is the author of “A Guide to Marketing Yourself for Success”, and a contributing author to “The Unstoppable Woman’s Guide to Emotional Well Being -The Total Woman in Leadership and Success Guide for the Unstoppable Entrepreneur.” She has appeared on national television and radio talk shows on self-esteem and communication. A former Mrs. Nebraska and active in numerous professional organizations, Rita is on the Board of the Small Business Association of the Midlands and co-director of greater Omaha’s Affiliated Women International. Rita provides life and career-transforming programs to mature teens and adults. Contact Rita at