Dining Etiquette skills make for positive social interactions and positive impressions! Do you think it is important to learn social etiquette to make a positive impression?
For many of us living in the 21st century is complicated. We are busy and constantly on the go, rushing from one activity to another. Juggling many competing priorities and spending more time working, eating and entertaining alone. While at the same time technology and globalization have increased our interconnectedness with one another. After observing these changes, I began wondering if social etiquette skills still have a place in our daily lives and whether it was still important to care about making positive impressions? I think so!
The increase of restaurants in our cities and neighborhoods obviously means we are dining out and conducting more businesses over our meals than before. Lack of dining etiquette skills could negatively impact careers, business opportunities, and personal relationships. While eating is essential for our survival dining is about cultural interactions with others.
Basic dining skills are usually taught by parents, but these skills seem to be disappearing from our culture. Our packed schedules leave very little time to teach children these skills or time to sit and practice them. Consequently, many people are growing up without knowing basic dining skills and even less know how to master the table setting utensils.
Consider this scenario. What would you do if you were one of only two candidates away from your dream job, and your next test was dinner at a fine dining restaurant with the recruiter, and you had never visited a fine dining restaurant before? Fortunately, you could turn to professionals like myself to teach you some dining etiquette skills.
Use these dining etiquette hacks to make positive impressions
Don’t put your fingers in your mouth while eating. Recently, I sat in a coffee shop contemplating life and noticed a customer sitting at a table opposite me chewing and removing food from her teeth. I found the view unpleasant and quickly looked away. Avoid this type of behavior whenever you are in public, and when eating alone, because you never know who might be watching you, and it makes a terrible first impression.
Chewing food with your mouth open is not an option. Don’t! Close your mouth. Chew your food and resume your conversation when you’ve finished chewing and swallowing. Or if you must speak, please, cover your mouth. To avoid this behavior schedule enough time for conversations when meeting over meals, business meals.
Don’t eat during a business conversation over the phone. The sound effects of listening to someone chewing on the phone is very distracting and unpleasant. We spend a lot of time on the phone socializing with friends and family and sometimes develop habits that we transfer into our professional lives. Refrain from this behavior because the sound effects give a negative impression. To avoid the temptation to eat during calls schedule your telephone business calls after your meals or schedule breaks so that you can eat and drink without it interrupting your business conversations. Plus eating too quickly can negatively affect your digestive systems.
Discuss serious business after the entree! Requiring your guests to engage in serious business conversation while deciding what to order or eating their main course is inconsiderate. Instead, engage in light conversation and leave the serious business until after the entree. Behaving in a considerate manner will put your guests at ease and leave a positive impression.
Be familiar with the dining table settings! This is an area where many people struggle. If in doubt follow your host. The general rule is the number of forks determines the number of courses that will be served and the number of wine glasses determines the wine courses. Quick crash course: Forks are placed to the left of the serving plate, knives to the right turned inwards towards the plate, glasses are placed above the dinner plate to the right. Begin eating from the outside in, usually with the salad fork. Bon appetit!
You never know when you might need these skills so practice them often even when eating alone especially in public. Dining etiquette skills makes a more pleasant dining experience and gives a positive first impression.
Read about how to dress appropriately to make a positive first impression and eight first impression management tips
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