Be Self-Aware- Not Self-Conscious,
At Your Next Business Meal.
What’s Your Professional Legacy?
How do you want to be thought of by colleagues? What sets you apart from others in your field?
Once you define what you want your Personal Brand to be, you can refine your actions and behaviors to begin sculpting that character.
Step one to shaping your identity is ‘be aware’. Be mindful of self and alert to your environment.
Step two, reflect and adjust your behavior, perpetually.
Brand development requires routine checkups & maintenance. Here are a few details that will pepper your persona with memorable, outstanding qualities.
1. Tuck In:
Have you ever been in a restaurant when a server drops a whole tray of food? I have. It’s not pretty. Last time was when an unfortunate runner tripped over a woman’s purse that was carelessly left in the aisle next to her table. Talk about bringing conversation to a halt…
If you bring a brief case, back pack or a purse that can double as an overnight bag to a restaurant table, stash the bag under your seat. Awareness of environment is essential.
2. Signal Your Server- Silently:
You’re ready to order, but the waiter is not approaching your table. There may be no need to waive or snap or yell. When a menu is open in front of a guest, servers think decisions are still being made.
Once you’ve made your dining choices, inform your server you’re ready to order with your actions by closing the menu and setting it on the table.
3. Tooth Trauma:
It’s happened to all of us. You’re enjoying a nice meal with a potential client and notice spinach stuck in his teeth. What do you do? Your action could save the ‘victim’ from being potentially embarrassed.
If it’s just the two of you, take a light approach and say something. If others are present, make eye contact and discreetly signal towards your mouth.
Bonus: your straightforwardness can build your credibility. The way you approach awkward situations on the small scale can shout volumes about how you will handle more complex scenarios in the future.
4. Sidewalk Scenario:
There’s often a moment after a business meal when people reiterate their good-byes as they pile out of the restaurant. The result is a blocked sidewalk; pedestrians can’t pass and people are slowed trying to enter and exit the restaurant, and your group looks like a pack of tourists.
Assume the role of traffic cop and actively steer your party from the middle of the sidewalk while exchanging parting words. Be aware of your environment, always.
5. Thank the Originator:
The greatest gift you can receive in business is the introduction to a new potential client. The greatest sin you can commit is not promptly and perpetually acknowledging your good fortune to the connector. The person that steps up to the plate and follows through with a promised contact is a treasure. These resources should be thanked heartily and kept up to date thoughout the course of the development of this new relationship. The way you treat your source may serve to inspire or preclude future connections.
Actively show gratitude to anyone who helps with a lead or an introduction.