Lunch is not a luxury
November 21, 2010
GUEST POST – by Paige Arnof-Fenn
At a late morning meeting recently with a fellow entrepreneur, as we were wrapping up I mentioned my next meeting had been postponed and asked if he had time to grab a bite to eat and he responded how lucky I was to “afford the luxury of lunch.”
His comment made me realize that life and business are really about choices. Maybe it is because I grew up in a food town or have a family whose reunions and vacations revolve around meals but to me the most important meetings on my calendar involve the people I want to break bread with.
Meeting over a meal allows you to get to know your client, prospect or colleague both professionally and personally. I guess I should admit that I am not a big capabilities presentation or PowerPoint person so having a conversation over a meal really plays to my strengths. It can be awkward to take notes over linguini so having a good memory for details and follow up is critical. A few friendly tips that might also be helpful:
• Choose a restaurant where you can have a conversation without screaming over the noise
• Order food that is not too complicated or messy to eat while chatting
• Turn off your cell phone and PDAs, there is nothing that sends a signal that your time and presence matter more than giving someone your undivided attention at all times
• Don’t just talk shop, ask about their interests, hobbies, travels. Getting to know what makes people tick will help you be a better strategist, coach, boss, colleague, consultant and friend.
Bottom line is that I do not see lunch as a luxury. The body needs nourishment several times over the course of a day so you really do need to stop and eat every now and then. Meals used to be a pleasure, something you enjoyed not a quick distraction while on the go or in your car to relive a splitting headache. So, do you have time to grab a bite?