Business Etiquette Series – Business Entertaining

Business entertaining should be fun, but it is still business. The real trick is to appear comfortable around others, while never allowing yourself to get too comfortable.

Follow the below hints and you won’t go wrong:

 Arrive – and depart – on time
Take pains to arrive on time, and never be the last to leave. As the party begins to break up, say your goodbyes – including gracious thanks to the host or hostess.

 Make a good impression/ Mind your manners
Your Supervisors use social occasions to observe how their subordinates handle themselves. Even if your Boss does not know you by name, he will remember your face. Be on your best behavior. Use magic words, hold open doors and hold out seats, give firm handshakes, hold cutlery correctly, do not pick your teeth in the presence of others, don’t slouch, don’t make body sounds (slurping, smacking, burping, fa-ting, etc.), don’t fill your plate or glass to the very brim, be gracious.

 Dress up for it
If it is a business dinner, dress up a notch or two. Black- tie events require formal wear, while Company picnics call for casual attire. ‘’Casual attire’’ does not mean a torn T-shirt, or rumpled clothes, but clean, well-fitting clothes in good repair.

 Listen, then talk
Many people use social occasions to talk endlessly. Don’t be a bore! Never deliberately steer a conversation your way all the time.

 It is allowed to Promote yourself
No point in kidding ourselves; business entertaining is all about self-promotion. The best way to promote yourself is to avoid talking about me –me –me. Focus instead on others – this shows consideration. Never use a party to talk about Pay or other personal employment issues.

Three Career Killers during a Party

 Engaging in offensive conversation or jokes
 Indulging in ‘’romantic’’ escapades
 Bellying up to the Bar – repeatedly: Limit alcohol intake or better, don’t drink at all.

Summary of how you should act at a Business or Office Party

 Project the positive
 Smile. Do not sit at a corner scowling!
 Do not complain
 Listen
 Do not consume food and drinks in excess
 Enjoy yourself, or at least do a great job of pretending to.

Key Learning Point: Business entertaining should be enjoyable, but never forget that it is, first and last, business.