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Posts Tagged ‘Style’

Aug 11 2014

Look Them in the Eye



In many cultures, it’s considered polite to avoid eye contact as a show of respect—especially to elders.  But in North America, making direct eye contact is essential. It sends the message that you’re listening and are sincere. Maintaining eye contact during a conversation, even if it’s about the weather, will project an air of confidence and credibility.

On the other hand, if you don’t look somebody in the eye, they may start to worry and think something is wrong. Your motives become suspect and somewhere along the line a trust is broken.  People will say, “I wanted to like him/her, but they just couldn’t look me in the eye.”

Successful business people understand the importance of trust in relationships and have perfected the skill of sending strong nonverbal signals.  When they are engaged in conversation, they look directly at the person and rest their eyes upon the space between their eyes—at the point where the nose meets the forehead.

Aug 11 2014

Which Bread Plate is Mine


breadplateFormal dining skills have become a little less formal these days, particularly in the U.S.  People can be found eating their meals most anywhere—on lawns or parks, in fast food restaurants, at an office desk, or in front of the TV. But what happens when your boss invites you to dinner and you aren’t sure which bread plate is yours?

I’ve heard the phrase: “Social intelligence is no replacement for abstract intelligence, which get’s you in the door. But social intelligence will get you to the top.”  And having a few good manners under your belt will make a good impression when you need it most.

Think of it this way, the table is set in a way that guides you through a meal.  You can anticipate what is coming by which plates and silverware are present.  Knives, spoons, and possibly a seafood fork are on your right. Forks are placed on the left hand side of the plate.  Liquids are on your right (your glasses); solids are on your left (your bread and salads).  The dessert spoon or fork will be placed above your plate, kind of like the crown of the meal.

Consider the BMW trick to remember where things go:  B is for bread plate, which is on the left, M is for the meal plate, which is in the middle and W is for water, which is on the right. And if by chance somebody grabs your bread, don’t breathe a word…simply ask the server for another roll, and keep it on the left hand side of your plate.