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Dining Around The World

By Janet Adetu

Over the years during my trainings I see that every time the topic dining comes up, a lot of professionals tend to almost instantly disregard it. There is an assumption that it is frivolous or not so important afterall it is all about eating, or so they think. Interestingly the art of dining has major significance in building leaders, nurturing C- suite Executives, polishing professionals and providing good conduct skills for individuals and youths.

The art of dining is highly influenced by culture, as it is encampassed with varying types of food, delicacies, eating styles, manners at the table to methods of socialization and business progress. Dining in or out itself is considered a less formal environment for both social and business interactions. It is less rigid, more accommodating for conversation, laughter and building relationships. The dinner table allows for discussions to take different turns and dimensions. Dining around the world also teaches new ways of doing things and exploring varying cultures as and customs.

Yes it is no surprise that many deals are sealed and closed over dining due to the comfort that the atmosphere tends to provide. Ultimately the success of a dining experience locally or internationally is accomplished once you are able to establish positive connectivity, trust credibility and honesty. Dining also leaves room for adventure when it comes to trying new meals or varying food types from other continents. You either like it or you do not, you either accept or reject, or you either develop an open mind or a closed one, the choice is yours. Generally dining is a skill just as important to learning conversation, greeting, listening or leadership skills.

Reasons for Embracing Dining Skills
• To aid confidence while dining •To apply appropriate conduct personally and professionally •To master certain leadership skills embedded in dining •To establish credibility, trust and integrity
•To show respect for other cultures and dining traditions
•To understand cultural intelligence regarding dining in certain areas
•To aid the choice of food in unfamiliar places

Learning the tricks of the trade of dining cuts across numerous areas of personal development from
i. Receiving the invitation
ii. What to wear
iii. Acceptable manners at the table
iv.Table Taboos
v. Tools of the table
vi.What to say what not to say
vii. Picking your food
viii.Making merry at the table

Today dining out has become a phenomenal trend not just for special festival or celebratory seasons. Numerous business meals involve both lunch and dinner dates. Celebrations are taking place over small and large crowd dinner gatherings. Lot of income is being spent socializing over a meal. Once again the art of dining spands across healthy eating to over eating, to numerous courses within a course.

Dining & Your Reputation
Wherever you find yourself dining locally or around the world many judgements are made over dining and your behavior at the table. The many times go unnoticed by many individuals and professionals and to a large extent they are heavily taken for granted. You are always being judges everywhere you go. Sitting at the table locally and internationally says a lot about you and your character and your personality. Instantly we can see

•Your level of exposure
•How travelled you are
•Your level of kindness, politeness and courtesy
•Your level of confidence and self esteem •Your sense of fine detail and grooming graces
•Your threshold for empathy and open -mindedness
•Your business focused mind
•What your priority is business or pleasure
•Your decision making ability •You ability to mix and mingle •Lots more…

Test Yourself
My Intellectual Etiquette Dining Challenge
1. In what country should you not flip your whole fish?
2. In what country is it rude not to make eye contact while toasting?
3. In what country is it OK to burb after a meal as a thank you gesture?
4. In what country is it considered rude to thank your host for inviting you?
5. In what country is it rude to toast the elderly?
6. In what country can you drink soup from a bowl with your hands?
7. In what country can you slurp your noodles?
8.In what country is asking for ketchup considered rude?
9. Where can you through crumbs and rubbish on the floor in a bar?
10. In what country is it OK to start breakfast with a business meeting?
11. In what country is tipping non existent?
12. In what country is tipping completely not expected?
13. In what country is eating with your hands acceptable at the dinner table?
14. In what country are chopsticks metal?
15. In what country can you use both a spoon and your hand to eat the same delicacy?

Goodluck

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