Out to Lunch: Would this Person Make a Good Client, Boss, Employee?

ForkWhat clues do people give off when you are in the courtship phase of a new relationship?

A simple shared meal at a restaurant with table service is a great place to pick up clues about how YOU will soon be treated if you enter into a relationship (business or otherwise) with your dining partner. Watch how your guest treats the staff at the restaurant. Watch especially closely when something goes wrong, or a waiter makes a mistake.

Now, use your empathy to decide if you would like to be the waiter at your table. Mentally, put yourself in the shoes of the waiter and imagine what it would be like as a person to serve your guest.

If your potential client treats the wait-staff as servants, you’re in for the same treatment after the honeymoon period wears off. If she treats the waiter with warmth and talks to them as an equal, you can likely expect the same.

As a Myers-Briggs ENFP, I have no problem with the empathy part. What usually trips me up is giving the person the benefit of the doubt, over and over. We ENFPs often make the mistake of thinking we can have a nice human relationship with the most un-human of people. If we would only follow our intuition when it says "warning!" we’d be able to easily avoid some of life’s drama!

What other clues should we watch for? What’s been your experience?

3 thoughts on “Out to Lunch: Would this Person Make a Good Client, Boss, Employee?

  1. Chris Busch

    I was eating lunch with a consultant a couple of years ago and noticed that he really talked down to the wait staff. He treated me with respect, but definitely did not show the same respect to the waiter.

    I should have taken the warning. They guy turned out to be a real horse’s butt, alienating everyone on our staff eventually.

    Note to self: When someone acts like they are full of crap, it’s safe to assume they are full of crap and act accordingly.

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  2. Shell Smith

    what a fantastic idea. I wish we could all take our bank, cell phone companies, cable companies, etc to dinner! I think that would be a great thing to tell employees you currently have also. Especially the ones that are in the customer service department. I have my service employees take this online customer service survey (http://www.mshare.net/aboutus-quiz.html) followed by a discussion. I think any creative way to get your people thinking about other people is a great thing.

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