No matter how long you’ve been in business or even if you’re not in business just yet, a “business conversation” will be part of your daily life. Whether it be a client, supplier or business partner, there is a certain etiquette you should follow. Not too much unlike the recent post at BoDo talking about Corporate Dress.
For starters, try to avoid political discussions at all costs. More often than not someone is going to have a political opinion that is not in favor with yours. And even though it’s easy to get into these verbal debates, they’re not healthy or professional at all.
Secondly, stay away from “lifestyle” discussions. Just recently we were having dinner with some business associates and a subject about a lifestyle choice arose. Unfortunately the business dinner had gotten a little too casual and at one point we were all feeling a moment of uncomfortable silence. So yea, avoid a discussion on how one chooses to live their life. Unless of course they’re physically or mentally hurting someone – that’s another story.
Finally, keep it to yourself. If you run into one of the above mentioned examples (and you will) or something very similar, nods of the head or a shrugging of the shoulder at least show you’re paying attention. Not necessarily agreeing or disagreeing, but being attentive. And if asked your opinion on a particular subject, it’s best to just say you have no opinion or even remind them that you’re off track on the real task at hand.