- Put your napkin in your lap shortly after you sit down. As you use it, blotting or patting your lips is preferable to a wiping the napkin aggressively across your lips.
- If you leave the table, place the napkin, folded loosely, to the left of the place setting. Position it so that the dirty part is out of sight.
- If you wish to bring a guest as your partner, you should always check with the host first. If you are the one hosting the party and a guest of yours arrives with an unexpected friend, be polite and courteous with them and speak with your inconsiderate guest at another time.
- It is considered polite to take along a small gift for your host and hostess. Flowers, chocolates, wine or even champagne are always appreciated.
- It is good dinner table etiquette to serve the lady sitting to the right of the host first, then the other ladies in a clockwise direction and lastly the gentlemen.
- Unlike other cultures, it is acceptable to leave some food to one side of your plate or to eat all of your food. But, be careful not to leave your plate too clean – as if you haven’t eaten in days.
- Loud eating noises such as slurping and burping are very impolite.
- Talking with your mouth full is not only unpleasant to watch, but it could also lead to choking. Definitely avoid this action!
Psychology Today has recently published an article by Michael Michalko, one of the most highly acclaimed creativity experts in the world. This article discusses six creativity lessons that emerged from a review of the way Thomas Edison worked.
1) Challenge all assumptions
Edison used to invite every candidate assistant to dinner. If the person salted the soup before tasting it, he would not hire him for the job because he wanted people who consistently challenged assumptions.
He set idea quotas for all his workers because he believed that, in order to discover a good idea, you need to generate many ideas. It took in fact over 50,000 experiments to invent the alkaline storage cell battery and 9000 to perfect the light bulb.
3) Nothing is wasted
Edison's notebooks contain pages of material on what he learned from experimental failures. When an experiment failed, he would always ask what the failure revealed and would enthusiastically record what he had learnt.
4) Constantly improve your ideas and products and the ideas and products of others
Edison studied all his inventions and ideas as points of departure for other inventions and often drew inspiration from titles of books, failed patents and research papers written by other inventors.
5) Turn deficiencies into your advantage
Edison had hearing problems and received requests from hearing-impaired people all over the world to invent a hearing aid, but he declined because he thought his so-called disability gave him valuable mental space in which to think.
6) Record your ideas and thoughts
Edison had a deep-rooted need to write down his ideas in order to see for himself the relentless cause-and-effect nature of many of his works.
Having a meal together is a good way to start talking about business. If you’re interested in the Far East, you have to take into account the higher degree of formality that exist, when compared to the West. Make sure you learn the table etiquette of Eastern cultures, to avoid embarrassing situations. Here you can find some tips:
- Chinese often pick up their bowls and use their chopsticks to scoop the rice into their mouths.
- As a general rule in China, you should always decline something given to you at least two or three times before accepting it.
- Soups are usually eaten last.
- Chopsticks are used to pick up food from shared dishes. Koreans actually use a long silver spoon to eat their rice.
- They will only eat after the most senior person has started eating the meal.
- Koreans don’t pick up their bowls when eating their rice.
- When the food is served, join your hands in the “Namaste” gesture and say quietly, “Itadakimasu” – the phrase literally translates as “I humbly receive.”
- Do not pass the food at the table from a set of chopsticks to another set of chopsticks – it’s a very offensive gesture because when a Japanese family is sifting through the ashes after a cremation, they handle the bones of the deceased in a similar fashion.
- Never plant your chopsticks in a bowl of rice. Instead, lay your chopsticks on the chopstick holder or at the edge of your individual plate.