What to do if you’re invited to lunch with your boss’s boss

Whether you expected it or it came as a surprise, the date is going to happen and you sure wouldn’t want to screw it all up with one or two things you should have or shouldn’t have done. Remember, it’s a date with your boss’s boss, so it’s not a regular face!

But, don’t be nervous! You might even cause more damage if you don’t get your peace together. Instead of allowing yourself to be jittery, you should think up ideas that will make the lunch with your boss a memorable one. One lunch could make or mar your career, but you don’t need to worry, here’s exactly what to do!

Don’t be in a haste to get started!

Dear employee, wait for your boss’s boss to get seated first. No matter how many people he is greeting, don’t sit down just yet. You don’t want to send a wrong signal. After all, he/she asked you out in the first place.

This also applies to placing an order on food or drink and even raising a topic for discussion. A lunch with your boss’s boss is completely a different ball game. Wait for him/her to first place an order unless he/she insists that you place first. Please don’t let your order be more expensive than his! In fact, if you can, order the same thing he ordered or something lighter.

Allow him/ her to initiate the discussion

You could actually show how smart and intelligent you are by your contributions to the discussion while having a date with your boss’s boss, but resist the temptation of saying anything negative about your direct boss, your colleagues or the company. Even if he asked you anything about your work, and the answer is negative, look for a way around it, unless you want him feeling you are not doing your best.

Also when he asks you a question, don’t be too detailed, you don’t want to bore him with long talk! Keep it short and precise. You may also want to ask him a few questions, provided you don’t pry into his privacy, its okay. Unless he does, don’t raise religious or political topics. And when he does, don’t oppose his views upfront!

Overall etiquette

Remember, that having a lunch with your boss or dining together doesn’t make him your pal, he still your boss, so mind your manners!

It will be truly embarrassing to have your phone ring at every interval; you should put it on silent and put in your pocket or purse. If you are expecting an important call, let your boss’s boss know about it. Also, don’t rush your food and don’t be too slow, eat at his/her pace.

Show gratitude!

Don’t forget to show appreciation and say thank you to your boss’s boss for the opportunity to sit at a table, just the two of you! It is not a common privilege to have lunch with your boss’s boss, so you have to either write him a short note or go to his office sometime later and show gratitude.

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