How much would people pay to have dinner with you?
Every year legendary investor Warren Buffett auctions a lunch 'date' with himself to raise money for the Glide Foundation.
Two years ago this sold for $1.68 million. The following year that had rocketed to $2.63 million as people rushed to share time with the Sage of Omaha. This year however the auction 'only' managed to raise $2.34 million.
The winner of the auction and seven others get to dine with Buffett at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in New York. Whilst dinner with Buffett is clearly incredibly popular, for most people having dinner with their boss is a source of dread. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of a dinner date with your boss.
- Think positively - Whilst your boss may not be as in demand as Warren Buffett, it is still very likely that there are few chances to spend 'quality time' with a chief executive. Approach the event as an opportunity rather than a threat.
- Think of an exit strategy - Like any first date you should have a good exit strategy in mind. There's nothing worse than outstaying your welcome and enduring awkward silences. At the outset let your boss know that you have a prior engagement to attend and it provides a clear timescale.
- Think of your openers - Again, just like a first date it's best to start things on safe ground. Talk about work to begin with until you're both comfortable with the setting.
- Seek common ground - Once you've kicked things off and are more comfortable, look for some common ground. Books, music, and travel are all good topics to explore.
- Don't forget to schmooze - Schmoozing up to your boss is proven to be an effective career strategy, so don't forget to throw a bit of flattery into the event. There are seven ways to deliver flattery. Do a bit of research beforehand and apply accordingly.
You've probably not got several million to buy dinner with Warren Buffett, but you can still lunch with your boss as an opportunity to advance your career. Good luck and bon appetite.