Monday, April 17, 2017

A Manager’s Mirror, Episode IV

Break for lunch and enjoy… good company!

by Georgina Popescu

It might come as a surprise to most hard-workaholics, but the body periodically needs fuel, the mind continuous challenge and the soul quality companionship. And a good manager knows how important it is to maintain all those in perfect balance.

I have tried almost every alternative to a decent meal in my professional life (even the ‘skip-it-altogether’ version once or twice!). And I have understood while growing mature that organising lunch breaks is essential for the success of any business week.

In my opinion, everyone should allocate proper time for it every day and, more than that, use that time wisely, depending on the area that needs most balancing. As the location choices are rather limited in real life, this translates mostly into alternating the company - colleagues (boss, peers, and team members), business partners, friends or family members. I always strive to keep one day per week free, in order to be able to allocate on short-notice emergencies, or purely to have a quiet lunch with myself from time to time.

Just as the intake of food is all about quality and not quantity, so should be the choice for company during lunch. One should not approach difficult matters, serve notices, give negative feed-back or settle scores over lunch breaks, unless the target is mass indigestion. Such issues are better framed in neutral but professional set-ups. When you invite people to eat together the occasion should be used as a frame for good news, or as a bridge to alignment and mutual understanding. A decent business lunch may facilitate reaching gentleman’s agreements in a positive and constructive way, and build the foundation for future partnership.

In any case, lunch break should allow the body to refuel, the mind to take an active break and the soul to enjoy good company – to get all of you back in sync, ready to approach the second half of the day with the same amount of energy as in the morning (or even better!).

While I perceive the breakfast as an intimate necessity and the dinner as a private reward, whenever I think of the lunch, I see it as the wizard of professional and personal balance. Without forgetting the old saying ‘there is no free lunch’, therefore balancing everything, including the involved bill!

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