Thursday, August 13, 2009

Carol Smith on What You Learn Eating with People

In a New York Times interview about women, Presidents, managers and handling time, Carol Smith, Senior Vice President and Chief Brand Officer for the Elle Group, shared about the importance of meals before hiring new staff:

Three Meals
“I am living by something I read in Cathie Black’s book [“Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life)”] which I sort of instinctively knew — that you’ve got to meet someone three times, and one of them better be over a meal.”

You Learn So Much in a Meal
“You learn so much in a meal. It’s like a little microcosm of life. How they order, what they order. How are they going to give instructions to a waiter? Are they sending back the meal eight times? Can they keep the conversation going, especially if you’re hiring someone who is in sales? Are they asking smart questions?”

Subtle Ways Emerge
“Throughout a meal, the personality comes out, I think. Are you going to connect with us? Are you going to be part of the team, or are you going to be one of these independent players who wants to take all the credit? Are you good with assistants? Those are things you can find out in some subtle ways when you eat with someone.”

Carol Smith, No Doubts: Women are Better Managers, New York Times, 25 July 2009.

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen, RBM, 21 September 2007.
Three Cups of Tea in A thousand Splendid Suns, SFS, 24 October 2007.
On Making Your Own Lunch, SFS, 11 August 2009.
Crap Coffee, SFS, 1 May 2006.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at) on Facebook and Twitter.

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Image: “You learn so much in a meal.”