Never eat alone – Keith Ferrazzi

Make your lunch a learning experience – John Maxwell


I visited Symantec Chennai’s office few years ago. What was the most memorial about the trip was the lunch I had. There was a group of 5 managers in Chennai that I had lunch with. They shared with me that they ate lunches together everyday. They not only shared food but also their knowledge with each other. No wonder they were very knowledgable about different subjects.

After my Chennai trip, I became very intentional about having lunch with others in the office. After becoming a coach, I became very intentional about learning, even during lunches. It’s simply amazing to learn during the lunch conversation.

John shared 7 questions that he often asks, which I found very useful not only during lunch conversation but also in any conversation.

  1. What’s the greatest lesson you ever learned?
  2. What are you learning now?
  3. How have failures shaped your life? Tell me a real setback in your life and how you did turn it around?
  4. Who do you know that I should know?
  5. What have you read that I should read? and tell me why it’s good.
  6. What have you done that I should do?
  7. How can I add value to you?

John is always very intentional about learning even at age of 68. He would pay for people’s lunches and ask them questions while eating lunch. He said that he can guarantee that when people go to lunch with him, they will get a lot of questions.

Here are few tips to become intentional about never eating alone:

  1. Ask your co-workers to go to lunch with you. During lunch, use above questions to get everyone talking and sharing. If you are not comfortable asking, ask anyway. You will be surprised to find out.
  2. If you have to eat alone, bring something such as media player with an audio book or a talk and listen to it while eating.
  3. Do like John Maxwell; take someone to lunch, pay for them, and ask questions.

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