Tips for an effective power breakfast

| Print |  Email
Archives - April 2007
Sunday, April 01, 2007

breakfast00407.jpgBacon, eggs and doing business

In a less enlightened time, doing business over breakfast warranted a serious title: the power breakfast. But these days, the socially savvy have pushed “power” aside for a softer, kinder and more intimate start-the-day meeting — sans buffets, spreadsheets or late arrivals at the office.

10 tips for a successful breakfast meeting

1. RESEARCH THE LOCATION in advance to avoid unexpected surprises. Compile a short list of great, reliable breakfast places, with at least one per neighborhood.

2. BE EARLY. This is not the time to bounce in a few minutes late. Being a few minutes early sets a more relaxed tone for the meeting.

3. KEEP IT SIMPLE. This is not the time to get a side of fruit and pancakes and yogurt and toast. This should not be a multi-course, complicated affair like dinner.

4. ORDER DISHES THAT AREN’T MESSY. Avoid drippy, mushy dishes that require too much attention and opt for something manageable, so you can easily eat and talk at the same time.

5. LEAVE THE PRINTED AGENDA AT THE OFFICE. Usually breakfast tables are filled with butter, syrup, coffees, juices, waters, etc., so there’s no real space for printed materials.

6. TAKE A QUICK LOOK at the newspaper before you head to breakfast. It’s nice to ease in to the meeting with a quick conversation about the day’s current events.

7. BEWARE OF THE ETERNAL FOUNTAIN OF COFFEE. To avoid jitters, allow one or maybe two cups to be poured while you’re dining, but stop the flow after that and switch to water.

8. FOCUS ON BRAINSTORMING OR JUMPSTARTING new projects. The beginning of the day is a great metaphor for beginning strategic partnerships or introducing people.

9. TRY NETWORKING. Because breakfast meetings can fall outside the daily routine, they’re a great time to keep building relationships that don’t fit into the work day.

10. LIMIT THE MEETING TO AN HOUR. People need to get their day started. Meeting for longer than an hour creates a hurdle for the rest of the morning.

“Breakfast meetings are a bit more casual than lunch meetings,” says Sheri Fitts, director of communication and large plan sales for the Standard Retirement Plan Group. “Everyone’s just kind of waking up.”

In the business world, waking up offers an excuse for informal networking, which Fitts finds inspirational. She often gets together with those outside her field over breakfast, not only because busy schedules can usually accommodate a meeting first thing, but because the time slot seems like psychological free space — a time for creative thinking without an agenda. Fitts recommends scheduling these breakfasts for just 45 minutes.

Lisa Donoughe, owner of LAD communications, relishes the breakfast meeting for what it can inspire. “I love the change of atmosphere,” she says. “There’s something fresh about being outside the conference room.”

But that clean slate hinges on choosing the right location. Donoughe prefers the Bijou Cafe in Portland, a who’s-who spot in the morning, both for the ambience and one of her favorite breakfast meeting dishes, a healthy quesadilla that’s easily shared. A few blocks away at the Heathman Restaurant, meetings start happening right at 7 a.m., when the doors open, says the general manager Garrett Peck, who touts the Heathman’s reliable comfort foods and free Wi-Fi.

In Eugene, lawyers and judges frequent the Zenon Café in the morning, thanks to its proximity to the courthouse, while in Salem, legislators and lobbyists can be found discussing the day’s most contentious legislation over coffee in the Café Today,  inside the Capitol.

But no matter where people choose to exchange ideas before the start of the workday, the most successful encounters recognize the uniqueness of a morning meeting. “When you ask people to start their day with you,” Fitts says, “they deserve more than the common courtesies.”

— Lucy Burningham


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Flattery with Numbers

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The false promise of economic impact statements.


Read more...

Storyteller in Chief: Power Player

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY LINDA WESTON

In 1996, after a 17-year career in the destination marketing industry, where I gained national standing as the CEO of the Convention & Visitors Association of Lane County, I was recruited by the founders of a new professional basketball league for women. The American Basketball League (ABL) hoped to leverage the success of the 1996 USA women’s national team at the Atlanta Olympics — much like USA Soccer is now leveraging the U.S. Women’s National Team’s victory in the World Cup. The ABL wanted a team in Portland, and they wanted me to be its general manager.


Read more...

Reader Input: Fair Play

May 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Former Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation in February prompted some soul searching in this state about ethical behavior in industry and government.


Read more...

Bendafornia: What’s driving the Northern California migration?

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
bendiforniathumbBY KEN MAES

A huge migration from Northern California has contributed to average 16% growth per year since 1990.


Read more...

Farm in a Box

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Most of the food Americans consume is trucked in from hundreds of miles away. Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, wants to change that. So this past spring, the Air Force veteran and former greenhouse manager started work on an alternative farming system he claims is more efficient than conventional agriculture, and also shortens the distance between the consumer and the farm.


Read more...

The 10 most successful crowdfunding campaigns in Oregon

The Latest
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
081915-crowdfundingmainBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

One of the hottest new investment trends has proven quite lucrative for some companies.


Read more...

Ranking the airlines that fly PDX

The Latest
Friday, August 14, 2015
airlinesthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

17 airlines make stops at Portland International Airport, but not all are created equal when it comes to customer service.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS