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How to comport yourself during your dinner with Lloyd Blankfein if you want to get promoted

Don't put it all in your mouth at once

Don't put it all in your mouth at once

A new ritual for identifying the men (and women) of tomorrow has manifested itself at Goldman Sachs. ‘Younger managers’ are being tapped on the shoulder by no less than Lloyd Blankfein himself and invited to private soirees with Goldman’s directors.

At these soirees, which seemingly take the form of a private feast in Goldman’s executive dining rooms, the Wall Street Journal says Goldman’s finest are invited to entertain its directors with their expertise on a ‘variety of topics’ and to, ‘share the firm’s views on important issues’ over dinner.  These feasts have reportedly been taking place for the past 12 months. So far, they’ve only included Goldman’s heads of businesses – people like Pablo Salame, co-head of Goldman’s securities arm, and Anthony Noto – the ex-Goldman banker who left last week for Twitter.

It’s not clear whether Goldman plans to extend its dinner meetings further down the hierarchy.  If you’re a frustrated Goldman Sachs executive director, executive meal occasions have the potential to become significant events in your digestive calendar now that the firm only promotes MDs every two years instead of annually. In the event that you’re invited to one, here’s how we suggest you make the most of it – based upon sociological guides to feasting and the body language of ingestion.

1. Eat what you’re given: Forget your veganism, your paleo diet, your attachment to egg whites-only, feasting rituals are all about establishing and strengthening sociological relations according to academic literature on the subject. If you are offered a prawn canape and you pass, you will be indicating your lack of affiliation to the group.

2. Eat reasonably large mouthfuls: People who nibble at food and chew at the front of their mouths are reportedly perceived like children and seen as being a bit timid.

3. Don’t chew too much: Excessive chewing suggests extreme pensiveness.

4. Don’t fidget with the cutlery:  It suggests you’re nervous.

5. Don’t talk with food in your mouth: Never good.

6. Do laugh heartily at whatever anyone more senior says: Remember the ‘partner laugh’?

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