Never eat alone. Well, “never” may be a strong word, but sharing a meal maximizes your time efficiency/productivity and often gives you an enhanced feeling of well being. I’m basically an introvert and must have my “cave time” to re-energize and collect my thoughts and to plan. But, I’ve found over the years that a shared breakfast or lunch is a great time to build relationships and work through issues. It can be easy to get in the habit of eating alone, and sometimes it can’t be avoided. I was having lunch at the golf shack on the Navy base, reading the newspaper, when a co-worker walked by and quipped, “George, I see you’re having lunch with all your friends!” I guess his witty(?) remark did shame me into reconsidering a lazy habit I had lapsed into. The fact is that at least half of the leadership-discipleship coaching sessions I do now are done over breakfast or lunch. Most of my clients prefer the face to face contact, and I admit that it does enhance bonding and the reading of body language and facial expressions. There is so very much potential for serious misunderstandings in emails, and to a lesser extent, regular phone calls. I have a senior pastor friend who tells me that he will not use email except to convey strictly nonemotional factual information. He’s been burned too many times by misinterpretations, assumptions, etc. regarding potentially emotional communications. Good advice there! FaceTime, Skype or WhatsApp visual are effective second choices if face to face meetings are impractical. And, if you can relax with a cup of coffee or snack while doing so, so much the better! Never (or almost never) eat alone.