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Being a Gentleman in Business

Posted By: Randy GageNovember 30, 2010

Wow what a response to yesterday’s post on being a cell phone jerk. As predicted, some people are quite emotional about their phones.  Tony, Friday and RJ suggested I was just getting old and cranky.  That may be true, but that wasn’t the point.  We’re looking at things that may hold you back from success.

And manners may sabotage you in many ways.  So let’s look at some business situations and the best way to act in them…

And no I am not turning into “Miss Manners.”  She does a fine job, so I’ll leave that to her.  But I do think it’s important that you be aware of some etiquette issues that can affect your rise to success.

One of the biggest issues that arises comes from equality of the sexes.  And how that applies in business.  In the seventies, in the advent of women’s liberation, some women were militant about not letting a man open the door for them and other common courtesies.  So what’s a guy to do?  And how should a lady react?

Well let’s start with pulling out a chair for a lady.  A gentleman should always pull out the chair for a lady in social situations.  In a business meeting, he doesn’t, as it could be taken as condescending, or a negotiating or positioning play.

So if you meet in the boardroom, and a lady sits next to you, a nod and greeting, or nod and handshake would be appropriate.  If you had a business session for a few hours, then broke for lunch, it would be fine (and quite classy) to pull out her chair at the dining table.

The etiquette purists would tell you that you should stand every time a lady gets up from the table.  Personally I don’t do this, because most people are startled by this behavior, wondering if there is a fire.

However, when the lady returns to the table, I will rise and pull out her chair.  Now many guys reading this will groan.  (Especially if you were sent this link by your wife or girlfriend!)  You may think it’s old fashioned and that most women would feel weird if you did this.  And most guys think that this would be corny to do with their wife.  Absolutely not.

Try it and see.  Women love it, and it shows you have some class and real manners.  Same thing as opening a door for a lady.  A gentleman ALWAYS does this, even in a business context.

Any woman who would resist this has no manners, and you wouldn’t want to do business with her.  But trust me, it won’t happen.

Doing these things in business shows you were raised right, and gives people more confidence to trust you with bigger projects or deals.  And doing this in social situations shows your wife or girlfriend (or even your mother or sister) that you don’t take her for granted, and appreciate the relationship.

And all this focus on manners isn’t just to get more business.  It’s just the right thing to do, as it shows respect and appreciation for those around you.

Truth is, I thought all this stuff was corny when I was young.  And it felt weird at first to pull out a chair for a lady.  But after a few times, you see the gratitude it generates, you feel good about it and it becomes quite natural.  Try it and see.

So what do you think guys?  Is chivalry dead?  And ladies, please check in if you agree or disagree.

-RG

P.S. I'm heading back  to Sydney tonight, so will check in on the other side.

49 comments on “Being a Gentleman in Business”

  1. Once in NYC I was going up to the front of the Westvaco Building on Park Avenue when I approached the door at the same time as a woman with her hands full. She had a bag in one and her heels over her shoulder in the other.

    Like any good southern boy, I reached and opened the door for her. He looked at me like I was some kind of pervert and backed up and went through another door.

    I was pretty confused. But I have not let that one episode stop me from offering to open doors. It just seems the right thing to do.

    Mike

  2. Totally agreed as good manners are always the better choice and the women feel more welcome and treated the right way.
    As you said, if she doesn't like it, she probably should make the business with someone else.

    I just remember a young woman and good friend of mine who felt a bit uncomfortable with these kind of manners in the first place. No matter if I opend the door of the car, the restaurant or the office building or pulled the chair back at the table. After our third lunch she smiled as an older lady at the table next to us whispered to he husband "Oh Darling, did you see that? How lovely to see that at least some young gentlemen still know how to treat ladies the right way".
    I think she feels comfortable with these manners now, as she has this little twinkle in her eyes as we meet and she gets the attention and treatment the way I do.

    And in business? Well I had the experince that good manners really do open doors for you and if you visit another country and you know the business manners of the foreign country you even show a greater respect to the host.

    1. Knowing the customs in other countries is a great point. Very important if you travel internationally.

      And no, Jamie Loh, you are not allowed to post a snarky comment here about me using soy sauce in Malaysia!

      -RG

      1. Mr Gage,

        I was just going to post a comment here about how you really walk your talk, and that's how I now need to be treated by a man. Explains why I am single since my criteria list is about 40-pages long thanks to the standards you set. Sigh.

        So, if you would save me by doing a gentleman's etiquette & dressing training the next time you are here - I'll let the soya sauce story die a natural death.
        Forever.

        Love, love, & more love!
        Jamie

        1. Oh Yes - and when I've gone out with a man who doesn't do this, I feel this flatness.

          Randy - I'm thrilled you teach this... I think of all the honoured cherished couples.

          I hope you also do a post of women and appreciation!

          xox

          1. Awesome.

            Hurry before I expire. O_o

            Have a blast charming all the sheilas in Sydney rocksta! Love ya.

  3. It's amazing how many people just don't get it. Good manners always wins. Sadly, there are just too many losers out there.

  4. What lady doesn't like to be treated like a lady??? And for that texting idiot at your t-dinner.. what was so important?? was the gravy too lumpy? the turkey too dry??? I guess texting is like crack and just as idiotic, stupid and toxic...

  5. RG- I love this post and its dead on. Common courtesy has really gone by the wayside for the most part today. It could be a generational thing I guess, but I say its time for a revival.
    And your right. The courtesies shown to a lady are appreciated every time! I've never been given the evil eye for assisting a lady.

  6. I totally relate to this post and totally agree with it. I have taught my children that manners will open doors when nothing else could.
    I am of the generation of women who grew up in the days of opening a door for me was patronising, much to my fathers despair.
    My husband never did these things, he thought he was a great feminist. Women can do anything to him meant that women should do everything. We are no longer married.
    My new partner, a woman, treats me with great respect and one way she shows this is by standing when I enter the room, pulling out my chair, not sitting until I have, opening doors, waiting for me to pass through before her...and I love it.
    I have never felt more like a woman myself and I love knowing the strengths and respect I have.
    Thank you RG for this important point.

  7. I'm loving these posts on manners. Yesterday I was going into my office building and a man was coming out. He was trying to open the door for me, but he was pulling on the door when he should have been pushing. I had paused to let him open the door for me, but ended up pulling it open. The poor guy was embarrassed and pardoned himself for not having been able to open the door! I give him a 10 for both manners and effort!
    Unfortunately, many people don't even try to have manners at all. Some don't even say hi or look at you when you are passing or even doing business with them at a sales counter. I like to challenge people to say hi and try to strike up a conversation with as many people as possible while out and about. It's amazing how positively most people respond when I take the initiative to do this!

  8. Be a gentleman is a pleasure for me anytime, anywhere, and I'm happy that my sons (21, 23), follow me.It should be granted.

    Wencel

  9. Oh, be a Gentleman? ... yes.

    Open doors, hold chairs? ... yes, please.

    And watch how we women will repay your chivalry ten times over, for we see that you know the secret to gaining our appreciation and respect. It makes us feel honoured.

    You will be spoken of more than kindly in your absence and revered more than others in your presence. 😉

    K

  10. OK...chiming in from the ladies side. Our societal compass has really been battered when it comes to the male/female equality issues. I am 100% in favor of mental equality, however I LOVE being a woman. All women may not feel as I do about those gestures of respect that are gifted to us by men, however I am extremely appreciative to feel the chivalry of a man. How could anyone not enjoy being respected and cared for? It is an innate quality to enjoy love. These things are loving gestures. There is NOTHING as masculine to me as the kindness and gentle manners of a man. That is HOT!

    Opening a door, or pulling out a chair for a lady is extremely disarming gentlemen...give it a try, you never know what may happen.

    Chivalry is not dead!

  11. Randy, you are spot-on!

    I am a feminist and at the same time, I recognize that manners simply help keep people from getting confused about behaving in social situations.

    Doors are held open for dignitaries, such as for the President. And in classy situations such as entering the lobby of the Ritz Carlton. It's a way to show respect. I love it!

    It's flattering when a man pulls out my chair in a social situation and opens the door for me at any time! I have physical restrictions against lifting more than 8 lbs, so these courtesies go a long way in helping me stay healthy. Doors can be quite hard to manage while wearing a pair of high heels-- one's feet tend to slide on the floor when attempting to pull open a door.

    Whether you're a woman or man, please LOOK BEHIND YOU and hold the door for the next person if they are close behind you... otherwise it can be viewed as a sign of self-absorption or rudeness.

    If a man is carrying items for me using both arms, I will hold the door for him provided I can safely do so.

  12. I think manners are always about being respectful to others. In that case, I think your guidelines sound right on target. Yes, if you open a door or pull out a chair for a woman and she refuses or acts indignant that is rude and you may not want to do business with her. As a woman, I shutter a little at a man saying what a woman wants or needs. However, I think your right and it was respectful to ask the ladies to comment. One more note though, I think whoever gets to the door first should open it.
    AB

  13. Randy Today I love your blog a little more,beautifull,smart,bright and prosper women LOVE gentlemans manners.........and sunset in the beach.I love it.Thank you for make the difference in the world.

  14. Hi Randy,

    Being polite is the right thing to do.

    The right thing to do is always good business.

    You might pull the chair out for a woman or even better, hold a door open for a woman or a man.

    What does it cost to be nice, save a few extra seconds of your life? What rewards can you reap from being nice? Limitless, really. People almost always go out of their way to make a connection with a nice person. You can be lacking in the expertise department but still build solid, prospering relationships by doing what's right. A moment of thoughtfulness can create a lifelong relationship.

    I've had more than one door opened for me because I did the same - literally - for others.

    Have a powerful day!

    RB

  15. You are absolutely right, Randy! Being a bit classical when it comes to manners can have great effects. All the women I ever went out with were really glad when I did simple things like opening the door to my car, pulling out the chair or inviting them to a walse (or similar). I was 16 when my Dad told me about those secrets... his words have had a great Impact on my life.

  16. Absolutely! I insist on manners from my children even though they aren't PC. I've always pulled out chairs, opened doors, stood up as a woman arrived at a table, said please, thank you, excuse me and all those other things.
    One of my favorite authors had said:
    " The first thing that indicates the breakdown of a civilization is the breakdown of personal manners."
    also
    "Personal manners is the lubrication that keeps society moving"

    Both by Robert Heinlein

  17. Very good point by a number of you that it's just as correct to hold the door for the guy behind you.

    And guys if you're not sure how a lady will respond to you overtures, you can simply ask. When I'm on a plane and a lady stops in the aisle next to me with a large carry on bag, I simply say, "Can I help you with that?"

    Now and then they say, "Thanks but I can handle it," but almost all the time they graciously accept my help and are grateful. It's the little things that make for a prosperous life.

    -RG

    1. Just watch out for when customs ask them if anyone has touched their bag since they left home and they say 'yeah that bald guy over there!'

      Or maybe that doesn't happen in First Class;-)

  18. Chivalry is not dead, and no, I don't think you're old and cranky Randy :).
    Doing all the curteous things for a woman is still appreciated whether in a social or business function. I like what you say in that the focus on manners is not just to get more business, but it's the right thing to do. You can also add senior citizens to the list of people we should go out of our way for....opening doors, letting them go before you in line, etc.

  19. I can't agree more with being a gentleman.

    I'm a young guy (24)... and whenever I hold the door for a lady - ESPECIALLY women 40+ - they look at me as if I just walked on water.

    I've actually had multiple elderly ladies (like 70-80) literally stop what they were doing and thank me with tears in their eyes - saying they're glad that their are still gentleman left in the world.

    I honestly don't understand why more people don't hold doors for other people - regardless of whether you're a girl or guy.

    You should want to be nice to people (yes, even strangers)... either way!

    Jeremy

  20. My late father always told me to "do the right thing." Good manners, in my book, is the right thing. Whether it's holding a door open for a woman, helping a senior, giving back to community, etc. it's all worth it. What you put out into the universe will come back.

  21. Randy, Great post!

    I think you were on an emotional rant about the phones, but this post is right on the money 🙂

    Such an important subject. People really do respect those who have good manners. A great reminder to be Respectful and Gentlemanly.

  22. Randy-

    Speaking of manners, it amazes me how many people who do not know, or choose not to, hold a knife and a fork properly when eating. They look like Fred Flintstone carving a brontosaurus. Too many people with bad table manners. I can hear my 82 year old mother laughing that I am writing about this!

  23. Randy,

    You did this for me at the Mastermind Event dinner in Houston about a month ago! I went to the buffet, and when I came back you jumped up and pulled the chair out for me. I was very impressed!

    Thank You!

  24. Randy,

    My brother-in-law is a very successful businessman and he has an etiquette situation that can get you a coveted job at his firm or send you packing. For a second interview he takes you out to dine for lunch or dinner and pays exceptionally close attention to how you treat the people that are serving you and taking care of you during your meal. If you treat them badly, chances are you will sooner or later treat a client badly if you don't care for them. It takes nothing to look a server in the eye and refer to them by name...you might just be the one person that makes their otherwise crappy day, good!!

    Good manners aren't hard, but certainly necessary in this day and age!!

  25. Randy
    Sadly in this day and age manners are an unknown skill for most. Some ladies look as you are crazy to hold the door, with a 'I can hold it myself attitude'. Others walk through and say nothing, but generally a classy lady is respectful and appreciative.

    In a business sense when it's appropriate it could score brownie points with a mature woman but for some of the younger set it might be a negative or looked down upon because it's old fashioned and it feels awkward to them.

  26. I think you are cranky but I will hold off on the old part.

    My mom used to stop at the door and just wait until I opened it....so I learned at a young age. She has always been a very strong women but some things are just right. Good post....I find that since we travel a ton the actual asking about putting the bags in storage bin gets me some funny looks and a lot of embarrassed looks by the guys around me as they see how easy it is to do. I always just think....the bag is bigger than the lady...can't be easy and it takes 3 seconds to ask.
    Quite proper post Mr. Gage!

  27. Yes, yes, yes Randy! I don't think much at all of men who don't hold doors open for me, and even less of those that will rush past and try and squeeze in front of me. They have zero chance with me, business or pleasure. It's just flat out rude. And you're right - they just weren't raised right, at least not by my standards. Men, if you want a classy lady, you're going to have to be a classy gentleman. I dated a guy like that for a few months and I fell hard for him. I also never skipped on the opportunity to tell him how much I appreciated it and how special it made me feel.

    While we're on the subject, I got invited out for a coffee & cake date on the weekend. When I went to look for an inside table, (it was a bit cold outside), I checked out the cakes on offer so I knew what I wanted to order. When I got back outside, my date asked me if I had grabbed anything while I was in there. I mean, what's the point of asking a girl out and then not paying for her cake and coffee? It had me stunned and needless to say, as nice as he is, he lost before he even started.

    And as for pulling out a chair, I don't remember having more than one man do that for me that wasn't paid to do it (i.e. a waiter). Where you are lovely gentlemen hiding???

  28. Haven't read through the postings from yesterday, but I know for sure that manners rock! It's old fashioned. It's not pc. And I don't give a damn. Being appreciative is always the best choice. Please and thank you. Please pass the pepper. Chew with your mouth shut. Elbows off the table. Thank you notes. Opening the car door. There are so many. Shoot, I recently double checked the proper table setting for a dinner party at my home. Why? To make my guests feel special and that I cared they had an enjoyable evening. It all says something about your upbringing, your character and the value you place on others. The one that I get the most resistance for, though it has nothing to do with gender, is children addressing me by my first name. Oh my, the looks I get from the parents when I ask the child to address me as Mrs.! The kids are cool with it, the parents, not so much.

  29. I find nothing at all objectionable about pulling a chair out for a woman . . . except on that rarest of occasions when you pull it out so far that she ends up on the floor! (Talk about a faux pas!)

  30. Randy. EXCELLENT! I am feeling in tune with you again, so great. The post is incredibly true! Thanks! Many times we leave this courtesy to the ladies beacuse not all the guys do this, there is the fear of being as corny or weird guy, but doing this take us to a higher level. It's great to know that you think this way. When we were dating my wife, I opened the car door for her, she loved it! She impacted my chivalry. Is that why she married me? jaja...:) Today I lost that habit, we have 10 years of marriage. But thanks for reminding me. I'll do it again immediately. I'm also sure that if we do this we will be valued differently, for all the women around us, in the best sense of the phrase. Randy, please, if you have more tips like these, please share with us. Thank you very much for remembering things, and for teaching. I know it's worth to use good manners and be polite. Here in Argentina there is a saying: "Courtesy does not remove the brave." Thanks!
    (I don’t think you’re old and cranky)

  31. Okay, what I really think after giving this topic some thought, is that I don't think chivalry is dead, but that sexism is alive and well. I wasn't enirely honest before. Pullling out a woman's chair or opening a door only for the ladies is really saying you are a weaker being and as a man I must help you out. I am not rude when a man does this for me, because I realize this is they way they have been taught to be polite in our sexist society. Ironically, I believe we women are the worst at perpetuating this sexist behavior, because we teach our sons this is what is polite. Apparently, based on how the women on this blog responded, we also want our men to treat us like ladies(which may mean, I guess, being treated as though we are a little more needy). I am not thoroughly convinced you are getting the most objective answers here, Mr. Gage. I think those of us women who write comments to you love you and look up to you and wouldn't want you to think us ill-mannered. If you are really inerested in knowing if chivarly is dead (to help lead your clients to more success) and you don't think you already know the answer, try asking a women's business league or your local N.O.W. chapter. Here is one more thought; if in your estimation a woman should be polite and just except your chivalrous behavior, how do you know what she is really thinking?

  32. Who are you & why haven't you been imparting this all along? 🙂 Seriously, I believe chivalry is not dead & find myself having to take deep breaths & practice emo intel when men fail in this area.

    I raised my son alone & from an early age I made sure he opened doors for me. When we approached a business of any kind, I would slow down & step behind him, gently reminding him to open it. It then became habit. One day we were eating at a fast food joint & of course, he opens the door for mom. There was a gentleman inside that observed it. He commented to my son about showing respect, but he then complimented me for raising him correctly. Funny that I do this very same action when I enter a door with men in general & sometimes I am amazed at how they have no clue what to do.

    I am blessed in business to be surrounded by gentlemen, who not only consistently present themselves at all times as such, but also set such an amazing example for those not taught this.

    Thank you Randy for the last few posts. I have thoroughly enjoyed them beyond measure!
    g

  33. Randy,

    Thanks for posting this. I pride myself on how I handle myself in most situations. I always pull out a lady's chair when we arrive at the dining table. I do admit though that I never get up to pull out a lady's chair when she returns from the restroom. I've never even seen it done before. Not even in the movies! I picture it in my mind and it seems like the right thing to do. I'm going to try it next time my wife go to dinner with friends. I suspect I'm going to make her feel very special (once she gets over the surprise). I just hope I don't get the other husbands in trouble.

    Roland

  34. Love this post, Randy! You're right on with manners, and not old and cranky. Great post.

    Even though I'm a strong and independent woman, I love it when a man opens a door for me, or pulls my chair out in a dining situation. I feel respected and special when this happens, and have a greater appreciation and hold him in higher esteem immediately than those who do not do this. In fact, it takes my mind a moment to realize that it's actually happening and to respond accordingly, because it happens so infrequently. And ladies, it's classy to accept graciously a man's [or woman's] offering of kindness and attention.

    Randy, I mentor a young man in high school, and this is something that I'm going to make sure to cover with him. He already has good, basic manners, but I don't think he's ever been taught this, and I might never have thought to bring it up, had you not posted it. Thanks!

    Heather

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  • 49 comments on “Being a Gentleman in Business”

    1. Once in NYC I was going up to the front of the Westvaco Building on Park Avenue when I approached the door at the same time as a woman with her hands full. She had a bag in one and her heels over her shoulder in the other.

      Like any good southern boy, I reached and opened the door for her. He looked at me like I was some kind of pervert and backed up and went through another door.

      I was pretty confused. But I have not let that one episode stop me from offering to open doors. It just seems the right thing to do.

      Mike

    2. Totally agreed as good manners are always the better choice and the women feel more welcome and treated the right way.
      As you said, if she doesn't like it, she probably should make the business with someone else.

      I just remember a young woman and good friend of mine who felt a bit uncomfortable with these kind of manners in the first place. No matter if I opend the door of the car, the restaurant or the office building or pulled the chair back at the table. After our third lunch she smiled as an older lady at the table next to us whispered to he husband "Oh Darling, did you see that? How lovely to see that at least some young gentlemen still know how to treat ladies the right way".
      I think she feels comfortable with these manners now, as she has this little twinkle in her eyes as we meet and she gets the attention and treatment the way I do.

      And in business? Well I had the experince that good manners really do open doors for you and if you visit another country and you know the business manners of the foreign country you even show a greater respect to the host.

      1. Knowing the customs in other countries is a great point. Very important if you travel internationally.

        And no, Jamie Loh, you are not allowed to post a snarky comment here about me using soy sauce in Malaysia!

        -RG

        1. Mr Gage,

          I was just going to post a comment here about how you really walk your talk, and that's how I now need to be treated by a man. Explains why I am single since my criteria list is about 40-pages long thanks to the standards you set. Sigh.

          So, if you would save me by doing a gentleman's etiquette & dressing training the next time you are here - I'll let the soya sauce story die a natural death.
          Forever.

          Love, love, & more love!
          Jamie

          1. Oh Yes - and when I've gone out with a man who doesn't do this, I feel this flatness.

            Randy - I'm thrilled you teach this... I think of all the honoured cherished couples.

            I hope you also do a post of women and appreciation!

            xox

            1. Awesome.

              Hurry before I expire. O_o

              Have a blast charming all the sheilas in Sydney rocksta! Love ya.

    3. It's amazing how many people just don't get it. Good manners always wins. Sadly, there are just too many losers out there.

    4. What lady doesn't like to be treated like a lady??? And for that texting idiot at your t-dinner.. what was so important?? was the gravy too lumpy? the turkey too dry??? I guess texting is like crack and just as idiotic, stupid and toxic...

    5. RG- I love this post and its dead on. Common courtesy has really gone by the wayside for the most part today. It could be a generational thing I guess, but I say its time for a revival.
      And your right. The courtesies shown to a lady are appreciated every time! I've never been given the evil eye for assisting a lady.

    6. I totally relate to this post and totally agree with it. I have taught my children that manners will open doors when nothing else could.
      I am of the generation of women who grew up in the days of opening a door for me was patronising, much to my fathers despair.
      My husband never did these things, he thought he was a great feminist. Women can do anything to him meant that women should do everything. We are no longer married.
      My new partner, a woman, treats me with great respect and one way she shows this is by standing when I enter the room, pulling out my chair, not sitting until I have, opening doors, waiting for me to pass through before her...and I love it.
      I have never felt more like a woman myself and I love knowing the strengths and respect I have.
      Thank you RG for this important point.

    7. I'm loving these posts on manners. Yesterday I was going into my office building and a man was coming out. He was trying to open the door for me, but he was pulling on the door when he should have been pushing. I had paused to let him open the door for me, but ended up pulling it open. The poor guy was embarrassed and pardoned himself for not having been able to open the door! I give him a 10 for both manners and effort!
      Unfortunately, many people don't even try to have manners at all. Some don't even say hi or look at you when you are passing or even doing business with them at a sales counter. I like to challenge people to say hi and try to strike up a conversation with as many people as possible while out and about. It's amazing how positively most people respond when I take the initiative to do this!

    8. Be a gentleman is a pleasure for me anytime, anywhere, and I'm happy that my sons (21, 23), follow me.It should be granted.

      Wencel

    9. Oh, be a Gentleman? ... yes.

      Open doors, hold chairs? ... yes, please.

      And watch how we women will repay your chivalry ten times over, for we see that you know the secret to gaining our appreciation and respect. It makes us feel honoured.

      You will be spoken of more than kindly in your absence and revered more than others in your presence. 😉

      K

    10. OK...chiming in from the ladies side. Our societal compass has really been battered when it comes to the male/female equality issues. I am 100% in favor of mental equality, however I LOVE being a woman. All women may not feel as I do about those gestures of respect that are gifted to us by men, however I am extremely appreciative to feel the chivalry of a man. How could anyone not enjoy being respected and cared for? It is an innate quality to enjoy love. These things are loving gestures. There is NOTHING as masculine to me as the kindness and gentle manners of a man. That is HOT!

      Opening a door, or pulling out a chair for a lady is extremely disarming gentlemen...give it a try, you never know what may happen.

      Chivalry is not dead!

    11. Randy, you are spot-on!

      I am a feminist and at the same time, I recognize that manners simply help keep people from getting confused about behaving in social situations.

      Doors are held open for dignitaries, such as for the President. And in classy situations such as entering the lobby of the Ritz Carlton. It's a way to show respect. I love it!

      It's flattering when a man pulls out my chair in a social situation and opens the door for me at any time! I have physical restrictions against lifting more than 8 lbs, so these courtesies go a long way in helping me stay healthy. Doors can be quite hard to manage while wearing a pair of high heels-- one's feet tend to slide on the floor when attempting to pull open a door.

      Whether you're a woman or man, please LOOK BEHIND YOU and hold the door for the next person if they are close behind you... otherwise it can be viewed as a sign of self-absorption or rudeness.

      If a man is carrying items for me using both arms, I will hold the door for him provided I can safely do so.

    12. I think manners are always about being respectful to others. In that case, I think your guidelines sound right on target. Yes, if you open a door or pull out a chair for a woman and she refuses or acts indignant that is rude and you may not want to do business with her. As a woman, I shutter a little at a man saying what a woman wants or needs. However, I think your right and it was respectful to ask the ladies to comment. One more note though, I think whoever gets to the door first should open it.
      AB

    13. Randy Today I love your blog a little more,beautifull,smart,bright and prosper women LOVE gentlemans manners.........and sunset in the beach.I love it.Thank you for make the difference in the world.

    14. Hi Randy,

      Being polite is the right thing to do.

      The right thing to do is always good business.

      You might pull the chair out for a woman or even better, hold a door open for a woman or a man.

      What does it cost to be nice, save a few extra seconds of your life? What rewards can you reap from being nice? Limitless, really. People almost always go out of their way to make a connection with a nice person. You can be lacking in the expertise department but still build solid, prospering relationships by doing what's right. A moment of thoughtfulness can create a lifelong relationship.

      I've had more than one door opened for me because I did the same - literally - for others.

      Have a powerful day!

      RB

    15. You are absolutely right, Randy! Being a bit classical when it comes to manners can have great effects. All the women I ever went out with were really glad when I did simple things like opening the door to my car, pulling out the chair or inviting them to a walse (or similar). I was 16 when my Dad told me about those secrets... his words have had a great Impact on my life.

    16. Absolutely! I insist on manners from my children even though they aren't PC. I've always pulled out chairs, opened doors, stood up as a woman arrived at a table, said please, thank you, excuse me and all those other things.
      One of my favorite authors had said:
      " The first thing that indicates the breakdown of a civilization is the breakdown of personal manners."
      also
      "Personal manners is the lubrication that keeps society moving"

      Both by Robert Heinlein

    17. Very good point by a number of you that it's just as correct to hold the door for the guy behind you.

      And guys if you're not sure how a lady will respond to you overtures, you can simply ask. When I'm on a plane and a lady stops in the aisle next to me with a large carry on bag, I simply say, "Can I help you with that?"

      Now and then they say, "Thanks but I can handle it," but almost all the time they graciously accept my help and are grateful. It's the little things that make for a prosperous life.

      -RG

      1. Just watch out for when customs ask them if anyone has touched their bag since they left home and they say 'yeah that bald guy over there!'

        Or maybe that doesn't happen in First Class;-)

    18. Chivalry is not dead, and no, I don't think you're old and cranky Randy :).
      Doing all the curteous things for a woman is still appreciated whether in a social or business function. I like what you say in that the focus on manners is not just to get more business, but it's the right thing to do. You can also add senior citizens to the list of people we should go out of our way for....opening doors, letting them go before you in line, etc.

    19. I can't agree more with being a gentleman.

      I'm a young guy (24)... and whenever I hold the door for a lady - ESPECIALLY women 40+ - they look at me as if I just walked on water.

      I've actually had multiple elderly ladies (like 70-80) literally stop what they were doing and thank me with tears in their eyes - saying they're glad that their are still gentleman left in the world.

      I honestly don't understand why more people don't hold doors for other people - regardless of whether you're a girl or guy.

      You should want to be nice to people (yes, even strangers)... either way!

      Jeremy

    20. My late father always told me to "do the right thing." Good manners, in my book, is the right thing. Whether it's holding a door open for a woman, helping a senior, giving back to community, etc. it's all worth it. What you put out into the universe will come back.

    21. Randy, Great post!

      I think you were on an emotional rant about the phones, but this post is right on the money 🙂

      Such an important subject. People really do respect those who have good manners. A great reminder to be Respectful and Gentlemanly.

    22. Randy-

      Speaking of manners, it amazes me how many people who do not know, or choose not to, hold a knife and a fork properly when eating. They look like Fred Flintstone carving a brontosaurus. Too many people with bad table manners. I can hear my 82 year old mother laughing that I am writing about this!

    23. Randy,

      You did this for me at the Mastermind Event dinner in Houston about a month ago! I went to the buffet, and when I came back you jumped up and pulled the chair out for me. I was very impressed!

      Thank You!

    24. Randy,

      My brother-in-law is a very successful businessman and he has an etiquette situation that can get you a coveted job at his firm or send you packing. For a second interview he takes you out to dine for lunch or dinner and pays exceptionally close attention to how you treat the people that are serving you and taking care of you during your meal. If you treat them badly, chances are you will sooner or later treat a client badly if you don't care for them. It takes nothing to look a server in the eye and refer to them by name...you might just be the one person that makes their otherwise crappy day, good!!

      Good manners aren't hard, but certainly necessary in this day and age!!

    25. Randy
      Sadly in this day and age manners are an unknown skill for most. Some ladies look as you are crazy to hold the door, with a 'I can hold it myself attitude'. Others walk through and say nothing, but generally a classy lady is respectful and appreciative.

      In a business sense when it's appropriate it could score brownie points with a mature woman but for some of the younger set it might be a negative or looked down upon because it's old fashioned and it feels awkward to them.

    26. I think you are cranky but I will hold off on the old part.

      My mom used to stop at the door and just wait until I opened it....so I learned at a young age. She has always been a very strong women but some things are just right. Good post....I find that since we travel a ton the actual asking about putting the bags in storage bin gets me some funny looks and a lot of embarrassed looks by the guys around me as they see how easy it is to do. I always just think....the bag is bigger than the lady...can't be easy and it takes 3 seconds to ask.
      Quite proper post Mr. Gage!

    27. Yes, yes, yes Randy! I don't think much at all of men who don't hold doors open for me, and even less of those that will rush past and try and squeeze in front of me. They have zero chance with me, business or pleasure. It's just flat out rude. And you're right - they just weren't raised right, at least not by my standards. Men, if you want a classy lady, you're going to have to be a classy gentleman. I dated a guy like that for a few months and I fell hard for him. I also never skipped on the opportunity to tell him how much I appreciated it and how special it made me feel.

      While we're on the subject, I got invited out for a coffee & cake date on the weekend. When I went to look for an inside table, (it was a bit cold outside), I checked out the cakes on offer so I knew what I wanted to order. When I got back outside, my date asked me if I had grabbed anything while I was in there. I mean, what's the point of asking a girl out and then not paying for her cake and coffee? It had me stunned and needless to say, as nice as he is, he lost before he even started.

      And as for pulling out a chair, I don't remember having more than one man do that for me that wasn't paid to do it (i.e. a waiter). Where you are lovely gentlemen hiding???

    28. Haven't read through the postings from yesterday, but I know for sure that manners rock! It's old fashioned. It's not pc. And I don't give a damn. Being appreciative is always the best choice. Please and thank you. Please pass the pepper. Chew with your mouth shut. Elbows off the table. Thank you notes. Opening the car door. There are so many. Shoot, I recently double checked the proper table setting for a dinner party at my home. Why? To make my guests feel special and that I cared they had an enjoyable evening. It all says something about your upbringing, your character and the value you place on others. The one that I get the most resistance for, though it has nothing to do with gender, is children addressing me by my first name. Oh my, the looks I get from the parents when I ask the child to address me as Mrs.! The kids are cool with it, the parents, not so much.

    29. I find nothing at all objectionable about pulling a chair out for a woman . . . except on that rarest of occasions when you pull it out so far that she ends up on the floor! (Talk about a faux pas!)

    30. Randy. EXCELLENT! I am feeling in tune with you again, so great. The post is incredibly true! Thanks! Many times we leave this courtesy to the ladies beacuse not all the guys do this, there is the fear of being as corny or weird guy, but doing this take us to a higher level. It's great to know that you think this way. When we were dating my wife, I opened the car door for her, she loved it! She impacted my chivalry. Is that why she married me? jaja...:) Today I lost that habit, we have 10 years of marriage. But thanks for reminding me. I'll do it again immediately. I'm also sure that if we do this we will be valued differently, for all the women around us, in the best sense of the phrase. Randy, please, if you have more tips like these, please share with us. Thank you very much for remembering things, and for teaching. I know it's worth to use good manners and be polite. Here in Argentina there is a saying: "Courtesy does not remove the brave." Thanks!
      (I don’t think you’re old and cranky)

    31. Okay, what I really think after giving this topic some thought, is that I don't think chivalry is dead, but that sexism is alive and well. I wasn't enirely honest before. Pullling out a woman's chair or opening a door only for the ladies is really saying you are a weaker being and as a man I must help you out. I am not rude when a man does this for me, because I realize this is they way they have been taught to be polite in our sexist society. Ironically, I believe we women are the worst at perpetuating this sexist behavior, because we teach our sons this is what is polite. Apparently, based on how the women on this blog responded, we also want our men to treat us like ladies(which may mean, I guess, being treated as though we are a little more needy). I am not thoroughly convinced you are getting the most objective answers here, Mr. Gage. I think those of us women who write comments to you love you and look up to you and wouldn't want you to think us ill-mannered. If you are really inerested in knowing if chivarly is dead (to help lead your clients to more success) and you don't think you already know the answer, try asking a women's business league or your local N.O.W. chapter. Here is one more thought; if in your estimation a woman should be polite and just except your chivalrous behavior, how do you know what she is really thinking?

    32. Who are you & why haven't you been imparting this all along? 🙂 Seriously, I believe chivalry is not dead & find myself having to take deep breaths & practice emo intel when men fail in this area.

      I raised my son alone & from an early age I made sure he opened doors for me. When we approached a business of any kind, I would slow down & step behind him, gently reminding him to open it. It then became habit. One day we were eating at a fast food joint & of course, he opens the door for mom. There was a gentleman inside that observed it. He commented to my son about showing respect, but he then complimented me for raising him correctly. Funny that I do this very same action when I enter a door with men in general & sometimes I am amazed at how they have no clue what to do.

      I am blessed in business to be surrounded by gentlemen, who not only consistently present themselves at all times as such, but also set such an amazing example for those not taught this.

      Thank you Randy for the last few posts. I have thoroughly enjoyed them beyond measure!
      g

    33. Randy,

      Thanks for posting this. I pride myself on how I handle myself in most situations. I always pull out a lady's chair when we arrive at the dining table. I do admit though that I never get up to pull out a lady's chair when she returns from the restroom. I've never even seen it done before. Not even in the movies! I picture it in my mind and it seems like the right thing to do. I'm going to try it next time my wife go to dinner with friends. I suspect I'm going to make her feel very special (once she gets over the surprise). I just hope I don't get the other husbands in trouble.

      Roland

    34. Love this post, Randy! You're right on with manners, and not old and cranky. Great post.

      Even though I'm a strong and independent woman, I love it when a man opens a door for me, or pulls my chair out in a dining situation. I feel respected and special when this happens, and have a greater appreciation and hold him in higher esteem immediately than those who do not do this. In fact, it takes my mind a moment to realize that it's actually happening and to respond accordingly, because it happens so infrequently. And ladies, it's classy to accept graciously a man's [or woman's] offering of kindness and attention.

      Randy, I mentor a young man in high school, and this is something that I'm going to make sure to cover with him. He already has good, basic manners, but I don't think he's ever been taught this, and I might never have thought to bring it up, had you not posted it. Thanks!

      Heather

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