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