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Submitted by jeremykelly on


I've had two experiences in the past 48 hrs that was surprising to watch other's responses. It was so striking that I thought it would make for good discussion here in the forums.

Two values that were emphasized as I was growing up was respect for others and courtesy. Yesterday I was in a meeting and one of my co-workers, who I have never met before the meeting and had an obvious injury (cast+crutches) was getting up to leave mid-meeting. I watched as they shuffled  to the door, fully expecting someone closer to the door to at least open the door for them. When it became apparent no one was getting up to assist, I politely slid back from the table and walked half way across the room to clear a path and opened the door for them to exit. They whispered a thank you. As I turned back to face the room the cadence of the meeting certainly skipped a beat and got the general impression of “you interrupted the meeting”.

This morning at the conclusion of another meeting, I politely held the door open for everyone as they left the room, which included our skip manager and various members of her organization at all level. Someone made the comment “you can take the boy out of the south, but you can’t take the south out of the boy”  - I responded indicating “simple courtesy and respect of others”

I believe this type of behavior says something about you personally and professionally - in both cases it is an indication that you respect and care for others - which I believe indirectly builds stronger relationships, and thus, better results.

Not necessarily a question for this forum, but certainly interesting.


kima's picture
Training Badge

Please don't stop being courteous!  There are those of us out here who notice and appreciate such behavior. And as a woman, I can tell you I always appreciate when someone holds the door.  And yes, I have held the door for others many times.

By the way, if you've ever tried to exit a full plane, get on a rental car shuttle bus, etc.  You can't help but notice that busy businessmen are some of the rudest people out there.  Sorry, I know that is an inflammatory statement, but it is certainly what I have experienced. 

jrosenau's picture

I think this extends to just walking around the office in general.  I find a lot of people don't even make eye contact and smile or say "hi".  You never know when you may need to talk to those people.  "Smile on the way up . . ."   Be courteous and open.

Rule #1: It's all about people.

GlennR's picture

Never feel bad about good manners. I'm from the south also and I hold doors open for people--male and female. Here in Texas, others hold the door open for me. I wonder if the person who made that remark about the South would have given his seat to a pregnant woman on a shuttle bus who had no seat.

By the way, I applaud you for opening the door for the person on crutches. The meeting needed to be interrupted to teach everyone else a fundamental element of human kindness. How much of a bigger interruption would it have made if she was forced to fumble at the door? I'll bet your actions prevented others from being even more distracted.

naraa's picture
Training Badge

 Great post. Never too much to call the attention that one needs to do what one needs to do regardless off how ackward it may seem. Keep doing it.

I traveled quite a bit when i was pregnant with my first child.  Guess what? Business class had preference over pregnant women in boarding the plan.  I waited my turn in line but always made the comment: "i guess money is more important than anything else to this airline, isn't it?" 5 years later i am boarding a plane in Brasil and guess what? Pregnant and elderly people board in first!  I like to think i had something to do with that change.  

And i got my confidence from one time i was in Argentina 7 months pregnant waiting in line, as pregnant women do in Chile, and this women from customs screems from the other side of the room ordering me step ahead and asking me what was i doing wanting in line.  I didn't feel embaraced, i felt great!  And i have carried that example with me ever since.

I am sure this person you openned the door to will hold on to your example, and só will the people in the meeting, even if they sent you the look for interumpting the meeting, one way or another....

Liked the rule 1: it is all about people.