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Business Etiquette: Who opens the door?

Who opens the door

Gender no longer determines who opens the door. Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums/Flickr

Manners such as please and thank you never go out of style, but etiquette isn’t etched in stone.  The majority of outdated customs stem from one thing…gender.  In today’s business world, gender no longer rules the day, rather professional standing or whether one is the host or visitor determines behavior.

The thing is, etiquette isn’t etched in stone. Social mores change over time. So some manners that would’ve been acceptable a few decades ago might make you look out-of-touch in a contemporary setting.

The rule of the day was for men to open the door for women.  The new guideline is whoever gets to the door first, regardless of gender should open the door and hold it for the person behind him or her.  The savvy junior executive will get to the door before the senior executive and hold the door.

When it comes to etiquette and good business practice, be courteous to everyone.  Kindness goes a long way when it comes to success.

 

Networking Tip: What to do if you’re stuck talking with someone

Networking

Networking doesn’t have to be scary

Remember: networking events have different rules from everyday life. You’re free to excuse yourself after even a very brief exchange. A way to break free is to verbalize your purpose for coming to the event: You can simply say, “Well, it was really nice talking with you. I should be sure to mix and mingle with everyone here.” Exchange business cards if you want, but don’t make promises of connecting later unless they’re genuine.

In the same way that it’s easier “to find a job if you already have one,” it’s easier to find a new conversation partner if you already have one. If you’re stuck talking to “Joe” and you see someone walking by alone, it’s great form to smile, make eye contact and extend your hand to introduce yourself as a way of inviting the new person to join you and Joe. Once that person joins, you can focus on them instead. Or you may just slide away from Joe more easily since he’s now talking to the new person you brought into the circle.