Manner Monday: Do you stand?

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A couple of weeks ago, we talked about “standing” and how you stand in regards to posture.  The post prompted a question from a reader:

“I have often wondered what is the correct etiquette of greeting people when seated?  For instance, when being introduced to or greeting business colleagues at a meeting, do I as a woman rise, or stay seated?  What about at a formal dinner table?  I know that my older gentlemen colleagues always rise when I greet them because I am a ‘lady,’ but I wasn’t sure what the reverse situation is.”

Rising, or standing, is a way to show respect.  If you are seated at a meal; by performing the ‘bottoms up’ (bottom up off the chair) – that will symbolize the gesture of standing and respect.  Most of the time, the person who has approached the table will say, ‘please, keep your seat’.  It starts to get confusing when you add “Business Etiquette” to the mix as opposed to “Social Etiquette” as business etiquette is supposed to be gender neutral.  So where a young man is taught all his life to stand for a lady and assist her with her chair… it can sometimes be a bit confusing in the “real world” when out to lunch or dinner for business.  I always suggest that common sense and manners go hand in hand… If a gentleman is entertaining a female client, who is much older than he, then “yes” etiquette would dictate that he stand for her and assist her with her chair.  If he is entertaining female business clients who are on his “same level”… then some ladies may be offended at such actions with all things being “equal” in their business relationship…. But truly, who could ever be offended with a gentlemen being just that:  a gentleman.

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