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Welcoming and Guidance: The Client-Vendor Etiquette in the Professional World



The rules of professional etiquette stem from the conventions of social manners, which have evolved and continue to evolve. For example, a social norm dictates that an adult precedes a child into an elevator but allows the child to exit first. This practice is not age-dependent and applies as long as there is a need to protect someone nearby. Thus, we ensure to guide the person towards the safe side of the street and are the first to enter a restaurant.

 

These principles also apply to interactions between men and women. Traditionally, a man is expected to enter a restaurant first. However, it's common to see men inviting women to enter an elevator first, which technically contradicts etiquette rules. These rules state that the person most capable of ensuring safety, considered the stronger, should enter first, as elevators are viewed as potentially hazardous spaces. When it comes to exiting, the rules are simpler: the person closest to the door exits first. If a man enters first and thus positions himself further from the door, the woman, being closer, exits first. Conversely, if the woman enters first and is further from the door, the man, if near the exit, should exit first. Insisting on letting someone farther from the door exit first can create an awkward situation, forcing one to navigate through a tight space. The general rule is straightforward: whoever is closest to the door exits first.

 

This concept of etiquette also applies in a professional context, especially in client-vendor interactions. The vendor takes care of the client, ensuring their well-being and safety, similar to the adult-child relationship. Thus, when a client visits your office for the first time, it is advisable to indicate that you will lead the way by saying something like "I'll go ahead, please," especially if the space does not allow walking side by side, to avoid any surprises.

 

In the hotel industry, the management of elevator access reflects this approach: the employee may either hold the door open for the client or enter first to press the buttons (using a polite phrase), thereby illustrating the responsibility to guide and protect the client, seen as the child in this analogy.

Anastasia Shevchenko


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