I still remember one of the first lessons I learned in kindergarten. It came to mind the other day because I more or less tripped over it.
I stopped for a quick lunch at a favorite spot and while I was eating, a man came in, seating himself at the table behind me. He caught my attention because of the friendly way he greeted the proprietor and his professional style of dress. (I typically see students, retired folks, and casually dressed people in here at lunch time.) At some point, while I was browsing through the newspaper, he finished his meal and left. I mention this only because when I stood up and turned to leave, I crashed right into his chair, banging my knee and dropping my things.
My kindergarten lesson? Push in your chair when you stand up to leave the table or desk! I remember my teacher, Mrs. Lillywhite, repeating this over and over during the seemingly endless school year. Should I have been watching where I was going? Yes, but not only was this chair left sticking out from the table, it was also turned sideways, and I would have had to angle myself completely around, still seated, to notice.
Many times seating arrangements are so tight in restaurants or meeting rooms that it is difficult for one person to move from their seat if the person next to or behind them is careless about their chair position. How many times have you stood up from a table, only to have to rearrange the chairs around you before you can take a step or pass through an area?
You begin making an impression on others as soon as they see you. They notice how you are dressed, your body language, posture and facial expression, the words you use, and how they feel as they interact with you. That impression continues not only as you walk away, but even after you are no longer in the room. Avoid tripping someone up – push in your chair.
Mrs. Lillywhite would be proud!