Sometimes it is about the smallest of graces. A touch of thoughtfulness that shows you paid mind to others.

It's about pushing in a chair!

I can't say it at work, but I'll say it here, my manager never pushes in their chair. Ever. And of course, they sit at the head of the table, closest to the door, in most of our meetings. When the meeting adjourns they stand up, the chair goes out, and they walk away. The team wrestles past the chair in our way to exit the room.

My manager is smart, seems to be of generally good breeding...but this chair thing is persistent. How do you teach someone a basic good manner when they are already 30+ years into life? And your boss. (Answer: You say nothing, but sometimes when you're in a mood, make a minor show of pushing in every chair as you exit, hoping they might notice.)

A corollary I'll also volunteer for meeting room kindness is that if you arrive first, take a chair farthest from the door, leaving the closer chairs open for those that arrive after you. It's simple and makes so much sense once you notice the later-comers awkwardly squeezing past four seated peers to get to the farthest seat in the room.

Just simple graces, makes everyone's life a little easier. And it doesn't even cost a thing.



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