I have been traveling a lot for different conferences and meetings lately, and that means a lot of air flights, taxi drives, and elevator rides! There are plenty of rules out there, both written and unwritten, for air flights and taxis, and we all more or less follow these rules for our safety and for the safety of those around us. However, I have noticed lately that there seems to be some confusion about the rules for elevators, and that it often leads to awkward and embarrassing moments. So let me tell you a few of the rules I follow and always hope to see when I am riding in an elevator!
First, be Courteous
Let those on the elevator off before trying to load, and be aware of those around you when you are on the elevator – just because you are not getting off on this floor, doesn’t mean the person behind you isn’t. Don’t stand in their way and be the reason they miss their floor! Also, don’t cut in line if there is a line for the elevators, and don’t boss others around when you are in the elevator, demanding they press your floor button – especially if you are within reaching distance yourself! The golden rule applies here – do unto others on the elevator as you would have them do unto you.
Second, be Practical
Third, be Funny and Creative
As funny as it might be to try standing facing the wall of an elevator or staring at one spot on the ceiling just to see if you can make everyone else do the same thing, try to avoid purposefully bizarre behavior, as you never know who you might be hurting or offending. What if your boss’s boss is in that elevator, and now you have to explain your productivity numbers to someone you just scared two minutes ago?
In Elevator – on the Way to Interview
This brings me to another good topic – how to act in an elevator if you are on your way to an interview. You don’t know anyone at the company, and that person in the corner might actually be the recruiter or your potential future boss. Again, being polite and courteous is a must, and stick to simple topics like the weather or asking about vacation plans if conversation is necessary. This is a situation where silence is a good thing, it will make you appear confident and well-prepared, even if you are just silently repeating in your head “don’t be a weirdo, don’t be a weirdo.”
In Elevator – in your Office
Five Best Practices
- Hold the door with the help open door button only if you are one one to get in (in that case from outside) or the last one to get out (in that case from the inside).
- Once entered the elevator, press your floor button and move to back of the elevator.
- Avoid using a Cellphone in the elevator.
- Make sure that you use words – Sorry, Please and Execuse Me appropriately.
- Keep calm if you miss to get in or get out when it is your turn. It is just elevator, it will come around in few moments.
Finally, conferences or other work-related events can be almost as confined and socially awkward as an elevator! You will be surrounded by highly influential people in your field, and the opportunities to make a mistake are everywhere. So, in this situation, stick with the golden rule again – treat others the way you would like to be treated. Make simple small talk, and be as polite as possible, especially if you don’t know who someone is. You don’t want to offend anyone, whether that person is the CEO of your dream employer or works in the mail room at a company you’ve never heard of.
Reference: Pinal Dave (https://blog.sqlauthority.com)