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8 Simple Gentlemen Gestures to impress a Lovely Lady

8 Simple Gentlemen Gestures to impress a Lovely Lady

Do you smile wistfully at the perfect-sounding male profiles in a dating site?  Glowing profiles apparently abound, yet women complain about how gentlemen are a vanishing breed. Perhaps it has to do with not knowing how a gentleman looks and behaves and forgetting that gentlemanly behavior thrives with the complementary participation of ladies. For every, longed-for gentlemanly gesture, women need to ask themselves if they are ready to appreciate and match such courteous behavior.

You don’t need to look like a GQ cover.

I asked women friends of varying ages, “What does a gentleman look like?” Their replies centered on gentlemanly behavior rather than looks. I prodded some more. “Which man at a restaurant, bar, or hotel lobby would look like a gentleman?”  The quick reply: “That’s the difficulty. In a plush place like a hotel, the well-dressed guy in the suit is normally considered a ‘gentleman’.  Hopefully, that’s really the caseA gentleman to me can be long-haired, with a full beard, or wearing board shorts.

It’s not the clothes then that make a gentleman. The common expectation is: “A gentleman looks neat, is well-groomed, and is properly dressed for every occasion.”  Gentlemen value themselves and match their appearance to project who they are. They make an effort to appear neat, smell nice, and wear clean, ironed clothes that fit reasonably well. The part about being properly dressed for all occasions requires a bit more work.  Men (and women) who learn about the nuances of dressing appropriately for the occasion demonstrate their appreciation for meaningful social interactions by finding out about event dress codes, especially if they’re part of the program. They make it a fun experience by wearing the “right costume” for “the role.”

The “moves” like James Bond?

The women listed fairly simple gentlemanly behavior but stressed the gestures should be “done effortlessly because it’s second nature.” If the gestures come with much fuss and flourish, they are nothing more than attention-seeking performances. The gestures should apply in all encounters, with all genders, and have no agenda other than to be helpful, so being a ladies’ man is not necessarily gentlemanly.

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A gentleman’s behavior comes from:

1. Awareness: He knows what’s happening around him.

2.  Being other-centered: He focuses on the other person. It’s not about him.

3.  Consistent practice: He does it all the time, naturally. It’s not contrived.

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Here are 8 simple gentlemanly gestures … and how women react.

1. Opens doors for others. He is CONSIDERATE.

It’s Monday morning and Peggy feels more harassed than usual as she rushes to work. She detours to a nearby Starbucks to escape the sudden downpour. Late and wet, she mutters a cuss word as the man behind her beats her to the door, but she stops at mid-curse realizing that he actually wants to open the door for her. He smiles and tips his wet head slightly as a signal for her to go through. She beams her thanks smiling all the while, as the morning’s harassed feeling dissipates.

Why do many forget this simple, mood-lifting gesture? Because of a lack of awareness and being other-centred. If you’re busy texting, you’re unaware that the door could slam on the person behind you. Or you think it’s justified to hurry ahead because whatever it is you’re late for is more important than whatever the other person needs to do.

2. Carries other people’s heavy packages. He is HELPFUL.

Lauren was not a typical woman because she did not like shopping. Her boyfriend was not typical because he enjoyed looking into shops. Fortunately, they both liked the same things. Laurel began to enjoy shopping but relished more how he made no fuss about carrying all the shopping bags. He was assured about his manliness and was comfortable carrying even the frilly girl stuff and later setting up the dining table with the delicate tea set. She expressed her appreciation repeatedly which motivated him more.  Lauren eventually married the man.

3. Offers seat to women, the elderly, and the handicapped. He is CONCERNED.

While attending university, I had taken the bus regularly. During the peak-commute time of day, the buses were full with several passengers standing. Fairly often, a university student would offer his seat to me. I would accept gratefully, smile, say thank you, and offer to hold his books for him. At other times, I would be seated and an older woman would come aboard and be standing. I would wait a few minutes for any of the men to offer their seats. If no one did, I would offer my seat to her. I asked some male friends why they hesitate. The common response was: “It’s very disappointing when women don’t even bother with a thank you.”

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4. Helps women with their coat. He is CHIVALROUS.

In cool places where coats, jackets, and parkas are daily wear this gesture is very helpful. It is especially called for when attending an event that requires guests to leave and pick up their coats in a coat-minding section. There is something elegant and caring in the way a gentleman holds the coat up for his female companion to get into. The ‘thank you’ should come as graciously as the gesture. If a woman reacts with something like “I am perfectly capable of putting on my own coat,” then she is not ready for a gentleman.

5. Speaks decently; avoids cuss words and remarks that show prejudice. He is SENSITIVE.

Cuss words may be acceptable among his friends but a gentleman avoids it anywhere else. The same is true with attempts at humor at the expense of another person’s race, religion, gender, beliefs, or even sports team. The more public the place, the more careful he is. He sticks to neutral topics and does not speak louder than necessary because he knows how to avoid potential disagreements that could escalate. This applies to women too. I’ve seen men cringe at women’s casual colorful utterances or get into trouble because of their female companions’ verbal carelessness.

6. Listens and maintains eye contact. He is ATTENTIVE.

John Gray has enlightened us that women are from Venus and need listening to. A gentleman pays attention, particularly if he is with a woman. He’s engaged in the conversation and makes eye contact. Yes, eye contact, not staring beneath her neckline, not eyeing the girl at the next table; not checking the football game score on the overhead TV; and not continuously fiddling with his phone. This is admittedly difficult amid so much continuous distractions but it is the major reason women feel unacknowledged. Choose a relatively quiet, non-crowded place for face-to-face interaction to help you focus on the conversation. The same quality of attention is required from women. No phone catch-up with the gals and no remote supervision of work or household.

7. He views and treats women as equals.  He is RESPECTFUL and APPRECIATIVE.

Observe how a man relates to his mother. Is he demanding, overbearing, or dismissive? It could indicate he has an inferior view of women. A gentleman recognizes a woman’s contributions from her experience, knowledge, abilities, will power, and feminine wisdom. He listens to her point of view and respectfully states his rebuttals. He is not condescending and does not make sexual jokes or remarks – a form of intimidation and discrimination. When receiving an award, a gentlemen acknowledges his spouse, significant other, mother, and/or daughters

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When dining out, he is as comfortable allowing women to pay their share, as he is paying for the entire dinner on certain occasions. If a man wishes to pay for a meal on a date, the woman has the option to accept with thanks and then offer to pay for dessert and coffee. There is no need for a woman to make a fuss and take undue offense by perceiving it as an insult to her financial capability.

8. He allows women and others to shine.  He is SECURE and GENEROUS.

In business or social settings, there’s the man who monopolizes the product brainstorming session, spiritual study group, PTA meeting, or cocktail conversation. He interrupts you at mid-sentence, gives unsolicited advice, contradicts everyone’s opinion, and wants to have the final word. He’s far from gentlemanly because everything is always about him. This 8th gentlemanly behavior requires stepping back and allowing a colleague, friend, or spouse to take center stage. It sometimes involves giving up something to support another – a good description of househusbands and single fathers. Some women mistake a soft-spoken, generous man for a pushover. They then take that as a signal to be domineering and controlling.

This brings me back to the essential point. We usually have no problem coming up with our list of expectations about  other people.  Following Arielle Ford’s gentle challenge in The Soulmate Secret, look at your list and then ask “Do I, myself, meet those expectations?” So, are you looking for a gallant gentleman? Start by being a lovely lady. And that works the other way too.

Featured photo credit: wallpaperank.com via wallpaperank.com

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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