Don’t spend too much time wondering why do I think about this stuff.
You and I run into each other in front of the elevator as the door opens. We are at a standoff. Who has the right of way?
I just sprinted half a mile. I’m running late to a very important presentation. My job depends on it. I barely made it to the elevator. I’m going to have to run again to make it to the meeting room in time.
You are feeling tense and nervous. You have been wanting this job for a very long time. This is is the job of your dreams. You have everything ready except for the fact that you are running late to the interview. You need this elevator to get to you quickly. Your life depends on it.
Back to the present
Who has the right of way?
Keep in mind this question has nothing to do with gender. That would be a totally different can of worms which I don’t want to get into.
I think we can probably argue that each of us that very good reasons as to why each should go first…ignoring the absolute fact that the elevator is not leaving until I get out and you get in.
In practice, we seem to ignore the facts altogether and generally focus on getting our way.
Personally, I think the person that’s exiting the elevator should always have the right of way, regardless of the urgency I am in. It is not only the polite thing to do but it is also the service for the greater good.
Deep down, we all know this truth. Yet, we insist in only focusing on our needs at any given time.
I believe the way a person approaches the use of the elevator gives indication as to whether they are a servant leader or not.
Why do I think about this stuff? I have no idea. What are your thoughts on this matter?