Childish Behavior at a Business Meeting!

Last week I attended a business networking event. I arrived early enough to choose a great seat, because I knew this event would be packed with people. Sure enough, other early arrivals were thinking along the same way and once I had chosen my seat, the seats next to me started filling up.

At one point the gentleman on my right and the one on the left got up to get water. In the meantime, a lady asked me if the seat to my left was taken. I told her it was taken and she said, “we’ll just push him over”– meaning she would usurp his seat, without worry.

I was shocked.

I had not seen this childish behavior in adults in quite some time.

When the gentleman whose seat had been usurped returned, he asked me why I had not saved his seat. With a subtle embarrassed feeling, I told him I had and continued to tell him what the lady had said. His facial expression signaled he felt violated. Immediately, he said to the lady, “Ma’am, that was my seat. I just went to get water.”

While this continued drama evolved, I was still in shock this was happening- with adults. After he spoke up, he decided to be the better person for the moment and just found another seat.

Then things got even more interesting…


***Put up volume to hear video story


He pointed to the seat on my right and said, “I’ll just take his seat (meaning the seat to my right- the one that was also taken)” WOW!! A seat had just been taken from him and now he was willing to do the same thing to someone else!!! What in the world?!

Very confidently I said, “Sir, don’t do to others what you wouldn’t want done to you.” (Obviously, I meant “don’t do to others what was just done to you.”) I guess he thought since it was done to him, he could do it to someone else and it was okay to do so.

Thankfully, this guy took heed of my words and chose a seat that WAS available.

Frankly, I am shocked these kind of situations happen with adult business owners (I know… I shouldn’t be… but I am). Both of these people had at least 20 years of business experience in their field and were there to promote their business. Unfortunately, they didn’t promote their business… they promoted their lack of honor. Frankly, if these adult “leaders” can’t behave with honor and respect, what can we expect of the next generation?

The basis of relationships is honor.

Framed within the character trait of honor is deference, integrity, respect and healthy boundaries. I am 100% convinced that if more people studied the definition of honor and actually chose to live it, this world would be a better place.

  • Honor means I don’t have to like you, but I can still be polite, respectful and elegant in our interaction.
  • Honor means I think about what my behavior will say about ME and about who I am.
  • Honor means I go above and beyond what is expected of me, because I respect you as a human being.

It always helps me to imagine I am royalty (because I am), and that helps me imagine what a queen would do in this case. Aligning my identity to my behavior is the perfect way to ensure my behavior is of the highest standard. Even when I make a mistake, I can always go back and “do over” and correct my behavior like the queen I am. Try it! It works!

If you are wondering… what would I have done if I was the gentleman? Here is my answer-

I would have very politely gotten the lady’s full attention and said “ma’am, you were already advised this was my seat and you still chose to sit there. I am sorry this is how you chose to behave towards a fellow chamber member. Maybe you didn’t mean it to be ill intended, but I want you to know it was still wrong. I will choose another seat, because that is who I am. I encourage you to consider your actions more carefully in the future.” Then, I would create a space for God’s favor to operate in my life. That means I would expect God to give me an even better seat and use this situation for good in my life.