Ever wonder who to introduce to whom? Is there etiquette to introductions? Or does it even matter?
There is a social code, but it is NOT commonly followed. Stand out from the crowd by knowing how to properly introduce people to one another. You may be remembered for being a connector, appreciated for inviting someone new into a conversation, or the politest of host who makes all your guests feel welcomed.
- Always introduce yourself with your first and last name. And, when appropriate, state your relationship to the host, or whoever invited you to the event.
- The person of higher rank generally offers their hand first in a handshake.
- People within your home, office or networking group (persons better known to you) are always introduced to someone visiting (persons less known to you). For instance, you’d say to your arriving guest, “Kristen, welcome. I’d like you to meet my business colleague, Matthew Jones. Kristen French is a (insert profession here) who has done some work for me…”
- Try to give a tidbit of information to each about the person being introduced, to avoid the awkward silence inevitable until one party gets up the nerve to say “So, what do you do?”
- When you are seated and someone motions to greet you, stand up for the greeting. If you are wearing gloves, remove them for a handshake. If someone is clearly unable to shake hands (ie. carrying luggage or a child, etc.) do not extend your hand.
Etiquette is a code of social behaviour. As our society changes, so do the accepted rules of behaviour. In any situation, verse yourself in the etiquette and then choose to alter its use to the formality level generally practiced and accepted in that social environment.
Introduction etiquette is often overlooked in our fast paced, ‘just give me a sound bite’ world where we’re connected to hundreds of people through Linked In, but have no idea the name of the guy living next door. For the few of you who’ve experienced being properly introduced by someone, I’m sure you remember it! If you haven’t been so fortunate, be the change!