One of the most important rules in social situations in the business world is that you must always introduce people.
Basic Rules of Social Introduction
- A younger person is always introduced to an older person. Say the name of the older person first. Example: “Aunt Jill, this is my friend, jack”
- A person is introduced to someone of a higher position or rank. Example: “Mrs. Johnson, this is my neighbor, Mrs. Paul.” “Mrs. Paul, this is Mrs. Johnson, our Director.”
- A man is presented to a woman and a boy to a girl. Example: “Mrs. Watson, this is my father, Mr. Green.”
- Males stand when being introduced to a female.
- Gentlemen always shake hands with other males.
- Gentlemen wait for a lady to extend a hand. If she does not extend her hand, the gentleman does not extend his. (In business, either the male or the female may extend a hand first.)
- Forgotten names: Everyone forgets sometime. Just admit it and move on. Example: “Look at the person whose name you cannot remember and say, “I have just gone blank. Could you help me out?” The person then says his/her name.
- Correct response when you are introduced: “Hello, Sammy.” Or “Hi, Sammy.” Always say the person’s name. It will help you remember it.
- Introducing someone to a group: “I want all of you to meet Alicia Fowler from Omaha. She is new in our school.” Everyone should introduce themselves to Alicia after that. With a small group, you can tell her each person’s name.
The Most Common Faux Pas in Making Introductions
- Failing to introduce people.
- Remaining seated when meeting someone. Exceptions: (a) when the other person is seated, and (b) when it is difficult to rise (such as when seated in a booth). In this case, nodding or placing one’s palms on the table as if to rise is acceptable.
- Offering one’s fingers instead of hand – giving a “fish handshake.”
- Wearing a name tag on the left.
- Neglecting to repeat a person’s name when introduced to him or her.
- Failing to offer your hand in a business situation (especially women failing to do it).