(This is Part 3 of the Repeat After Me series. Read Part 2 here)
Let’s talk about the lost art of being proactive in introducing ourselves. During this blog series I’m giving you phrases I’ve picked up and memorized, and I often use in my interactions with others. Knowing others increases your influence and it increases your network. Other people need you, and you need other people. This became painfully apparent to me when I moved into an amazing condo building where I needed to build relationships. A ta a certain point I realized that a lot of people in the building didn’t know each other, either. I had wrongly assumed that I was the only outsider.
Etiquette for Introductions
I see a lot of people just standing there, and they can’t all be introverts. When I was in 5th grade (“when I was a kid”, “back in my day”) we had etiquette lessons to make ourselves known to others. One of the rules had to do with pecking order. Address the bigger people first by title and name, then introduce yourself or the other person you’re introducing by name or title. “Dr. Smith, I’d like to introduce my friend, Harold”. Or, “Mrs. Clinton, allow me to introduce Special Agent Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” That sort of thing. If you need a fast-track on this, watch an episode of Leave it to Beaver.
If you want to increase your leadership, and you want to increase your network, you need to practice the art of introducing yourself. You might be an introvert or you might be an extrovert, but the fact is that everybody’s just standing there, and you can’t count on them to act first.
The How-To’s of Saying Hi
Here’s how, with reference to context:
- In brand new situations, after some pleasantries, just say, “Hi, I’m _________.” (Insert your name, not mine.) You decide if this calls for both first and last names. They will likely respond, and you can take it from there.
- In situations where it’s assumed you have some familiarity say, “I’m sorry, I don’t know if we’ve met. I’m ________.” They will likely apologize, too, and you can take it from there. Do not miss the opportunity to exchange names.
Next time I’m going to talk about the not-lost art of forgetting someone’s name after you’ve met them, and I think it will help you. For now, repeat after me: “Hi, I’m ____________.”