Vincy Workplace
February 28, 2014

Proper business introductions

The job of a business leader is not always about making decisions that directly affect the bottom line. A good leader understands that a big part of his or her job centres on the ability to build strong relationships with different people that can indirectly affect the bottom line and his/her tenure as a leader. Although it seems basic, every aspiring young leader must know how to begin a relationship with a proper introduction and avoid committing common blunders in social, political and business settings.{{more}}

1. Stand for introductions. It’s respectful and allows all parties to be able to communicate on the same eye level (exceptions allowed for those with physical disabilities).

2. Give proper eye contact. This is a sign of confidence and it makes a great impression.

3. Always introduce the junior person to the senior person. “Mr Smith (company president), I would like to introduce Ms Washington (office manager).” Introductions follow a hierarchal system so the most senior person is always mentioned first.

4. Offer information about both parties. This makes it easier to remember the person and can stimulate conversation. “Mr Smith is president of the award winning graphic design company Jackman Associates. Ms Washington is our office manager and just received our employee of the year award.”

5. Offer a clean, dry, firm handshake. Handshakes should be web to web and firm (not a death grip). Shake from the elbow, not the shoulder.

6. Smile. Regardless of language or cultural differences, a smile means the same thing. It’s an indication that you are welcomed and it’s a pleasure to be in your company.

7. Introduce yourself. If someone forgets to introduce you, be tactful and introduce yourself. “Hello, my name is Jane Browne, manager of Operations.”

8. Remind others of your name for self–reintroductions. If you are meeting someone you’ve met before who you think may not remember your name, you can say “Mr Smith, good seeing you again; Ashley John from Acme Corporation. We met two weeks ago at the inaugural dinner (give a little hint about your last meeting to avoid embarrassing the other person).

9. Always use Mr, Mrs, or Ms in formal introductions. Maintain a formal atmosphere by using the title. Use someone’s first name only when invited to do so or the setting is very informal among friends. Never refer to yourself as Mr, Mrs, or Ms in a business setting. (In social settings in England or former English colonies, it’s not unusual for married women to identify themselves as Mrs when giving their names.)

10. Repeat names. When you repeat the person’s name, it makes it a little easier to remember the name. “It’s a pleasure meeting you, Mr Smith.”

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to

Visit online at