How to Make Introductions Like a Gentleman

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Have you ever
been at a party with a guy who runs into somebody he knows and starts
yammering away while you stand there awkwardly, holding your drink?
Man, I hate when that happens. You’re left in social limbo.
I usually have to just take things into my own hands and introduce
myself, which is fine, but the exchange would have been much smoother
had my friend introduced me to his buddies.

Being introduced
invites you into the conversation and makes you feel like part of
the group, which is why making an introduction shows your respect
for your guest. Neglecting to make an introduction leaves a person
feeling ignored and, well, awkward. Making introductions is particularly
important in business settings as they establish a rapport of respect,
get relationships off on the right foot, and give you an aura of
being confident, prepared, and in control.

With our more
casual culture, the art of the gentlemanly introduction has disappeared,
but we’re here to help bring it back.

Making introductions
used to be a much
more formal affair
, with bowing, scraping, and a lot of rules,
but nowadays just remembering to make them sets you apart from the
cads out there. So there’s no need to adhere to ironclad laws
or be all flowery about it. Keeping it simple and respectful goes
a long way, and doing so requires following just one basic guideline:

The Big
Rule

The overarching
principle when making introductions is deference and respect.

You show chivalrous deference to women by introducing the man to
the woman. You show respect for your elders by introducing the younger
to the older. And in a business setting, you show respect to higher-ups
by introducing the person of lower rank to the person of higher
position. Below we break down this rule into a few easy to understand
examples so you can see how this works.

Business
Introductions

Situation:
Introducing business associates of different ranks

  • How
    to do it:
    Introduce the person of lower rank to the person
    of higher rank, regardless of age or gender.
  • Example:
    “Mr. CEO, I would like to introduce you to Mr. Frank
    Underling from accounting.”

Situation:
Introducing a business associate of any rank and a client

  • How to
    do it:
    Introduce the business associate to the client, regardless
    of rank, age, or gender.
  • Example:
    “Mr. Client, please meet our Vice President of Marketing,
    Andrew Smith.”

Situation:
Introducing two business associates of equal rank

  • How
    to do it:
    Introduce the person that you don’t know as
    well to the person you know better.
  • Example:
    Let’s
    say your manager, Foster Knight is meeting the manager of the
    Detroit office, Cynthia Brown. “Foster, I’d like you
    to meet the manager of the Detroit Office, Cynthia Brown.”

Social Introductions

Situation:
Introducing a man and a woman

  • How
    to do it:
    Introduce the man to the woman.
  • Example:
    “Amanda, this is Jake Nelson who has been helping me
    study for the bar.”

(Note: In social
settings, a man is always introduced to a woman, regardless of the
individuals’ ages.)

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the rest of the article

August
12, 2010

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