• 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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