Workplace: Introductions

Introductions come in written, electronic, spoken, and video as well as voicemail forms these days. Let’s look at the various introductions happening each work week.

Reading: When reading a book or a magazine, an introduction happens in several forms. Books title them: Introduction or Preface. Magazines title them something like “a letter from our editor” which is an introduction to and summary of the content of that issue.

Electronic: When I introduce people electronically, I call it an e-introduction. I’ll address the email to BOTH of the people I am introducing; state who they are individually – including a website for each person to learn more about the other; share why I feel they will benefit from an ongoing conversation; and I close with “I’ll let the two of you take things from here.” This way they know that they can begin their conversations without me.  If, however, the introduction is one that I’d like to stay involved with, then I’ll write “I look forward to our shared conversation.”

Spoken: Etiquette protocols abound when making introductions of people with military titles, elected-office titles, professional titles (Think Doctor, Attorney, Dentist, Optometrist and so on), and with tenure and/or age-related-cultural requirements. Do your homework. Know whom you are introducing to whom and what titles are appropriate to use. Some title holders must be introduced FIRST with lesser-title holders being introduced last. In business-casual environments, introductions are typically made without regard to individual positions or titles. Know the difference so that no one is offended from the very beginning of a new relationship.

Video: In our age of electronic meetings, many formerly held phone calls are now online video-calls. When introducing a new person to a call/meeting or a large meeting group, smooth the way. Make a clear introduction: The person’s NAME, TITLE, LOCATION (from which they are joining the meeting), and ROLE or reason for joining the meeting. We all want to know who the people are in each video/call situation.

Voicemail greetings to callers:  When people get your voicemail, do they really know who they have reached and how you can help them? If not, fix your voicemail greeting to include: Your Name, Your title or position, Your Company Name, and what you want the caller to do. For example, my voicemail greeting usually sounds like this: “Thank you for calling Meeting & Management Essentials. You’ve reached Jana Kemp. Please do, leave a detailed message along with your telephone number so that I can return your call.”  It may sound long, however, how many times have you waited through so many rings and/or gotten distracted that you actually forgot who you were calling? Providing this information gets the caller focused AND provides direction for what you want them to leave in their messages. Better efficiency all around!

What introductions will you be making this week? Are you ready? Really ready?

Note from Jana: Your meetings – online and in person – are your most important tool for achieving team successes. If you’re ready to take strategic steps toward managing meetings and results as effectively as possible, we’d love to talk with you about partnering.

Workplace – the Blog: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work.

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