I have an etiquette request. Please remember to introduce yourself after someone has introduced him- or herself to you. I know this may seem like a little thing, but it’s important.
Let me explain. Before most of my seminars begin, I shake hands with each participant and say, “Hi, I’m Barbara Pachter, your instructor. Welcome and enjoy the day.” Many people respond appropriately and will introduce themselves, also.
When this etiquette give-and-take occurs, it paves the way for a connection between the two people and makes it easier for conversation to begin.
Yet, there are some participants who don’t give their names. They just shake hands or shake hands and only say “Hi.” An awkward silence usually follows and I will often jump in and politely ask, “And, you are?”
When people don’t respond with their names, they appear shy, timid or standoffish. As a result, making a connection or starting a conversation can be more difficult.
Not giving one’s name does not just occur in my seminars! People tell me the same thing happens to them when they attend meetings and introduce themselves to the people sitting next to them.
Why do people do this? In my classes I do know that some people are startled. They are not expecting the instructor to practice this protocol. A woman recently sent me a thank-you note emphasizing how much she enjoyed meeting me before the seminar started. She hadn’t experienced this with other instructors. Other reasons that people don’t give their names include being preoccupied or simply not knowing to do it.
Monitor yourself. Pay attention when people introduce themselves and, please, respond back with your name.