I have an etiquette request: Please remember to introduce yourself by name after someone has introduced himself or herself to you.
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.
This kind of etiquette give-and-take paves the way for a connection
between the two people, and makes it easier for conversation to begin.
However, there are some participants who don’t give their names. They
just shake hands, or shake hands and say “Hi.” An awkward silence
usually follows, and I will often jump in and politely ask, “And, you
When people don’t volunteer their names without prompting, they appear
shy, timid or standoffish. As a result, making a connection or starting a
conversation can be more difficult.
It’s not just in my seminars that people fail to give their names.
People tell me the same thing happens to them when they attend meetings
and introduce themselves to the men or women sitting next to them.
In my classes, I know that some people are startled when I introduce
myself to them. They are not expecting the instructor to practice this
protocol. One woman 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 people may not give their names because they are preoccupied, or because they simply don’t know they should do so.
Monitor your own behavior. Pay attention when people introduce
themselves, and please respond with your full (first and last) name. You may be surprised
at what a positive difference it makes in your interactions with
Additional information on greetings, introductions and conversation can be found in The Essentials of Business Etiquette: How to Greet, Eat, and Tweet Your Way to Success.
Pachter & Associates provides
training and coaching on business etiquette and communication skills.
For additional information, please contact Joyce Hoff at 856.751.6141 or
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