Join Mind Tools
Get unlimited access to 2500+ leadership & management resources in a range of learning formats when you join Mind Tools.
Join Mind Tools

Sign-up to our newsletter

Subscribing to the Mind Tools newsletter will keep you up-to-date with our latest updates and newest resources.

Close
Working on it...
Successfully subscribed to the newsletter
Sorry, something went wrong
February 19, 2018

7 Golden Rules for Meeting and Greeting

Simon Bell

, ,

©Â©GettyImages/Coldimages

I just about remember starting at my first job, and going through the time-honored ordeal of being paraded around the office to meet the team.

Two introductions in particular stood out − and still do, after all these years. First, I met the team manager, Andrea. She got up as I came in, smiled, and offered me her hand. She made a quick reference to the college I'd been to, which showed that she remembered my interview, at least, and apologized for not having more time to chat, as she was on her way to a meeting.

A little later I met Chris. Chris leaned back in his chair, hands behind his head. He looked me up and down, raised an eyebrow, and said, “Well, I guess you turned up, at least.” Niceties concluded, he turned back to his screen.

Guess who I decided would be the one to trust and look up to? Right there and then.

First impressions matter. They aren’t the only things that count towards a good reputation in the workplace, but they can have a disproportionate impact. Get them right, and you’ll establish rapport much more easily with teammates, customers and suppliers. Get them wrong, and you’ll find yourself playing catch-up.

Try these top tips for greeting someone new at work.

1. Stand Up

When you're greeting new people, do so face-to-face. It’s just polite, and shows respect. It means that you consider them important enough to change your physical position for them. It also helps you to make eye contact.

2. Look ’Em in the Eye

Making eye contact indicates engagement and focus. It shows that you’re interested in the other person. Staring at your shoes, your watch, or your phone shows the opposite, and suggests disengagement. Use positive body language.

3. Smile (and the World Smiles With You)

Even if you’re carrying the woes of the world on your shoulders, try to look happy to see your new acquaintance. A grimace immediately puts the other person on the defensive, while a smile is welcoming and inclusive.

4. Take the Initiative With a Handshake

Approach the person you’re greeting and extend your hand. You’ll come across as confident and assertive, not aggressive. Don’t wait for the other person to take a lead.

Keep it simple: shake firmly, but avoid the "death grip." A "limp fish" leaves an equally poor impression. And keep your spare hand by your side: two-handed pumping and hands on shoulders are strictly for politicians.

5. Say Who You Are

Even better, say why you’re there and what you do. “Hi, I’m Paula” is a start. “Hi, I’m Paula. I’m an account manager with the Client Success team. How can I help?” is actually useful, and shows you’re making the effort.

6. Observe the Hierarchy

If you’re making the introductions, remember business etiquette. Introduce less senior people to more senior ones. Start with the name of the senior person, then introduce the junior person to them.

As you did when you introduced yourself, give some context. So, "Colette, may I introduce Phil? Phil is our new lead developer. Phil, Colette is our chief financial officer."

7. Get the Name Game Right

Make sure that you remember the name of anyone you’ve been introduced to, and use the name properly. It’s better to ask the person to repeat the name than to keep using an incorrect version.

Wait for permission before using someone’s first name. It’s respectful. Some people don’t like informality from the get-go, and it may be seen as culturally insensitive.

 

Can you think of a time when an introduction went particularly well for you? Or particularly badly? Let us know in the comments section, below.

 

Share this post:

7 comments on “7 Golden Rules for Meeting and Greeting”

    1. Thanks Abhishek for the feedback. Hope you enjoy more of our resources here to give you additional ideas to help you professionally and personally.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. Hope you enjoy more of our resources here to expand your knowledge and skills.

  1. I have a question for Rule number 6. I am in an audit meeting and I am introducing board members of the organisation to the audit team. In such a case, would the audit team have more seniority to the organisation's board members?

  2. Hey
    I followed this things but my seniors tell e to improve your greetings , Can u please help me

    1. Hi Saba,
      Sure, would love to assist you. You mentioned that your seniors have told you to 'improve your greetings'. Would you mind please providing an example?

      ~Sonia
      Mind Tools Coach

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join Mind Tools

Get unlimited access to 2500+ leadership & management resources in a range of learning formats when you join Mind Tools.
Join now

You may also like...

May 31, 2023

Am I a Difficult Person – or Is It Everyone Else?

"There are many irritating people out there: from the story one-uppers and interrupters to the lazy good-for-nothings, know-it-alls, and lip-smackers. In fact, you may even work with a few of them." - Rosie Robinson

, ,

May 30, 2023

3 Tools for Speaking Out at Work – All NEW Empowerment Videos

I'm going to start with a confession. There have been some points in my life where I've avoided speaking out when I really should have. One such time, when I was young (16 or 17), I saw a local shopkeeper getting harassed by a group of three young girls. I knew the shopkeeper... had often […]

April 27, 2023

"If you trust your employees..." Liam Martin on Asynchronous Work

"If you trust your employees enough to have access to all of that information then you actually start to see some really magical things occur."

, , ,

© Mind Tools Ltd 2023. All rights reserved. "Mind Tools" is a registered trademark of Mind Tools Ltd.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram