RadioBDC Logo
ThisKidsNotAlright | Awolnation Listen Live
 
 
< Back to front page Text size +

Who to introduce to whom

Posted by Peter Post  February 25, 2010 07:00 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Q. Please tell me the proper way to introduce one to another. Is it Ms. Important I want you to meet Mr. Unimportant? That is woman to a man, older woman to another woman or man, older man to younger man?

C. C., Saratoga, CA

A. Who to introduce to whom has always been a baffling question. Whole chapters have been written listing all the possible situations and how to make the introduction. All the advice can be distilled down to one simple rule: speak to the person you wish to honor first. In your example the correct introduction would be to turn to Ms. (Mr. or Mrs.) Important and say something like: “Ms. Important. I would like to introduce Mr. Unimportant, my associate (or whatever relationship you have with Mr. Unimportant).” Then turn to Mr. Unimportant and say something like, “Mr. Unimportant. I would like you to meet Ms. Important, a director of XYZ Company.” A more real life scenario would be “Grandmother, I would like to introduce my girlfriend, Frieda Smith, to you.” Then turning to Frieda say, “Frieda, this is my grandmother, Mrs. Abbott.” Tradition dictates that if introducing a man and a woman of equal status (either in business or social situations) you speak to the woman first. Likewise, age takes precedence—speak to the older person first. Speak first to a person with a title: Senator, Doctor, Reverend. In business, follow company ranking, but a client is considered more important than anyone in the company, including the CEO.

Q. I, as well as others, received flowers from the 10 shareholders of my company. Please let me know how the thank-you note should be addressed – a note to each, or one to the 10 collectively? Any other advice would be welcomed. Thanks!

P. M., Austin, TX

A. The best approach is to send a note to each person individually. I can’t see how you could send a collective note to one person and hope the others see your thank you as well.

There is one alternative which I usually don’t recommend but can see using in a situation such as this—individual e-mail thank-you notes. These e-mails wouldn’t be sent to a group because it would be difficult to write an effective salutation. “Dear Shareholders” isn’t very personal.

The reason for the receipt of the flowers matters. For a situation such as bereavement or a birthday, a personal, handwritten note to each group member is the right approach. In your situation in which the flowers were sent to several people, perhaps as a thank you for extra effort, the individual thank you e-mail to each person works.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

 

about this blog

From looking for a job to dealing with the one you have, our Job Docs are here to answer your employment-related questions.

e-mail your question

Name:
E-mail:
Your question/comment:

Meet the Jobs Docs

Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.

Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.

Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.

Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.

Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.

Tracy Cashman is Senior Vice President and Partner of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.

Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.

archives