Who says “Hello” first?

Q. When moving into a new, small, office building that has 4 to 5 offices with around 10 employees each, should the new folks go introduce themselves, and if so, who should make the effort (office manager, receptionist, boss, or whoever wants to?). Or should those already residing there go introduce themselves to the new folks, and if so, who? Obviously in a big office building it would not be practical, but in a small building with a small number of employees, is it proper etiquette to make introductions, especially with dissimilar work and not a priority to “network?”

D. H., Knoxville, TN

After settling in, a quick visit to other businesses in the building by the highest ranking person in your space would be most appropriate. It will be easier for the rest of the staff to make self-introductions if your boss has already made the rounds of the building. The other employees then can meet and greet as they run into people in the halls and rest areas. It really doesn’t matter whether those businesses are potential customers or valuable network connections. It’s really simply a matter of common courtesy to introduce yourself. Remember, first impressions matter, and making introductions establishes a positive relationship with your neighbors right from the start. Everyone in your business should be reminded to make eye contact, offer a firm handshake and introduce themselves.

In the event that people in a new company in your building have not introduced themselves, the courteous action would be to make the effort to stop by their front desk, introduce your company and welcome them to the building. “Hi, my name is Lisa James. I’m the director of James Investments on the third floor. Welcome to the building.”
Similarly, we often get asked, “Who says ‘Hello’ first, the person entering a space or the person already there? As the person entering a space, you should make the first effort and be sure to state your name and briefly why you’re there: “Hi, I’m Bill Jones from Versus Software. I’m here to meet with Sally Lindsey.” The person in the space then responds by welcoming you to the office.

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