March 15, 2015

Recently, I read an article in Inc. magazine titled “The Perfect Way to Introduce Yourself (In Any Setting)” by Contributing Editor Jeff Haden. The article started off with a lighthearted story about playing in an adult soccer league and concluded with some very interesting realities. Haden talks about meeting another league player who, upon introducing himself by name, also delivered his company, title, and additional notes on how busy he was with a very important workload – all of which were completely irrelevant to playing soccer. I’m certain many of us have either offered or received a similar opening statement.

Introductions are tough for many people. There’s a lot of pressure to make the absolute best first impression and some see it as an opportunity to deliver the highlights of their significance. In fact, “introduction” is defined as a “presentation of one person to another, in which each is told the other’s name.” Haden suggests simply saying hello and mentioning your name is the best impression you can make.

When you introduce yourself, be who you are… Always trust that who you are is more than enough.

He goes on to offer tips for a perfect introduction:

  • Less is more – brief introductions are always best;
  • Be aware of the setting and keep your introduction in that context;
  • Embrace understatement – unless you are in a business setting, your title is irrelevant;
  • Focus on the other person – the best connections come from listening, not speaking.

Haden’s idea of a perfect introduction has many parallels to topics I wrote about in Uncommon Candor: being true to yourself and the situation, using precisely enough words to clarify and no additional filler, and listening for candor. As we foster great candor in our environments and relationships, I believe we may develop the knack for a great introduction and best first impression.

For Haden’s full article, click here: