Be the Grand Poobah of introductions
According to Wikipedia...
Grand Poobah is a term derived from the name of the haughty character Pooh-Bah in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado (1885). In this comic opera, Pooh-Bah holds numerous exalted offices, including "First Lord of the Treasury, Lord Chief Justice, Commander-in-Chief, Lord High Admiral... Archbishop of Titipu, and Lord Mayor" and Lord High Everything Else. The name has come to be used as a mocking title for someone self-important or high-ranking and who either exhibits an inflated self-regard or who has limited authority while taking impressive titles.
Ok...so maybe you don't have to have "an inflated self-regard," but you should be the master of ceremonies when it comes to introductions. And here is why.
- First Impressions - Chances are the 2 people you are introducing are meeting for the first time. And if you are the master of ceremonies you are in control of the introduction. So why not set the stage in an incredibly positive and proactive state. Talk about how you know each person and why you think they should meet and that you are just privileged to know each of them.
- Reciprocity - Chances are that you just created a situation that might never have happened or might have taken a long time to occur. In business, time is money. You just saved each of these people a tremendous amount of time and potentially introduced them to their next biggest client. This is great for building goodwill, social capital and that magical currency: reciprocity.
- Eliminate fear - You might be high school pals with the governor and to you he is just Tommy. But to another friend they might never have the nerve to approach this person and introduce themselves. Let's be honest, it can be scary. If you walked into Starbucks and Bono was having a cup of Joe, would you immediately go shake his hand or give it a pause? I am willing to bet after you changed your pants, you'd text 50 friends, update your Facebook status and still chicken out. But if a friend already knew him and they were there, the introduction would be a snap.
So the next time you find yourself somewhere, make your night easy and entertaining, and build some goodwill by introducing everyone to everyone.