A big part of networking is giving to others, and making introductions is a powerful way to do this. You foster connections and build community by introducing people who might not otherwise have known each other. And a common way we introduce people is by their job titles. However, are selling our friends—and, by extension ourselves—short when we focus solely on what they do instead of who they are?
Over on Storyline, Cadence Turpin writes about how at a recent gathering, a friend of hers lamented being able to connect with people solely through her job. By leading with her job title, she felt stuck and boring. Cadence’s response? She’ll start introducing her friends by what she loves most about them:
What if instead of introducing your friend as Jennifer the nurse, you started introducing her as Jennifer, one of most thoughtful people you know, or Jennifer the friend who helped you move in when you didn’t know a soul in this city.
Introducing your friends for who they are rather than focusing on what they do will remind them they are loved before and beyond their titles. It’s an easy way to remind them that you see them for their hearts instead of their accomplishments.
Her closing line is especially powerful:
Networking builds an empire, but thoughtful introductions build a community. Where will you lay your bricks?
I’ve noticed that at events or even casual get-togethers, it’s very easy to introduce people by their job titles. Job titles are usually what most people recognize and can relate to. However, as Cadence notes, it can stifle people and actually hide what you love about the people in your community and what makes them unique.
That being said, I can imagine the follow up question to this kind of introduction: “So, what do you do?”