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Who are you?

I will keep this blog post short, mainly because I think the message simple:

Throughout my entire professional career I have done my best to get to every meeting before it started and, when someone walked into the room who I didn't know, I would stand up, walk over to them, stick out my hand and introduce myself. As an intern, my boss would look at me very curiously but when it came time for a feedback review she commended me without hesitation on these actions. Why?

It is polite to introduce yourself to someone when you are working with them for the first time and it is a gesture that helps bring people on the team together, making everyone feel included. Not only that, but it is also helps them connect dots on the project: Are you the technical expert? Are you a whiz with excel and awesome at data analysis? Or are you the jack of all trades, someone with experience in various departments that understands how truly complex the innerworkings of a project can be? Whatever your strengths are, how can anyone find them out if you aren't even capable of introducing yourself to the rest of the project team? 

Once you get into the managerial level it is often less about what you know and more about who you know (yes, there are many exceptions!). You need to know how to connect the dots, because being able to understand who to turn to in certain situations can help save projects or be a crucial learning experience for one of your team members. This could mean the difference of being able to solve a problem within a day vs. a week. It also sets an example for how people should be treated when they join the team. It is such a simple gesture and, yet, others are often greatly impressed. Be the example that you want to see and don't wait for others to step up - Stand up (or go off mute), stick out your hand, and introduce yourself.

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