better professional relationships

I love this meme. Partly because The Princess Bride is a movie I can and do watch on repeat. But also, because the quote is about much more than a proper way to introduce yourself to a new customer, client, or colleague.

We start by being nice. By opening the door to communication. We make the first move and show that we are approachable without being overly friendly. It’s amazing how a pleasant first meeting can set a work relationship up for years to come. They recognise that you are interested in them. They will remember that you took the first step, that you made them feel welcome.

We tell them our name. We don’t assume that they know who we are, what we do and what we stand for. We put them on equal footing with us. We don’t elevate our status on a human level simply by virtue of possessing the thing that they want or having the skills they want to acquire. We remove any anxiety they might have about how we want to be addressed.

We identify where they are now. We make them feel seen. We show that we understand where they are coming from. We address the need for the relationship. We also tell them what our assessment of their situation is, which gives the chance for them to correct us if we’ve misunderstood.

We tell them what they can expect from us and what the next steps will be. We set boundaries. We tell them where our line in the sand is and what the consequences of stepping over that line will be. We tell them what we can and cannot do for them.

We should all be a little bit Inigo.


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