Always remember to introduce the person of lesser importance to the person of higher importance. How one decides on importance is totally left to one's discretion, but here are a few guidelines that could ease the matter.
It is rank, not gender that is important in a business setting.
Age, experience, job level and public recognition are the key factors while determining importance. So, introduce a younger person to an older person, a co-worker to boss, boss to a client (the client ranks higher in importance than anyone else in the company!) and lay person to an official.
Whilst being introduced, stand up, or at least make an attempt to rise. Smile and greet the person before shaking hands.
How do I make my presence felt?
Attending a business/social event is just 80 per cent of the job done. The rest of the 20 per cent involves singing for your supper, i.e. contributing to the event in the most positive manner!
Be prepared: Get information about your sponsors/hosts or fellow guests before the event. You need to present yourself and your business organization in the most professional manner.
Make your presence known to your hosts and to peer.
Circulate and meet as many people as possible. This is not the time for you to stand on formalities and wait to be introduced, nor is this the place for you to slink into a corner with an old acquaintance.
Avoid making a beeline for the buffet or bar. It's not easy to eat and make conversation at the same time, and there's nothing worse than waking up in the morning and realising that last evening's alcohol-induced wit was just hot air!
How Chivalrous Should I Be?
The rise of the feminist movement, and the increase of women in the workplace, have left in their wake a whole generation of confused men for whom old codes of conduct towards women don't apply any more. This confusion is apparent especially when it comes to opening doors and using lifts.
In the workplace, gender is not important; consideration for a fellow human is. This doesn't mean that you have to hold doors open for the whole office to troop in; just that you shouldn't walk through first, not caring if the door slams in the face of the person behind you.
it is perfectly acceptable to allow a senior executive to precede you, and to hold the door open for a colleague whose arms are laden with books or files.
In a lift it makes sense that the person nearest the controls asks others for their floor and selects the appropriate buttons, and that the person closest to the exit leaves first.
When you have a client, guest, or very senior executive with you, and you are closest to the lift, enter, and hold the doors open for them, and unobtrusively, make way for them to leave first