— by Dana Heyde

Everyone loves a compliment. I know I do! So I enjoy it when I’m able to introduce two of my favorite people to each other. I never introduce them by name only. Instead, I bolster the introduction with achievements they’ve had or by mentioning their professional skills. For someone with whom I sit on an executive board, I might praise her selfless involvement. Or for an attorney in my field, I might mention her knowledge.

This lets the people I’m introducing know that I’ve been listening. Not only does it show that I know their businesses, but it demonstrates that I also paid attention to outstanding things they’ve done. After all, that’s why we keep networking! We want others to get to know us and, more important, to like us.

The first time I did this, I noticed that the person I praised seemed genuinely touched by my kind words. It felt great. Subsequently, I jumped on every opportunity to tout the brilliance of someone I knew, and was met with the same positive reaction.

It’s all too easy to tear someone down, especially in our society where women seem to be constantly pitted against each other – like the media asking if we’re team Gwen Stefani or Miranda Lambert. I believe that the first step in having a strong network of women is to build each other up.

So the next time you introduce a colleague, don’t limit yourself to stating her name. Instead, add something positive about her.

danaheydeDana Heyde is a Partner at Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde, LLP in Orange, where the firm has had a continuing presence in the community for over twenty-five years. Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde, LLP focuses on Civil Litigation, Family Law, and Estate Planning. We would be honored to help you with your legal needs.