If I were your guest and you were having a party, hopefully you would welcome me and then introduce me to your other visitors, right?
You would do your very best to make me feel comfortable and welcome.
The ability to do this even when you are not at your own home and it is not your party is a superb skill — and one that can enhance your personal and professional life.
The first step is to shift your mindset. Most of us are happy to talk to the few people we already know. That is certainly a comfortable approach, but it’s not going to grow your network, or expand your professional horizons.
So try it: Whether it is a work event or a Super Bowl party at a friend’s house, go in with a sense of confidence and interest in making others feel comfortable. Tell yourself that you do not need to wait to be introduced because you are perfectly capable of introducing yourself to the other attendees or guests.
Even if a group of people is standing together, it is perfectly acceptable to go up to them and in a casual relaxed tone introduce yourself and join the conversation.
However, if you sense you are intruding on a private conversation, then graciously excuse yourself. You could offer to go and get drinks, or just politely say “lovely to meet you”, and move on.
The real art of “hosting” is the ability to connect two strangers by asking if they know each other and then proceeding to introduce them. Often, our instinct in these situations is to wait until someone talks to us rather than give ourselves permission to be the connector. But when you become the “host” you can really empower yourself, and in so doing transform a social or work gathering into something much more meaningful and fruitful.
You will find that your ability to act as the host not only makes you more comfortable, but makes you a great guest and a more relaxed, confident and engaged individual.