When we first meet someone, we naturally draw a conclusion about them. They are also doing the same. That first impression is often not accurate. Understanding someone requires more information before we can realistically judge them. it may take a while before we change our opinion. Let’s look at ways we can improve that positive first impression.
Comfort at the meeting requires you to fit in. Most business meetings call for business casual dress. If not, ask others what the dress code is. Stay away from flashy or inappropriate dress. Clothing must be neat and clean. The same for finger nails.
DECIDE TO ENJOY YOURSELF
Take some deep breaths to relax you. Believe that you will enjoy yourself. Say to yourself that you are as good and as capable as anyone you might meet. Think positive thoughts about yourself and others. Expect to have a good time. Expect to meet nice, interesting people.
HAVE SOMETHING INTERESTING TO SAY
Read, watch videos, talk, learn about something of interest to a stranger. Change the subject when he asks questions you don't want to answer. You do not have to answer every question. Don't be blunt. When you meet someone for the first time, don't use technical jargon. If you have a funny story, be absolutely certain it cannot offend anyone. The safest funny stories are about yourself.
Smiling gives you the feeling that everything will go well. You are thinking about others and not yourself. People respond to that and they will automatically like you. As a test, go to the grocery store and smile at people as you pass by them. They will smile back. You are giving positive feelings to others. They will believe that you are happy and confident. People will want to be around you.
This creates a body language that shows you are someone who is sure of yourself. If your smile is artificial, your body language will give mixed messages to others. The other person will believe the body language, every time. Stand and sit up straight. Push your shoulders back. Use direct eye contact and a strong hand shake. It shows strength and belief in yourself.
SPEAK POSITIVE WORDS
When you first begin talking, you begin to create that first impression. When someone says, “How are you”, don’t tell him all your woes. Show a friendly, relaxed attitude. Ask about the other person. Use what, when, why, who, how questions and let him speak. Ask him about his passion and he will take over the conversation. You will become his new best friend because he will believe you are interested in him. And really listen to them. Shut out the mind chatter. Compliment him on something specific and mean it.
Everyone makes assumptions. Find out what your assumptions are and set them aside. Get more information and LISTEN. Don't ignore what they say because you think you already know.
“Optimism is positive thinking lighted up” – Anonymous
Match the other person's gestures and posture. This is called mirroring. It gives him the feeling you are interested and really listening to what he says. If he leans forward, you lean forward. If he rests his head in his hand, you do the same. If he speaks slowly, you speak slowly. Unconsciously, he will like you.
Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people. -- Anonymous
Make your statement in the form of a question. This gives the other person room to disagree and you may learn more before making a judgment. Don't assume information and don't jump to conclusions.
Blunt: "That won't work."
Tact: "I need more information. Could you tell me more?"
Instead of trying to convince others you are right, listen to their side. Explain why you reached your conclusion. Be open minded. Realize that you might learn something you had not considered. You don't have to agree with them. Just listen to their position and their reasons. Tell them that you haven't made up your mind, that you want their input. Let your guard down and they will do the same. If they feel you are attacking them, they will defend themselves and nobody wins. Give them a chance to discuss the topic.
And that’s it. Just follow some of these hints and you will be a hit at the next meeting.
© LifeSkillsInternational 2012
Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter